2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class: prices, engines, practicality, rivals and release date

Merc fills another niche


MERCEDES-BENZ’s sizeable SUV range is set to grow even further, as the premium car maker has a new compact crossover on the way.

 

What is the 2020 Mercedes GLB?

At face value, Mercedes’ current range appears to cover all the bases – not including the AMG variants and upcoming pure-electric cars, it currently sells no less than 32 different model lines. It seems the current Mercedes line-up isn’t comprehensive-enough, however, as the car maker has found a new gap to plug with this: the GLB compact SUV

Though the design is inspired to some extent by the tough-as-nails G-Class, which sits at the top of the firm’s SUV range, the GLB is a smaller, more mainstream and family-friendly offering.

Full tech specs haven’t been revealed, but the interior of the Concept GLB (pictured) suggests its will share its underpinnings with the A-Class hatchback, and Mercedes is highlighting in particular the versatility and practicality of this compact crossover.

The GLB does have some claimed cross-terrain credentials, however. The permanent all-wheel drive system and “Off Road” driving mode should make it a decent mud-plugger, and the GLB’s short overhangs should mean the car will go up and down steep inclines without tearing the bumpers off.

 

What engines will the Mercedes GLB come with?

As the Concept GLB looks near production-ready, we’d be very surprised if the design study’s 221bhp 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine wasn’t available on the finished car – especially as Mercedes already offers the exact same engine on the A-Class.

It would follow that the GLB will  be available with some of the A-Class’ engines, which include a 2-litre four-cylinder diesel on top of versions of the previously-mentioned petrol engine with higher and lower power outputs.

The sole gearbox choice will likely be an eight-speed automatic, and all models will only be available with all-wheel drive.

 

Will there be a hybrid Mercedes GLB?

A hybrid option has yet to be confirmed, though reports suggest there’s a strong chance a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid engine will eventually be available for the GLB. Mild hybrids, which use a small electric motor to assist the engine during acceleration, are also expected to join the range at a later date.

 

What tech will the Mercedes GLB have?

The GLB should come with a decent amount of equipment when it arrives in showrooms. The Concept GLB is fitted with the “MBUX” infotainment system that debuted on the A-Class, as well as  heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control and dual-zone climate control.

In an unusual twist for an SUV of this size, the GLB is set to be sold as a seven-seater model – the larger GLC, though, is exclusively available as a five-seater car, suggesting the new model is Tardis-like inside. According to Mercedes-Benz, there’s enough space in the back for the two rearmost chairs to provide “comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants”.

 

When will the Mercedes GLB go on sale?

It may be a concept for now, but the GLB is set to arrive in showrooms in the relatively near future. Reports suggest Mercedes will unveil the production-ready car later this summer, with the order books opening before the end of the year. Deliveries will likely begin before spring in 2020.

 

How much will the Mercedes GLB cost?

As its name suggests, the GLB sits between the GLA and GLC, so although prices are TBC, we expect them to reflect the model’s place in the Mercedes family tree. The range is likely to start at about £31,000, with the top-spec version setting you back roughly £41,000. Don’t expect much change from £55,000 for the performance-focused AMG flagship variant.

 

What will the Mercedes GLB’s rivals be?

Rivals for the GLB will include the Audi Q3, Porsche Macan, Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque. It will also face competition from the Land Rover Discovery Sport; one of only a handful of seven-seater SUVs on sale today that are similarly-sized to the Mercedes.

 

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