It's the SUV re-imagined. I have to admit that my initial impressions at the launch were mixed, but after spending time with the GLB 250, this SUV really grew on me to such an extent that when I had to return the vehicle, I did so grudgingly. In short, I loved it. The GLB 250 is re-fined and certainly re-imagined which makes it impossible to notice. The drive on both on and off-road was more than enjoyable. The new GLB is the first Mercedes-Benz in the compact segment that is optionally available as a seven-seater and is powered by completely updated four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that offer a combination of fuel economy and performance. The new GLB joins the Mercedes-Benz compact car family of the A-Class Hatch, A-Class Sedan, B-Class, CLA and the GLA. Since the first A-Class was launched in 1997, over seven million vehicles of this segment have already been delivered worldwide.
"Its iconic exterior and trendy interior lends the Mercedes-Benz GLB an unmistakable SUV character. The GLB will allow Mercedes-Benz to speak to a new audience," says Selvin Govender, marketing director of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa.
Engines: powered up
With powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines, the latest driving assistance systems and the intuitively operated infotainment system MBUX, the new family member has all the strengths of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz. These include the completely modernised four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with increased power and torque and reduced emissions.
You will be able to choose from the GLB 250 and the GLB 220 d 4Matic at launch. The GLB 250 offers a combined fuel consumption of 7.4-7.1 l/100 km. The two-litre diesel engine in the GLB 220d 4Matic offers a combined fuel consumption of 5.4-5.1 l/100 km.
Lock, stock and barrel
The boot compartment capacity of 570 to 1805l boasts the qualities of an estate car. The second row can be moved fore and aft, enabling the boot to be enlarged by up to 190l.
Comfort details in the third row include two drinks holders between the seats as well as two storage compartments with rubberised insert on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each housing a USB port. The seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor to extend the load compartment.
Off-road orientation: the exterior design
The powerful proportions of the GLB underscore the off-road focus of the design, with an upright front section, striking headlamps and short overhangs at the front and rear. The muscular vehicle shoulder dominates the side view at the height of the C-pillar, an effect reinforced by the rising waistline.
The doors reach over the sidebar, improving ease of access, and keep the door apertures free of soiling as well as increasing protection in a side impact. All-round protective claddings divide the overall proportions and emphasise the vehicle's off-road character, as does the stylised skid plate at the front and rear.
Useful in easy off-road terrain
The GLB 220d 4M is equipped with the permanent all-wheel system 4Matic, with fully variable torque distribution. The Off-Road Engineering Package is standard on the GLB 220d 4M and includes an additional drive mode that adapts the power delivery of the engine for off-road driving in easy terrain. This is not available in the GLB 250.
The interior of the new GLB is astonishingly generously appointed and strikingly elegant. Eye-catching features include highlights such as the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit and the pleasant ambient lighting as well as distinctive SUV design elements. It’s a level of comfort not often experienced. Strap yourself into the drivers’ seat and you know that you are in a ride rarely experienced. All instrumentation is honed around the driver. The seamless instrumentation panel is attention-grabbing into one panel and that for me was a big plus factor. Everything under your control, even when driving on rough terrain.
During rush hour, on long drives at night or on unfamiliar routes, your GLB noticeably takes the strain out of driving, particularly in stressful situations. This is based on a concept that makes every journey in a Mercedes-Benz safer and unique: Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive. Because the time you spend behind the wheel is your time. Time for relaxation. Time to replenish your energy. So that, first and foremost, you reach your destination safely but are also relaxed when you get there.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLB has arrived in South Africa – and it’s about to redefine the versatile compact SUV market. Robust and superior: with its extensive safety equipment packages, the GLB gives it all, to get you to your destination safely and with a broad smile.
Price on application at your nearest dealership