First Mercedes GLB revealed – yet another compact-ish SUV

Mercedes’ next SUV seats seven, is based on the A-class and might spawn a 415bhp variant

So the product offensive from Mercedes continues, as it launches the ninth SUV model – the GLB – in its sprawling range. It hits a point in the market not previously covered by Mercedes-Benz in offering a smaller, more versatile SUV with seating for up to seven. Of course, being a Mercedes-Benz, there is a very high likelihood of an AMG version arriving soon, and with the all-new M139 four-cylinder having recently been detailed, the age of a 415bhp seven-seat compact SUV might just be upon us.

The reason this GLB will feature AMG’s new high-performance four-cylinder engine is its derived underpinnings. Unlike the larger, yet less versatile GLC, the GLB will sit on the smaller A-class platform. As a result, the GLB engine range is made up from a combination of transversely mounted three- and four-cylinder engines paired with dual-clutch transmissions.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

> Click here for a full technical rundown on Merc's new M139 power unit

At launch, the GLB’s engine range will kick off with five units (two petrols and three diesels), topped by a 222bhp GLB250. All four-cylinder power units are connected to a fresh eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, but it’s only the two diesels (GLB200d and GLB220d) that will feature 4Matic all-wheel drive.

Advertisement - Article continues below

An AMG GLB35 is on the way, with the same 302bhp turbocharged four-cylinder engine as found in the A35 and CLA35, but this version will be a mere precursor to the full-fat GLB45, which will eventually top the range and bring a unique capability to the range, namely how to make five children violently ill in the shortest time possible.

In order to package seven seats into the car’s relatively compact footprint, Mercedes has created a tall and upright silhouette for the GLB – one that doesn’t look that dissimilar to a Skoda Yeti. In addition to this, the GLB has an extremely long wheelbase in relation to its overall length, taking maximum advantage of the transversely mounted powertrain and unlocking as much interior space as possible.

Despite the blocky appearance, the GLB does remain resolutely an on-road SUV and is by no means a baby G-class. This is exemplified by the optional AMG-line styling package, which swaps out the standard model’s chunky elements for the usual combination of gaping front grilles, low bumpers and big alloy wheels.

The interior is typical of a modern Mercedes and combines the A-class’s MBUX infotainment system with a new, boxy dashboard and a greater emphasis on space efficiency. For those to whom it will appeal, Mercedes’ liberal use of colourful ambient lighting and new illuminated trim inserts can light the interior up to levels only usually seen inside a Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet.

So the new GLB might well attract a new customer to the Mercedes-Benz range, but does little to blip our radar. However, the notion of a GLB45 S AMG is a rather different kettle of fish, and might well live up to its big brother, the G63, in terms of ridiculousness if not outright theatre.




Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series spied with GT3-inspired front end

17 Sep 2019

Mercedes Vision EQS luxury electric car concept unveiled in Frankfurt

10 Sep 2019

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019

2020 Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe spied with mid-cycle updates

16 Aug 2019

Most Popular

Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-type revealed 

An updated Jaguar F-type has been revealed with a consolidated engine range and new front end
2 Dec 2019
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 teased in new video

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
4 Dec 2019
Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Limited Edition Continental GT revealed

Inspired by Bentley’s success at Pikes Peak, the Limited Edition Continental GT packs some visual punch based on the record-breaking racer
3 Dec 2019
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019