Canada is getting set to welcome the compact Mercedes-Benz GLB utility, the first Mercedes model in the compact segment to be offered optionally as a 7-seater.
There is no mistaking the robustness of the GLB, from its solid boxy exterior accented by lower body-cladding all around the vehicle, to the aluminum tubular cross-brace across the face of the instrument panel (broken up by three circular vents) and on the door pulls.
LED lighting abounds, with standard headlights and fog-lights, and the availability of multibeam LED headlights. Inside, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) provides colour HD screens for infotainment, instruments and head-up display.
“Its design lends the Mercedes-Benz GLB an unmistakable SUV character,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “The clear forms with reduced lines and powerful surfaces convey our design philosophy of Sensual Purity.”
Belying its compact dimensions, the GLB features spacious first and middle row seating, with the optional third-row seats reportedly able to transport occupants up to 5-foot-6 in height. Side impact protection is offered for all three rows and rear occupants get cupholders between the seats and USB ports in the outboard storage cubbies.
Without the third-row seats, cargo space starts at 560 litres and can expand to 1,755 with the rear seats folded (flat with the cargo floor). With all seven seats in use, cargo space is diminished to just 179 litres.
Power comes from a completely redesigned 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, sending power to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Power distribution is controlled by the driver through Dynamic Select, varying from 80:20 (front/rear) under everyday Eco/Comfort mode driving to 70:30 in Sport mode.
As expected from the nomenclature, the Mexican-made GLB slots in between the GLA and GLC in the Mercedes-Benz Canada line-up. Driving aids include the Active Distance Assist Distronic system that can adjust vehicle speed around bends, with assistance from the navigation system, as well as the intuitive Active Lane Change Assist.
Prices for the GLB in the UK have just been announced, starting at £26,220 ($42,261 Canadian) for the entry-level vehicle and rising to £37,640 ($60,667) for an AMG model that has not yet been announced for Canada.
Canadian prices will be announced closer to the delivery date slated for the end of the year, but using rough conversions and how it fits into the line-up, we project the MSRP in Canada for the Mercedes-Benz GLB250 will start at about $43,000.