The endless onslaught of SUV’s for the South African Market and the equally endless marketability of a vehicle of such a design has resulted in the Stuttgart giant Mercedes to create a kind of ‘Mini-me’ version of the GLC, dubbed the ‘B’. The GL nomenclature is indicative of the SUV origins and the B to indicate where it will fit into the range. Merc’s range is a bit tricky at the moment but the GLB falls part of the target market as stablemates A class, A-class sedan and CLA. Offering an additional 10 centimetres on the B-class Platform and offering a total length of 4634mm, while offering the elevated SUV driving position that has become the typical statement of a vehicle of this class and design with a 1658m height.
The GLB offering aims to take on the VW Tiguan directly into its crosshairs with its compact design and the well put together compact Merc package that offers the option of extended versatility through the ability to spec an additional row of seating. The range will comprise of the GLB 220d and the GLB 250. Later the GLB 35 AMG will join the lineup and serve as the range-topper.
The engines are shared with other models within the range and the tried and true motto means the GLB 220d makes use of the familiar 2.1Litre turbodiesel motor, producing a maximum output of 140kW and 400Nm paired to an 8-speed DCT automatic. These numbers are good for a 7.6 second 0-100 sprint time and a top speed of 217Km/h. The GLB 250 makes use of a 2.0Litre Turbo producing 165KW and 350Nm, which equate to a fairly brisk sub-7 second 0-100 and a 236Km/h top chat. In the interests of efficiency and fuel consumption cylinder deactivation and Start aim to lower consumption and emissions
Drive is to all 4 corners through optionally available 4Matic which ultimately under normal drive situations and in Eco and Sport, splits power 80:20 between the axles and when in sport 70:30. In Off-road mode is the power split equally 50:50 through the Dynamic Drive Select which alters the 4Matic and characteristics and allows the ABS-system to assist with low traction situations.
Internally the GLB brings out its inner origins through the typical new-generation Mercedes interior roots raining clear. Aluminium vents and design elements, and the combination of quality materials. The options list serves as your proverbial oyster and thusly almost endless connectivity and customisation are available. The 10.25″ Display and MBUX user interface offering the option of Augmented Reality Navigation, Wireless charging, hard drive storage and bundles of optional features. The passive and active safety elements not forgotten, and encompasses DISTRONIC active adaptive cruise control, PARKTRONIC with Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Hill Assist as some highlights. LED headlamps with adaptive High beam Assist are standard throughout the range, with the option for Multibeam LED’s as an option. The key feature of the optional 3rd row of seating has been designed with passengers of up to 1.68meters.
GLB 35 AMG
The Range Topper 35AMG takes the speed and driving dynamics to another level with the 228kW 2.0litre turbo petrol powering all for wheels through 4Matic AWD, Enough to propel the B to 100Km/h in 5.2seconds and on to the 250Km/h Limiter. Standard features and specifications on the AMG model are more extensive than the standard model and rides of a set of 20″ inch alloy wheels.
Specs and Pricing in South Africa
GLB 220d GLB 250 4Matic
Power/Torque: 140kW 400Nm 165kW 350Nm
Fuel Consumption:5.4L/100 7.4/100
Acceleration: 7.6 6.9
Top Speed: 217 236
Pricing has yet to be announced but with struggling rand value the desire to make this a R600-650k Tiguan rival may prove difficult.