The Mercedes Concept GLB has been revealed at the Shanghai motor show today. Here’s all you need to know about Merc’s new baby SUV.
Mercedes Concept GLB SUV
Chunky looks and four-wheel drive
Price and release date
From £30,000; autumn 2019
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This is the Mercedes Concept GLB which previews a new seven-seater SUV that’ll sit between the GLA and the GLC in Mercedes’ line-up.
Mercedes Concept GLB styling
If you like your small SUV to have boxy styling then you’ll be happy with the looks of the GLB. Its square shape wouldn’t look out of place on an off-roader from the 1980s and this show car has been given chunky off-road tyres, spotlights above the windscreen and a roof rack complete with storage box. This is still a modern Mercedes though so you get matrix LED headlights which you don’t need to dip in oncoming traffic and tail lights with a distinctive double rectangular light signature. Look closer and you also spot the orange elements in the grille and the wing mirrors that hint that the GLB will be available with a range of personalisation options.
Mercedes Concept GLB interior
Aside from is chestnut leather upholstery, the GLB’s interior could have been taken from a current production Mercedes. So you get a large infotainment screen that runs from behind the steering wheel to the centre of the dashboard, the same turbine-style air vents you’ve seen on the GLC and the same strip of metal buttons that look like they have been machined from a solid lump of aluminium.
Mercedes Concept GLB practicality
Along with being posh, the GLB is also very practical. it’s a seven-seater with five seats suitable for adults and a pair of spare seats in the boot suitable for “medium-sized occupants”. The middle row slides forwards and backwards by 140mm so you can juggle between extra rear legroom or having more boot space, and the seats split 40:20:40 so long loads can poke into the passenger compartment. They also have an Easy Entry function so they slide forwards to give your passengers better access to the third row.
Mercedes Concept GLB engine and driving
You can expect the GLB to be available with a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but the show car gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol from the Mercedes A-Class tuned to produce 224hp and 350Nm of torque. It’s mated to Mercedes’ eight-speed automatic gearbox. That should be enough to get the car from 0-62mph in around seven seconds and return fuel economy of around 35mpg.
That’s pretty decent considering the GLB is likely to come with gas-guzzling four-wheel drive as standard. It has three settings Comfort, Sport and Offroad, the third allowing you to send and an equal amount of power to the front and the back wheels for excellent all-weather traction. Unlike the four-wheel-drive systems you’ll find in many alternatives, the Merc’s is controlled using an electronic differential that can redistribute power to the wheels with the most grip quicker than the viscous coupling you’ll find in other cheaper off-roaders such as the Suzuki Jimny.
The Mercedes Concept GLB will sit between the £25,000 Mercedes GLA and the £35,000 GLC in the range so you can expect it to have a price of around £30,000. A production-ready car will go on sale towards the start of next year as Mercedes cashes in on SUV sales – the most popular cars the company built last year, accounting for 820,000 sales in 2018.