New Mercedes-Benz GLB – Supreme 7-Seat SUV.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB is the German premium brand’s biggest ‘compact’ car, and is the lastest addition to its SUV range, which currently consists of eight models. The GLB is based on the B-Class, and slots into the range between the GLA and GLC. The GLB shares most of its underpinnings, interior switchgear and engine line-up with the B-Class, and is available with seven seats for ultimate practicality and people-carrying ability.
Rugged Good Looks;
Externally, the GLB looks assertive and rugged, with its boxy body and a huge front grille with its Mercedes-Benz emblem sitting proudly in the centre. The GLB also shares styling with the new Mercedes-Benz GLA, but the GLB is taller, has a longer rear overhang and a much longer wheelbase, which accommodates the extra row of seats.
High Quality & Spacious Cabin;
Inside, the GLB gets the same efficiently laid-out twin screens (size depends on specification), TFT infotainment and instrument cluster that was first introduced in the current Mercedes-Benz A-Class. It also features the MBUX operating system that adds the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatability comes as standard. Cabin quality throught the new GLB is excellent, with its distinctive array of ‘eyeball’ air vents, metal-finished air-conditioning controls and sporty multi-function steering wheel providing terrific visual impact. The GLB is spacious in the front of the cabin, while the second row of seats can slide fore and aft according to individual requirements, and they can be folded down completely too. The third row of seats are really only big enough for children (or occasional adult use), and can be folded completely into the car’s floor when not in use. In five-seat mode, the boot in the GLB has a capacity of up to 565-litres, but this can be increased to an impressive 1,800-litres with just the two front seats in operation. Stowing, raising and accessing the two rearmost seats is an easy task, thanks to the fact that it is possible to do it one-handed. Additionally, there is a special compartment in the boot floor to store the parcel shelf when it’s not in use.
Engine, Transmission & Trim Options;
The new Mercedes-Benz GLB is primarily available in two trim levels – Progressive and AMG-Line, with both models available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines, while a ‘full-fat’ Mercedes-AMG 35 4MATIC specification is available in petrol engine (2.0-litre/306bhp) guise only. Petrol engine options consist of a 1.33-litre unit with either 136bhp (badged GLB 180) or 163bhp (badged GLB 200), and a 2.0-litre with 224bhp (badged GLB 250). Diesel power is provided by a 2.0-litre unit with a choice of 116bhp (badged GLB 180d), 150bhp (badged GLB 200d) and 190bhp (badged GLB 220d). All derivatives get an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic as standard, with the exception of the GLB 180 and GLB 200, which come with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on the majority of models, with a 4MATIC four-wheel drive system available on selected models within the range – for times when the going gets tough.
My test car was a Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 AMG Line, which was finished in Galaxy Blue metallic paintwork. Producing 163bhp and 250Nm of torque, the 1.33-litre petrol engine can propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 9.1-seconds, while consuming as little as 4.9-litres of fuel for every 100km’s driven on an extra-urban driving cycle. This 7-seater AMG Line model comes with all the hallmarks of Mercedes-Benz’ AMG racing division, and includes standard features such as 19″ AMG 5 x twin-spoke alloy wheels, LED high performance headlamps, rear privacy glass, AMG floor mats, brushed stainless-steel sports pedals with black rubber applications, 180° reversing camera, AMG bodystyling – front apron with chrome splitter, rear apron with diffuser look and trim element in chrome, door panels in grained black with chrome-plated insert, distinctive rear bumper with an under-ride guard in high-gloss chrome, brake calipers with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ logo, radiator grille – with pins in chrome, rear armrest, multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather with galvanised gearshift paddles, and ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrast stitching, along with many more comfort, convenience, safety and infotainment features.
On The Road;
On the road, the GLB is exceptionally comfortable and compliant over uneven road surfaces, while isolating passengers from the outside world. The car’s well weighted steering makes the GLB a relaxing car to drive, while an excellent brake pedal feel adds an air of driving confidence to every journey. The steering wheel stalk-mounted automatic gear selector is easy to use, while the car’s indicators and wipers are combined on a single stalk to the left of the steering wheel. All major controls are well located for ease of access on the move, while the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control system is intuitive to use, and practical in its operation.
Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz GLB starts at €42,350 (ex-works) and is on sale now. The new GLB arrives against a backdrop whereby every third vehicle produced by Mercedes-Benz is an SUV, and every fourth a compact car. Overall, the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB really does provide freedom in its most beautiful form.
Visit www.mercedes-benz.ie for further information.