Mercedes-Benz has previewed its upcoming new GLB SUV, and one new detail is an eyebrow-raiser, to say the least.
The company has announced that the compact SUV will include a version with three rows. This despite the fact the GLB is small, in fact it will be slotting into the company’s lineup beneath the strictly two-row GLC SUV.
We’ve seen this before, namely in the Rondo from Kia, for example. That small model also came with three rows.
Clearly, automakers are working hard to try to cover as many market segments as possible with the tools they have on hand. Lest we forget, the automotive domain is one of competition and conquests.
Under the hood, the GLB gets the company’s 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine that delivers 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, in combination with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The model can be had with front-wheel drive or optional AWD.
On board we find the Mercedes-Benz environment already familiar from other recent models from the German manufacturer. The dominant feature is of course the massive screen that displays the instrument cluster and the multimedia system.
In back, the third-row seats can be folded own into the floor when not in use, in order to maximize the cargo space.
Initially this will be the only version of the model to be available commercially, but the automaker has ambitious plans for the GLB. We can expect AMG 35 and 45 variants, as well as a PHEV version at some point. The company is also working on an all-electric version that will go under the name EQB, although the horizon for that to appear is farther off.
These plans make clear the important of entry-level vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, and it’s easy to understand why: last year compact models accounted for 25% of the brand’s sales.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB should be at dealerships this coming autumn.