25 August 2020
25 August 2020
Not every active family or busy couple needs a people-mover or full-size SUV to tick all the boxes of a fulfilling lifestyle.
That’s why Mercedes-Benz devised a compact, yet astonishingly practical seven-seat SUV that not only packs in family versatility, but also appeals to on-the-go couples and even empty-nesters.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB is a game changer – the first SUV in its accomplished compact vehicle range to offer seating for seven (standard on all models), plus an almost endless array of loading configurations.
Here are seven reasons why the GLB might be the most versatile compact SUV currently on the market:
1. Third row, first class
No one ever needs to consider themselves ‘stuck’ in the back row again. Two seats with ample space for occupants up to 168cm tall – including retractable head restraints – are equipped with a cup holder, small-item stowage compartment and a USB-C port each. There’s even an elasticised holder for tablet-style devices. Curtain airbags in both rows offer safety reassurance, and every seat has a top-tether attachment and access to ISOFIX anchor points for suitable child seats. First class all the way.
2. Space that suits you
Your car needs to fit around your life, not vice-versa. The Mercedes-Benz GLB features a second-row slide adjustment with 140 millimetres of travel plus a multi-stage backrest, allowing you to finely adjust the space available to occupants in each row. With its upright cabin there’s ample headroom throughout, plus plenty of natural light and great views from all seats. The GLB 250 4MATIC model adds a panoramic glass roof for an even airier feel.
3. Getting away from it all
The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 is equipped with the assurance of 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, which offers sure-footed roadholding in urban environments and extra certainty when the going gets a little loose. A new Off-Road Package is standard on the GLB 250 and includes a Downhill Speed Regulation feature to assist with descending slopes, while an added off-road driving mode adapts the power delivery of the engine, the characteristics of 4MATIC, and ABS intervention. An animation of the off-road driving situation is shown on the media display. Vehicles fitted with MULTIBEAM headlights feature an additional off-road lighting mode, which adapts the shape of the headlight beam to make it easier to see obstacles in the dark.
4. Easy to live with
The Mercedes-Benz GLB is the family-sized SUV with a compact-car footprint, which is ideal for urban manoeuvrability and positioning on the road, while parking is a breeze thanks to short overhangs at either end of the vehicle and excellent 360-degree visibility from the driver’s position. A comprehensive standard safety suite adds peace of mind, and an optional Driving Assistance Package can be specified to add a number of active safety features.
The impressive combination of two fully-digital widescreen displays house the feature-packed and intuitive MBUX infotainment system, including voice activation for dozens of useful functions. Many more can be controlled remotely from a linked device via the Mercedes me Connect app. A charging mat keeps compatible devices topped up, and ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours brings added sparkle to your ride.
6. Access granted
Tall, wide doors make access easy, whether it’s children hopping into the second or third rows or less mobile occupants easing into well-appointed, comfortably hip-high front seats. The door skins also cover the entire entry sill, helpfully reducing the chance of getting clothing and footwear dirty as you enter or exit. Integrated roof rails on all models make top-side carrying easy to organise, while LED light signatures at the front and the rear, plus familiar design cues from other members of the SUV family clearly identify the GLB as a Mercedes-Benz.
7. Loaded and loadable
Choose to carry up to seven people, or mix ‘n match passengers and cargo. The second row splits 40:20:40 and the third row 50:50, to create almost limitless configurations for whatever – or whomever – you want to carry. To maximise loading space, it takes seconds to lock the second and third rows into a fully flat position, and the standard cargo blind conveniently stashes in a dedicated under-floor recess. It all adds up to convenience and utility that’s hard to match in the compact premium SUV segment.
By Steve Colquhoun