Mercedes-Benz, small, SUV, seven-seats



Enough said, is your chequebook ready? The new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a seven-seater compact SUV, due in Singapore eventually

SINGAPORE

Meet the first-ever Mercedes GLB, a new crossover that’s based on the brand’s small car MFA platform. It’s a small SUV with seven-seats – are you excited yet?

Together with the A-Class, A-Class Saloon (both regular and China-only stretched versions), CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class and GLA, the GLB is the eighth and final member of Mercedes’ compact car family.

An optional third row of seats makes the GLB the smallest seven-seater that Mercedes offers, and at 4,634mm long, 1,834mm wide and with a wheelbase of 2,829mm, it’s also the largest model to use the MFA platform.

The next largest is the B-Class at 4,426mm long and 1,796m wide, while a C-Class measures in at 4,686mm long and 1,810mm wide.

As is often the case with seven-seaters of this size, such as the Renault Grand Scenic and Skoda Kodiaq, the rear-most row is best inhabited by the young ‘uns – Mercedes claims they’re usable by those up to 1.68m in height, although to what degree of comfort, the company didn’t say.

There are some provisions to comfort and convenience though, such as ISOFIX points for child seats, and USB ports. The side curtain airbags even extend to the third-row too.

Judging by the pictures, it doesn’t look like there’s much boot space with all seats in place, but they can all down for a flat load bay. In the five-seater version, luggage capacity is a sizeable 560-litres with the second row up and 1,755-litres with all rear seats folded away, and the middle row can be adjusted by 14cm fore and aft to prioritise passengers or cargo.

Apart from the rear of the cabin, the GLB’s styling is the main differentiator between it and the rest of the MFA family. It bears a chunky, upright and slightly squared-off aesthetic – more in keeping with the retro themes carried by the Suzuki Jimny and Mercedes’ own G-Class than the swoopier and less space-efficient silhouettes of most other crossovers.

The rest of the car’s pretty much identical to its platform siblings, sharing the twin-screen display setup, turbine-style aircon vents, and steering wheel thumpads/centre console trackpad. The MBUX voice-activated assistant is present, too.

Finally we come to engines, of which there will be two petrol options available at launch. The GLB 200 gets a 1.3-litre four-pot with 163hp and a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, while the GLB 250’s 2.0-litre unit produces 224hp and is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch.

Mercedes says that the GLB will only go on sale in Europe at the end of the year, which means a Singapore launch no earlier than 2020.

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.