Introducing the Middle East bound 2020 Mercedes Benz GLB
Mercedes-Benz has been busy churning out new crossovers and SUVs in the recent past, with the newest model to join the fleet being the upcoming all-new 2020 GLB-Class. The latest in the breed of compact luxury crossovers, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class had its grand unveil a few months ago in Utah, USA. As its name might suggest, the GLB will sit somewhere in between the GLA-Class and GLC-Class in the company’s line-up, while borrowing the basic underpinnings from the smaller GLA. One of the primary objectives for the posh German automaker behind the development of the 2020 GLB-Class was to allow a seating capacity of up to seven -- whereas even the similarly-sized GLC only seats five.
Upon its entry into our market, the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class will likely put cars such as the BMW X1, Land Rover Discover Sport, Audi Q3 and even the Volkswagen Tiguan into a tight spot. Of course, it isn’t yet clear whether the German automaker will indeed bring the seven-seater variant of the GLB to the Middle East or not. However, what is certain is that the upcoming GLB-Class will make a segment that’s already bursting at the seams with offerings from various brands, that much closer to its saturation point. Who am I kidding? That’s likely never going to actually happen anytime soon.
Representing the eighth model in Mercedes-Benz’s compact car line-up, the all-new 2020 GLB-Class is quite an attractive proposition. The overall design benefits from the GLB’s upright front fascia, long hood, expansive side profile with a fairly flat roof, short front & rear overhangs, squared wheel arches, and an equally upright yet well-contoured rear end. It’s characteristically boxy but incorporates just the correct amount of sculpted body panels and sharp lines to help it stand out from the rest of the pack.
The wide front fascia of the new GLB-Class features boxy headlamps with sophisticated LED elements, broad grille with a massive 3-pointed star in the middle, clamshell hood and a designer skid plate to boost its “off-roader” appeal. The 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels look sporty, while the flared fenders, black cladding, large roof rails and a rising waistline further add to the car’s bold character. At the back, there are elegant, full-LED tail lamps, an integrated roof spoiler, and a muscular bumper with dual exhausts and an air diffuser.
In terms of its size, the 2020 GLB-Class measures 4.634 meters X 1.834 meters X 1.662 meters in length, width and height. Its wheelbase spans 2.829 meters and its boot volume stands at 570 liters (five-seater).
In its seven-seater avatar, the last row of the 2020 GLB-Class is a welcome add-on, but it’s only really meant for small children. It’s quite a restricted space, though is relatively comfortable. Meanwhile, the second and front-row seats are quite spacious and comfortable, and headroom and legroom are good, too. Up front, the all-new GLB-Class looks absolutely gorgeous. The dashboard, stylish air-con vents, flat-bottom steering wheel and the dual displays all certainly feel modern and sophisticated in terms of their overall design and arrangement. The Mercedes-Benz GLB’s cabin undeniably has an air of elegance to it, and sure feels premium and luxurious.
Some of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB’s best features include its dual, 10.3-inch high-definition displays powered by the brand’s MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system which adds live navigation with augmented reality and an intelligent assistant with voice commands. The list also includes adaptive cruise control, adaptive Multibeam LED headlamps, head-up display, heated & cooled front seats, powered tailgate, ‘Energizing’ system with integrated mood lighting & seat massages and multiple driving modes among others.
Engine and performance
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo four-popper that’s capable of 224hp and 350Nm of torque. It drives all four wheels via Merc’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GLB 250 4MATIC variant can do 0 to 100 km/h in under 7 seconds, and bears a top speed of 236 km/h.
While the official prices for the UAE aren’t out yet, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class starts from USD 38,600 (or appx AED 142,000) for the entry-level 250 4MATIC variant in the United States. Of course, by the time the GLB actually shows up in the UAE, expect to pay much more than that -- the AMG avatar will obviously be even dearer.