The distinctive GLB compact SUV, which is optionally available as a 7-seater, has finally been launched in South Africa. The line-up includes a turbopetrol front-wheel-drive and a turbodiesel all-wheel-drive derivative.
Whereas as the recently launched GLA is very much a crossover variant of the A-Class premium hatchback, its GLB sibling has a much more off-road-oriented design, replete with an upright front section, striking LED headlamps (which are standard), muscular shoulder lines and short overhangs front and rear. Along with stylised skid plates on the bumpers, the newcomer features roof rails and all-round protective cladding.
The GLB is 10 mm longer than the new B-Class; it measures 4 634 mm in length, 1 834 mm in width and stands 1 658 mm tall. Mercedes-Benz claims 1 069 mm of headroom for front-row occupants and 967 mm of rear legroom in the standard 5-seater configuration.
The 2nd row’s backrest splits in a 40:20:40 configuration and offers multi-stage backrest-angle adjustment. The row can be moved fore/aft by 140 mm and, should you order a 7-seater version, in a 40:60 split to either increase 3rd-row legroom or luggage capacity. The two individual 3rd-row seats, if specified, are claimed to seat people of up to 1.68m in height.
The 3rd row features a pair of drinks holders between the seats, as well as 2 stowage compartments with rubberised inserts in the load compartment trim, each housing a USB port. The seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor.
The load bay capacity ranges from 570 litres to 1805 litres with the 2nd and 3rd row folded.
The GLB 250 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 165 kW and 350 Nm. Power goes to the front wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and the claimed average fuel consumption ranges between 7.1 and 7.4 L/100 km.
The GLB 220d is exclusively available with 4Matic all-wheel drive, with fully variable torque distribution. Its 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel (also mated an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission) produces 140 kW and 400 Nm. Its claimed consumption range of between 5.1 and 5.4 L/100 km.
Standard spec includes a leather-trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel, MBUX multimedia system with ext. functions (incl. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility), climate- and cruise control, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, rain-sensing wipers, as well a Light and Sight package. Click here to research the GLB’s wide range of optional features.
The 7-seats of the Mercedes-Benz GLB gives it an advantage in the practicality stakes.
Mercedes-Benz GLB Price in South Africa (November 2020)
All Mercedes-Benz derivatives are is sold with a 2-year/unlimited km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.
|Mercedes-Benz GLB 250||R831 000|
|Mercedes-Benz GLB 220d 4Matic||R841 000|