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Chunky yet desirable new GLB seven-seater fills a gap in Mercedes’ SUV line-up

By Paul Connolly

Mercedes has unveiled UK price and spec for its new GLB model, a mid-sized SUV designed from concept to carry seven passengers.

The GLB sits between the GLA and bigger GLC in Mercedes-Benz’s SUV line-up, both of which broadly equate to A-Class and C-Class saloons.

It owes some lineage to the existing Mercedes B-Class, a compact MPV marketed by the manufacturer as a sports compact tourer.

Although based on the same MFA2 platform which provides the architecture for the A-Class, B-Class and CLA saloon, the GLB has been given a longer wheelbase.

It’s 10cm longer than the rest of the MFA2 cars – plus it’s slightly taller than the bigger GLC.

But it’s nothing like the sleeker GLA and GLC; indeed with its chunky flanks and slightly boxy looks, the GLB almost sits in a class of its own.

The rounded styling serves to emphasise that all models come with seven seats and the car is said to have been designed from the get-go to accommodate seven passengers.

The GLB range is made up of four models – the entry-level 200 Sport and three AMG Line variants – with a choice of three engines across the line-up.

The 200 Sport model costs from £34,200, with the range-topping GLB 220 d 4MATIC AMG Line Premium Plus weighing in from £45,950.

The GLB 200 Sport is powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 161bhp and 250Nm of torque and an official fuel economy of 40.4mpg.

The GLB 200 d gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with 148bhp and 320Nm of torque and up to 51.4mpg of official fuel economy. Uniquely, this model can be specced with five seats only upon request.

The other AMG Line models get variations of this engine with uprated power outputs. Full AMG versions of the car are likely to arrive in 2020 or 2021.

As you’d expect from a brand-new Merc, the cars come very well specced.

Sport models come as standard with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, Dynamic Select, which provides a choice of four driving modes, comfort suspension and a 180° reversing camera.

Amongst other goodies is a seven-inch digital cockpit display and seven-inch touchscreen media display, the MBUX multimedia system, ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation, plus Mercedes me connect (which includes emergency call system, accident recovery, breakdown management and maintenance management).

Standard safety and assistance equipment across the range includes Active Brake Assist, Active bonnet, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist, and Keyless-Go locking and unlocking.

AMG Line models add 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, AMG body-styling, privacy glass, Artico man-made leather and Dinamica microfibre upholstery.

AMG Line Premium models come as standard with 64-colour ambient lighting, Mirror package, including automatically folding exterior mirrors and automatically dimming interior and exterior mirrors, pre-installation for trailer coupling, Augmented Reality Navigation; bigger infotainment and digital cockpit display screens and a Mercedes-Benz 10-speaker/225 watt sound system.

The GLB AMG Line Premium Plus includes Multibeam LED headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, a panoramic sunroof, Driving Assistance pack and Traffic Sign Assist.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB range is on sale now, with first deliveries scheduled for December.

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