New 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB arrives in SA
Unveiled to the media on Wednesday this striking looking compact SUV is based on the same platform used in the current A-Class and B-Class. While seating for five is standard, the big differentiator here is that the new GLB can be fitted with an optional third row of seats to increase this to seven. Good to know if you have a big family.
Sticking with the subject of practicality it's worth noting the generous boot compartment capacity of 570 to 1805 litres. The second row of seats can also be moved fore and aft, enabling the boot to be enlarged by up to 190 litres. Creature comforts in the third row extend to drinks holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with rubberised inserts on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each housing a USB port. These seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor.
From launch you'll be able to choose between two model derivatives. Kicking things off is the petrol-powered GLB 250 that packs a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor producing a useful 165kW and 350Nm worth of torque. Mercedes-Benz claims that it'll hit 100km/h from standstill in 6.9 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 236km/h. CO2 emissions weigh in at 168g/km while combined fuel consumption sits at 7.4l/100km. Drive is sent to the front wheels exclusively via an 8G-DCT automatic transmission.
The GLB 220d 4Matic comes bolted to a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that muscles out 140kW and 400Nm. Expect a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 217lm/h — all while sipping 5.4l/100km on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions are pegged at 144g/km.
As in its petrol-powered sibling the GLB 220d also gets an 8G-DCT automatic transmission but here power is sent to both axles via a permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque distribution. An “Off-Road Engineering Package” has also been fitted as standard and includes an additional drive mode that adapts the power delivery of the engine for mild off-road driving conditions (this ain't no G-Wagen).
Meanwhile, the cabin of both model derivatives boast cutting-edge driver assistance systems borrowed from the S-Class, such as improved camera and radar systems that allow the GLB to see up to 500m ahead and drive in semi-automated mode in certain situations. There's also the latest MBUX infotainment system that offers, among other things, voice control activation with the prompt “Hey Mercedes”.
Now available in Mercedes-Benz dealerships, pricing for the new GLB is as follows:
GLB 250: R831,000
GLB 220d 4Matic: R841,000