The new GLB is a versatile SUV with powerful proportions, short overhangs and an off-road-oriented design, as well as optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The GLB also serves as a spacious family car that offers even more flexibility as the first Mercedes-Benz in this segment available as a seven-seater. Powerful and efficient four- cylinder engines paired with the latest driving assistance systems, and the intuitively operable infotainment system MBUX, help to equip this new family member (length/width/height:182/72/65 inches1) with all the strengths of the current generation Mercedes-Benz compact-class. The all- new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB will celebrate its World Premiere in Utah in June and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
At 111.4 inches, the GLB's wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than the GLA and 1.7 inches shorter than the GLC SUV. The headroom in the first seat row is 41 inches, and the effective legroom in the rear measures at 38 inches, making the five-seater an exceptionally comfortable ride.
The load compartment capacity of 20 to 62 cubic feet (figures for the five- seater)* provides spaciousness for various occasions. The second row seats offer passengers the ability to adjust the inclination of the backrests in several stages while also providing the flexibility to adjust the seats forward increasing the cargo compartment by up to 6 cubic feet.
Success story: the eighth model in the compact car family
Globally, one in three Mercedes-Benz cars is now an SUV, and one in four a compact model. A compact SUV like the GLB therefore combines all the success factors of the company's highest-volume segments.
With the new GLB, the global compact car family from Mercedes-Benz now consists of eight models: the A-Class, A-Class Sedan and long-wheelbase A- Class Sedan, B-Class, CLA Coupe, CLA Wagon and the GLA are already on the market. In 2018 over 609,000 customers all over the world were able to take delivery of a compact model. Since the A-Class was launched in 1997, over 6.5 million vehicles from this segment have been sold worldwide by Mercedes- Benz. In the U.S, market the GLB will join the compact car family that currently includes the A-Class Sedan, the CLA Coupe and the GLA.
Ready for boarding: up to seven seats
The GLB is the first compact vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to offer an optional third row with two additional seats. The extensive safety equipment includes retractable headrests, seat belts with belt tensioners, and a side window airbag, which also protects the passengers in the third seat row. Additionally, the GLB supplies ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for suitable child seats, and these can be used to attach up to four child seats in the rear.
Comfort details in the third row include two drink holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with a rubberized insert on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each with a USB-C port. The seats can be folded so that they are flush with the load compartment floor in order to extend the load compartment.
The variability in detail:
Second seat row
Seat backrest can be divided and folded in a ratio of 40:20:40
Multi-stage seat backrest inclination adjustment
Seat row can be moved 6 inches longitudinally, sitting surface can be divided in a ratio of 40:60 (option)
Seat row can be moved 6 inches longitudinally, sitting surface can be divided in a ratio of 40:60
Two retractable individual
Off-road orientation: the exterior design
The powerful proportions of the GLB underscore its off-road design. The surfaces of the forms are emphasized, while lines are minimized and the seams are executed with high precision. The upright front section with its striking headlamps are clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear.
The muscular vehicle shoulder dominates the side view at the height of the C- pillar, an effect reinforced by the rising waistline. The doors reach over the side bar, improving ease of access, while keeping the door openings free of dirt, as well as increasing protection in the event of a side impact. All-round protective claddings divide the overall proportions and emphasize the vehicle's off-road character, as do the optical underride guard at the front and rear.
"Its iconic 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 conveys our design philosophy of Sensual Purity."
With aluminum details: the interior design
The instrument panel consists of a single piece, which has optical cutouts in the driver and front passenger area. There is a widescreen cockpit facing the driver while the functions and displays are controlled via MBUX (Mercedes- Benz User Experience). A new feature is the off-road tubular element in an aluminum look, which rounds off the lower section of the instrument panel and houses the three round center air vents. These give the dashboard support and create an impression of robustness, power and a certain element of fun. Below the air vents is the air conditioning control panel, whose buttons create the impression that they have been milled from a solid aluminum cylinder.
