The Mercedes GLB has debuted to slot between the small GLA and compact GLC crossovers and somehow has enough room to offer an optional third-row seat.
As a boxier and more rugged-looking offering, the GLB will also be quite high-tech. The new crossover will come with the new MBUX infotainment system that has a voice-activated personal assistant that you can summon by saying “Hey Mercedes.” Users can speak to it quite naturally and it should be able to understand their commands, which could be anything from “Hey Mercedes, find me a pizza restaurant” or “How long till my destination” or even “Tell me the weather.”
Drivers can interact with the system using voice commands, a touchscreen, or a touchpad on the center console. The steering wheel also has buttons and touchpads that can be used to control what’s being displayed on the screens, which will be either two 7-inch units or two optional 10.25-inch widescreens. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available, as is Mercedes’ suite of driver assistance and safety technology, which includes a parking assistant that helps you parallel park. Wireless phone charging, a head-up display, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats are also available.
For the five-seat model, cargo capacity measures 20 cubic feet behind the second-row and 62 cu-ft with the second row folded flat. The second row can also recline and slide fore and aft to make more room for legs or cargo.
In models with the optional third row, the two passengers back there get USB-c ports, cupholders, and a side window airbag. The second and third row also come with child seat tethers.
The interior is a highlight, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The GLB pictured has a lovely brown leather with orange stitching and open-pore wood trim, but black leather and carbon fiber-looking trim is also available. The dashboard is clean and free of clutter and people will love the 64-color ambient lighting.
The Mercedes GLB 250 will be powered by a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine with 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque paired with an eight-speed dual clutch transmission sending power to the front wheels or the optional 4Matic permanent AWD system with variable torque distribution. AWD models also come with Off-Road Engineering Package that includes a downhill cruise control system and information displays about the terrain.
The 2020 Mercedes GLB will be available in late 2019. Pricing and fuel economy should be announced closer to the on-sale date.
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