By Otsile Kadiege
With a growing demand for SUVs, car manufacturers are trying to fill every niche available. One such a manufacturer is Mercedes-Benz with the new GLB. It is a compact SUV with an option to add two retractable bucket seats capable of seating 1.68 m tall passengers. The GLB is slotted in between the stylish GLA and the popular GLC.
The box shaped 4634 mm long GLB looks stunning, especially with the AMG-Line kit. The front end is dominated by a diamond pin grille with a single horizontal slat. Black cladding and roof rails emphasize the compact SUV’s ability to tackle some challenging terrain. The taillights of the GLB wrap around the rear fenders and it features a non-functional rear diffuser when buyers opt for the AMG-Line package.
Like most modern Mercedes-Benz cars, the GLB features the brilliant MBUX touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as ambient lighting, numerous storage compartments and USB type C ports. The second row seats are able to move forwards and backwards enabling the boot to be enlarged by 190-litres. They can be split 40:20:40. The GLB boasts an impressive 570-litres to 1805-litres of luggage capacity.
The GLB is currently sold in two flavours, the GLB 250 and GLB 220D 4Matic. Here is more information on the powertrains:
|GLB 250||GLB 220d 4Matic|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Top speed||236 km/h||217 km/h|
|Fuel consumption||7.4 – 7.1 L/100 km||5.4 – 5.1 L/100 km|
We took the GLB 220d 4Matic on an easy off-road test which had us driving down a steep decent into a short muddy trail and driving through some uneven surface where the GLB performed well. The GLB 250 did not partake in the off-road test because unlike the GLB 220d it does not feature permanent all-wheel drive, with variable torque distribution.
Pricing and availability
The Mercedes-Benz GLB is currently for sale in South Africa. The GLB 250 is priced from R831 000 and the GLB 220d 4Matic has a R841 000 starting price.
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