Mercedes-Benz reveals its seven-seater compact crossover

The demand is out there. Hopefully
by Tom Harrison | Jun 11, 2019
PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz
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Remember Merc’s GLB Concept from the New York Motor Show? Well, it’s back—this time as a proper production-ready model, minus the chunky wheels, spotlights, and rooftop storage. Boo.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is a “compact” crossover that uses the same basic underpinnings as the new A-Class and B-Class. Bigger, though, so there’s room for seven seats. The rearmost two are optional—Mercedes says they can be used by people up to 1.68 meters tall (that’s about 5’ 6”), presumably only with the middle-row slid as far forward as it’ll go. Doesn’t look like there’s much of a cargo area when they’re in use, either, but fold them flat into the floor and you’re rewarded with almost 1,800 liters of cargo space. Not bad.

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Elsewhere inside, you have the now familiar MBUX infotainment system, which marries a clever voice assistant with two widescreen displays. What you can’t do with your voice, you do with touchpads on the steering wheel or a laptop-style trackpad on the center console. It’s the exact same setup you get in the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA, so go read our reviews of those cars to see what it’s like.

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As for engines, you’re looking at the same four-cylinder gasolines and diesels as those other small Mercs. The GLB200 is a 1.3-liter gasoline with 163hp and a seven-speed auto, while the GLB250 gets a 2.0-liter engine with 224hp and an eight-speeder. Both diesels are 2.0-liters.

All-wheel drive is an option, looks like for the diesels only—in Eco/Comfort mode, it sends 20% of drive to the rear axle. In Sport, it’s 30%, while in Off-Road, the split is 50/50. An ‘Off-Road Engineering Pack’ gives you hill-descent control, extra info displays, and a special mode for the LED headlamps. Naturally, you get all the same safety and driver-assistance systems as most modern Mercs, too.

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Now, the looks. Mercedes seems pretty pleased—it calls the GLB “muscular and sensuously contoured,” with an interior that conveys “robustness, power and a certain fun factor.”

Do you agree? Coming soon.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz
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