After a long build-up, the all-new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB SUV has been revealed ahead of an Australian launch late next year.
Built on the latest front- and all-wheel drive MFA platform the GLB will plug the gap between the existing GLA and GLC models.
Dimensionally, the GLB measures in at 4634mm long, 1834mm wide and 1662mm high with a wheelbase of 2829mm. For comparison, the GLB is only 35mm shorter than the GLC yet it has the option of seven seats in what is a 5+2 configuration.
With five seats in place, the cargo capacity is a reasonable 560-litres which can increase to 1755L with the middle row folded flat.
As is now the style, the instrument panel consists of a single piece, with the widescreen digital display running the new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. It features learning-capable software and the voice control which can be activated with the "Hey Mercedes" command.
When it comes to powerplants, the entry level GLB 200 uses the 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol unit from the latest A-Class. It’s tuned to produce 120kW and 250Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 9.1 seconds with consumption of 6.0L/100km on the combined cycle.
Next up is the GLB 250 which uses a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine delivering 165kW and 350Nm. An eight-speed DCT sends power to the 4Matic on-demand all-wheel-drive system. The system is front-biased but can split the torque 50:50 when necessary. The GLC 250 can accelerate to triple figures in 6.9 seconds and drinks 7.2L/100km on the same combined cycle.
European markets get the option of two diesel engines starting with a 2.0-litre turbo unit producing 110kW/320Nm. It powers the GLB 200d and GLB 200d 4Matic.
The GLB 220d 4Matic also gets a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with the outputs raised to 140kW and 400Nm. All diesel options are exclusively paired with an eight-speed DCT.
The suspension uses McPherson struts at the front, while the rear suspension gets an acoustically and vibrationally decoupled multi-link axle with compression springs. Adaptive adjustable damping is on the options list.  
Improved driving assistance systems from the S-Class can also be optioned, the new camera and radar technology allow the GLB to look up to 500m ahead and drive “partially autonomously” in certain situations, such as the active cruise control using data from the navigation unit to adapt the speed before corners, crossroads or roundabouts.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has already confirmed the GLB will launch in Oz late next year, local grades, specifications and pricing information will be announced closer to the launch date.
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