Powerful proportions with short overhangs and offroad-oriented design as well as optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a special off-road light which helps detect obstacles in front of the vehicle at low speeds – the new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a versatile compact SUV. The new GLB is the first Mercedes-Benz in this segment that is optionally available as a seven-seater. The two seats in row three can be used by people up to 1.68 metres in height. With powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines, the latest driving assistance systems with cooperative support for the driver, the intuitively operated infotainment system MBUX, the new family member (length/width/height: 4634/1834/1658 millimetres) has all the strengths of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz. The new GLB is set to arrive in South Africa in Quarter 2 of 2020.
“There is a growing interest for SUV’s, while Compact Car are also seeing an increase in sales. So a compact SUV such as the GLB blends all the success factors of our two segments”, says Johannes Fritz, CoCEO and Executive Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa. “The GLB also boasts some special features which we have not previously offered our customers in this segment, for example seven seats.”
“Its iconic exterior and trendy interior lends the Mercedes-Benz GLB an unmistakable SUV character. The GLB will allow for Mercedes-Benz to speak to a new audience”, says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa. “The clear forms with reduced lines and powerful surfaces convey our design philosophy of Sensual Purity.
With a wheelbase of 2829 millimetres, the GLB has ten centimetres more wheelbase than the new B-Class. Together with the function oriented greenhouse this is decisive when it comes to the generous amount of space. The headroom in the first seat row is 1069 millimetres – an optimum in this segment. At 967 millimetres the effective legroom in the rear of the five-seater is at an especially comfortable level. The vehicle is 4634 millimetres in length, width of 1834 millimetres and a height of 1658 millimetres.
The boot compartment capacity of 570 to 1805 litres (figures for the fiveseater) boasts the qualities of an estate car. The backrest angle is adjustable in several stages as standard. Optionally, the second row can be moved fore and aft. This enables the boot to be enlarged by up to 190 litres and put to versatile use.
Success story: the new model in the compact car family
With the new GLB the compact car family from Mercedes-Benz now consists of: the A-Class Hatch, A-Class Sedan, B-Class, CLA and the GLA are already on the market. In 2018 over 609,000 customers all over the world were able to take delivery of a compact model. Since the first AClass was launched in 1997, over seven million vehicles of this segment have already been delivered worldwide by Mercedes-Benz.
Ready for boarding: up to seven seats
The GLB is the first compact vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to offer a third seat row (seven seater) as an optional extra with two additional individual seats. The seats offer people up to a height of 1.68 metres a comfortable amount of space. The extensive safety equipment includes extendible head restraints, seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters on all outer seats, a side window airbag which also protects the passengers in the third seat row plus ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for suitable child seats.
Comfort details in the third row include two drinks holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with rubberised insert on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each housing a USB port. The seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor in order to extend the load compartment.
The variability in detail:
Off-road orientation: the exterior design
The powerful proportions of the GLB underscore the off-road focus of the design: the design emphasises surfaces, and reduced lines and uses reduced lines and precise panel gaps. This conveys superior sportiness and modernity. The upright front section with its striking headlamps is clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear.
The muscular and sensuously contoured vehicle shoulder dominates the side view at the height of the C-pillar, an effect reinforced by the rising waistline. The doors reach over the side bar, improving ease of access, and keep the door apertures free of soiling as well as increasing protection in a side impact. All-round protective claddings divide the overall proportions and emphasise the vehicle’s off-road character, as does the stylised skid plate at the front and rear. The elevated roof rails are made of polished aluminium.
With high-quality aluminium details: the interior design
The instrument panel consists of a single solid, which has a cut-out in the driver and front passenger area. The driver faces an optional Widescreen Cockpit, with control and display via MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) as a standard. A new feature is the off-road-like aluminium-look tubular element in the dashboard on the front passenger side. Below the round air vents positioned next to it are the air conditioning controls, whose buttons create the impression of having been milled out of an aluminium cylinder.
