11 Jun 19

7-seater Mercedes GLB fills gap in premium C SUV segment

Spacious C-segment SUVs with optional 7-seat capacity are popular – look at the Peugeot 5008, the VW Tiguan Allspace and the Skoda Kodiaq, for instance. So far, the premium niche of this segment was ruled by the Land Rover Discovery Sport. The time has come for Mercedes to give the Brit a run for its money with the brand-new GLB.

The new GLB uses A-Class underpinnings but actually offers more cabin space than the C Class derived GLC. The optional third-row does not promise miracles, though: Mercedes clearly states that the two extra seats in row three can be used by people up to 1.68 metres in height.

Lost in space

The other passengers are exempt from any dimensional restrictions, fortunately. At 2,829mm the GLB has ten centimetres more wheelbase than the new B-Class. The headroom in the first seat row is best-in-segment, and at 967mm the effective legroom in the rear of the five-seater is at an especially comfortable level, its maker reckons.

The load compartment capacity of 560 to 1,755 litres (figures for the 5-seater) boasts the qualities of an estate. On request the second seat row can be longitudinally adjusted and as standard the inclination of the backrests is adjustable in several stages. This enables the load compartment to be enlarged by up to 179 litres and put to versatile use.

ADAS from the S-Class

Thanks to improved camera and radar systems borrowed from Mercedes’ flagship model, the GLB can look up to 500m ahead and drive partially autonomously in certain situations. Active Distance Assist Distronic, for instance, uses map and navigation data to adapt the speed before corners, crossroads or roundabouts.

As a new function of the Active Steering Assist, there is the intuitive Active Lange Change Assist. If the Active Parking Assist with Parktronic is also selected in the optional equipment list, the GLB has the function extended automatic restart on motorways.

Euro 6d compliant diesels

The gateway to the petrol-model range is the 200 with a displacement of 1.33 litres (combined correlated NEDC CO2 emissions 142-137 g/km), which can shut off half of its cylinders to save fuel.

Thanks to further extended exhaust gas aftertreatment the two-litre diesel in the GLB 200 d/GLB 220 d with the 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (combined CO2 emissions 133-129 g/km) already meets the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) level 2 not obligatory until 2020 and is certified in accordance with Euro 6d.

An all-electric model called EQB will follow later.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier