It looks like Mercedes-Benz is squeezing as much product as it can from its MFA2 (Modular Front Architecture). The new GLB SUV joins their premium compact range, which now includes the A-Class, the Saloon variant, the CLA, its Shooting Brake sibling, the B-Class and the GLA.
The new Premium Compact SUV seats five and another +2 passengers in 2:3:2 format, and apes the styling of the larger GLS luxobarge. In short, or the long of it, it really is a cross between an extended GLA and ‘Honey I Shrunk the GLS’.
Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, in-charge of marketing and salses says that: SUV models and compacts are important volume segments for us: Every third Mercedes-Benz is now an SUV, every fourth a compact car. A compact SUV like the GLB therefore combines all the success factors of our two highest-volume segments. The GLB also boasts some special features which we have not previously offered our customers in this segment, for example seven seats. As a result, it is an outstanding fit in our model range between GLA and GLC.
Like the A-Class and CLA models, the GLB shares quite a lot in common, from its dash layout, with the new instrument cluster sans the cowl, and the infotainment screen, which both are 10.25” units. The MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) interface responds to the activation phrase “Hey Mercedes”, and functions like an in-car concierge, which is capable of learning. Drivers will benefit from a head-up display, making reading of vital information much easier.
What is different though, is that it can seat up to seven, meaning that the extended family can tag along for the ride, thanks to the 2,829mm wheelbase, the GLB is 100mm longer than its GLA sibling.
Singapore will for now get two variants. The more popular of the two is the GLB Progressive, which takes power from a 1.332 litre turbocharged engine, good for 161Bhp and 250Nm, with drive provided by a 7G-DCT. The high-performance AMG-badged GLB35 on the other hand, receives a more potent 2.0 turbocharged engine, delivering 302Bhp and 400Nm. The performance-oriented ‘Merc’ gets the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 8G-DCT, and variable AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive for better drive delivery.
The more powerful GLB35 will also receive AMG trim, with the most recognisable element being the electric-razor style AMG grille. Stopping power is provided by AMG brakes, while on the inside, occupants will benefit from body-hugging AMG sports seats.
The GLB 200 Progressive starts at $182,888, while the go faster AMG-badged GLB 35 is priced from $231,888.