The Mercedes-Benz GLB will extend the German brand’s SUV line-up with a model pitched directly at families.
Designed to slot in between the GLA and larger GLC, the GLB sits on the same platform as the A-Class, B-Class and CLA. However, its wheelbase is extended to improve the interior space and allow the fitting of seven seats.
Price will be a prime aspect of the GLB marketing, so it is not being launched with the air suspension and powerful six-cylinder engines available on the larger GLC.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB takes many styling cues from the flagship GLS SUV, the narrow taillights and boxy proportions reflecting those of the much larger seven-seater.
The seven seats will be an option while other practical features will include four Isofix child seat mounting points – two on each of the outer seats in the middle row, and two on the rearmost chairs. In five-seat form 560 litres of load area will be available, dropping to only 130 litres with all seven in place. With all seats dropped maximum load area is 1,755 litres.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB will share many of its engines with the smaller A-Class hatchback. There will be 200 and 250 petrol models, and 200 d and 220 d diesels. The base petrol engine utilises a seven-speed automatic gearbox, the remainder an eight-speed dual-clutch auto.
Petrol-powered GLBs will only be available in front-wheel-drive form only, The GLB 200 d diesel will be available with either front- or four-wheel-drive and the 220 d only with four-wheel-drive.
Production is expected to commence this autumn. Prices are yet to be announced but are expected to start at around the £30,000 mark.