The robust character of the interior continues in the centre console. Tubular elements in said milled look provide a solid support for the components and controls here as well. Along the doors, the SUV character is underlined by the horizontal grab handle, which from the Progressive design and equipment line on up powerfully blends in with the overall sculpture and resembles a milled aluminium tube.
Spot on for hill and dale: the off-road light function
The standard LED High Performance headlamps and optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available for the GLB on request. The latter allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation. As an option there are also front fog lamps with LED technology. They distribute the light more widely than the main headlamps and thus illuminate peripheral areas better. Their low position in the front bumper helps reduce the risk of dazzling.
The technical details from A to Z:
The GLB benefits from the technical highlights of the current compactclass generation from Mercedes-Benz. These include in particular:
- The four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, which were completely modernised for the new edition of the compact model series: In comparison to the previous generation, they are characterised by significantly increased power and torque and by improved efficiency and reduced emissions. The gateway to the range of petrol model is the GLB 250 (combined fuel consumption 7.4-7.2 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 169-165 g/km) with cylinder deactivation.
- The driving assistance systems with cooperative support for the driver and functionality from the S-Class: Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the GLB is able to see up to 500 metres ahead and drive in semi-automated mode in certain situations. This includes, for example, the convenient speed adjustment ahead of bends, junctions or roundabouts carried out by Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, for which it also uses map and navigation data. As a new function of the Active Steering Assist, among other things, there is also the intuitive Active Lange Change Assist. If the Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC is additionally on board, the GLB also has the function extended automatic restart on motorways.
- The comfort suspension: at the front the GLB has McPherson suspension struts, at the rear an acoustically and vibrationally decoupled multi-link axle with compression springs. Adaptive adjustable damping is available on request. With this the driver can change between more comfort or particularly sporty tuning via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch.
- The intuitively operated MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience): The powerful computer, brilliant screens and graphics, customisable presentation, fullcolour head-up display, navigation with augmented reality, learning software, and voice control activated with the prompt “Hey Mercedes” are the key advantages of the system.
Should a tad more traction be called for: the 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The GLB is optionally equipped with the permanent all-wheel system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive program “Eco/Comfort” is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in “Sport” it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
Useful in easy off-road terrain: the Off-Road Engineering Package
In addition to the off-road light, the Off-Road Engineering Package includes an additional drive mode. It adapts the power delivery of the engine, the characteristics of 4MATIC and ABS intervention control for off-road driving in easy terrain. It can be activated via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch. This is available in the GLB 220d 4MATIC and not available in the GLB 250.
Other elements of the Off-Road Engineering Package:
- An animation of the driving situation can be called up in the media display. The realistic presentation of gradient, inclination angle and technical settings helps the driver to judge driving manoeuvres better.
- The hill-start assistance system Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) automatically adheres to a preselected, slow speed between approx. 2 and 18 km/h, it can be read out in the instrument cluster and in the optional head -up display. With targeted brake applications the assistant helps retain control during steep downhill driving,
Powerful and efficient: the engines
The new GLB places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines which were completely updated to relaunch the compact model series. In comparison to the previous generation, they are characterised by significantly increased power and torque and by improved efficiency and reduced emissions.
The two-litre M 260 engine in the GLB 250 (combined fuel consumption 7.4-7.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 169-162 g/km) has cast-iron cylinder liners in its die-cast aluminium engine block, which widen at the lower end as per the CONICSHAPE principle. In-house, the machining process for the cylinder bore is descriptively known as “trumpet honing”. This reduces piston friction and lowers the consumption. In the aluminium four-valve cylinder head, the CAMTRONIC variable valve timing system allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side.
Thanks to the further expanded emission control system, the two-litre diesel engine (OM 654q) with 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (combined fuel consumption 5.4-5.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 142-135 g/km) in the GLB 220d 4MATIC already meets the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) Stage 2 requirements, and is certified Euro 6d.
The models at a glance:
The figures shown were obtained in accordance with the prescribed measuring process. They are “NEDC CO2 values” pursuant to Art. 2 No. 1 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures have been calculated on the basis of these values. Electrical consumption has been determined on the basis of Directive 692/2008/EC.