The robust character of the interior continues in the center console. Tubular elements in a machined look lend strength to the design of the components and controls. Along the doors, the SUV character is accentuated by its horizontal grab handles as part of the standard design and equipment line, this forms a robust part of the door panel structure, resembling a modified aluminum tube.
Spot on for hills and valleys
The LED High Performance headlamps are available for the GLB on request. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.
As an option, there are also front fog lamps with LED technology. They are able to distribute the light to reach a wider range than the main headlamps, and thus are able to increase illumination in peripheral areas, while their low position in the front bumper helps reduce the risk of dazzling oncoming traffic.
From A for Assistance to M for MBUX: the technical details
The GLB benefits from the technical highlights of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz. These include in particular:
The four-cylinder gas engine, which was completely updated to relaunch the compact model series. Compared to the previous generation, they excel with considerably increased specific outputs, improved efficiency and lower emissions.
The driving assistance systems with cooperative support for the driver and functionality from the S-Class: thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the GLB can look up to 1,641 feet ahead and can drive partially autonomously in certain situations. For example, by conveniently adapting the speed before corners, crossroads or roundabouts using the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with recourse to maps and navigation data. As a new function of the Active Steering Assist, among other things, there is also the intuitive Active Lange Change Assist. If the Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC is additionally on board, the GLB also has the function extended to automatically restart in traffic jams.
The comfort suspension: at the front, the GLB has MacPherson suspension struts, at the rear an acoustically and vibrationally decoupled multi-link axle with compression springs. Adaptive adjustable damping is available on request. With this, the driver can change between more comfort or particularly sporty tuning via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch.
The intuitively operable infotainment system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience: The powerful computer, brilliant screens and graphics, individualizable depiction, all-color head-up display, navigation with augmented reality, learning-capable software and the voice control which can be activated with "Hey Mercedes" are the key advantages of the system.
Adding more traction: the 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The GLB can be equipped with the permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic programs are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle: rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
4MATIC components include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear axle differential with an integrated multiplate clutch. This is electro-mechanically operated. Via a spur gear and ball ramp, an electric motor exerts an axial force on the clutch pack to open or close the plates. The rear axle differential compensates the different paths/rotational speeds of the rear wheels. The advantages of this control system are above all non-rpm-dependent operation across the entire actuation range, pilot control of the clutch while still stationary and higher efficiency thanks to the ball ramp concept.
Useful in easy off-road terrain: the Off-Road Engineering Package
The Off-Road Engineering Package, which comes as standard on the GLB 250 4MATIC, encompasses an additional drive program. It adapts the engine's power delivery and the ABS control to easy off-road terrain away from paved roads. It can be activated via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch.
Other elements of the Off-Road Engineering Package:
An animation of the driving situation can be called up in the media display. The realistic presentation of gradient, inclination angle and technical settings helps the driver to judge maneuvers correctly.
The hill-start assistance system Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) automatically adheres to a preselected, slow speed between approx. 1 and 11 mph, it can be read out in the instrument cluster and in the optional head-up display. With targeted brake applications the assistant helps retain control during steep downhill driving.
Powerful and efficient engine
The new GLB places its trust in the four-cylinder gas engine, which was completely updated to relaunch the compact model series. In comparison to the previous generation, it is characterized by significantly increased power, improved efficiency and emissions.
The two-liter M 260 engine in the GLB 250 has cast-iron cylinder liners in its engine block of diecast aluminum, widening at the lower end as per the CONICSHAPE(R) principle. In-house the cylinder bore process is descriptively known as "trumpet-honing". This minimizes piston friction and cuts consumption. In the aluminum four-valve cylinder head, the CAMTRONIC variable valve timing system allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side.
The all-new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
At a glance:
Max. torque (lb-ft)
1800 - 4000
Acceleration 0-60 mph (s)
Top speed (mph)
*Spec for load compartment capacity calculated according to VDA standards.