Has Mercedes thrown a spanner in its own works with the appealing new GLB?

Has Mercedes thrown a spanner in its own works with the appealing new GLB?
You do kind of wonder if Mercedes-Benz might just have broken its own model line-up with the new GLB SUV. Mostly because, once you’ve seen it and once you’ve driven it, you might start to wonder quite what the point is in having the similarly-sized-and-priced GLA, or for that matter, the pricier, supposedly more prestigious…

You enact form of wonder if Mercedes-Benz might perhaps perhaps lawful possess broken its hang mannequin line-up with the fresh GLB SUV. Largely on account of, while you’ve viewed it and while you’ve pushed it, you might perhaps originate to wonder moderately what the level is in having the within the same blueprint-sized-and-priced GLA, or for that matter, the pricier, supposedly more prestigious GLC.

As soon as Mercedes had made up our minds that it used to be going to reference its classic, evergreen G-Wagen (this expose day technically known as the G-Class however we make a choice the anachronistic normal title) within the badges for all of its SUVs and crossovers, it used to be inevitable that it might perhaps perhaps perhaps perhaps make, effectively, a Mini-G. While the GLA is, in actual fact, both a a piece of taller A-Class, or a a piece of shorter B-Class, the GLB creates a distinct section all of its hang. It’s bigger and boxier and, as a minimum to my eyes, appears to be like somewhat cherish an SUV must quiet – more straight lines than spherical ones. Actually, whereas it’s presupposed to glance cherish a G-Wagen that’s shrunk within the wash, I judge there are in actual fact more similarities to the fresh Land Rover Defender – no substandard element. There’s moreover a touch of the passe 709D van regarding the lights and grille, however that one’s lawful for van nerds.

While the outside is appealing enough, inner it’s even better. As with the connected B-Class, there’s hundreds dwelling, however the GLB is just a few 215mm longer than even the roomy B, so dwelling inner is truly spectacular. There’s loads of head and legroom for rear-seat passengers, and there’s an optionally obtainable third row within the boot, making this a seven-seater while you occur to’re ready to shell out the additional €1,427 for them. As is the blueprint of such things, dwelling in that third row is heavenly compromised, however they enact secure the GLB that bit more versatile than its hang alphabetised competitors, the GLA and GLC. Mercedes reckons that these third-row seats, assuming you scramble the center row forward rather, can tackle folks as much as 5ft 6in broad. Presumably these folks possess neither knees nor toes, however quiet.

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Fold your full seats flat, and also you secure a healthy 1,680 litres of cargo volume. That’s more than a Land Rover Discovery Sport can gain 22 situation up, however decrease than a Skoda Kodiaq. Fold lawful the third row down, and also you’ve acquired a without a doubt decent 500 litres to play with – more than you secure within the GLC.

Up front, the dawdle is fully the the same as that of the A-Class and B-Class – the the same, vastly spectacular, “digital plank” widescreen present, the the same “Hello, Mercedes” digital assistant, the the same mountainous eyeball air vents – however with some tubby detailing, including a mountainous slab of metal-painted plastic masquerading as milled aluminium. If there’s a disappointment, it’s that more hasn’t been executed to secure the GLB without a doubt feel in actual fact cherish a minute G-Class, as there’s a puny lack of oddment dwelling, or rugged, rubberised matts and so forth. One other disappointment is that one of the most most plastics on expose without a doubt enact glance and without a doubt feel very low-payment (the window switches particularly so). The column stalks moreover without a doubt feel without a doubt naff.

Our test vehicle came with the 200d 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine, which is, I guess, no longer frequently in kind, however it absolutely is economical. We without agonize broke by blueprint of the 5.6-litres per 100km (50mpg) barrier, and with a runt bit gentle cruising noticed as lawful as 4.7l/100km (60mpg). It is a runt bit noisy, although, giving off a fixed low-frequency scream, and growling somewhat clearly when pressed intriguing. There’s moreover some occasional clunks and thumps from underneath, which possess perhaps been engineered in to secure the GLB sound and without a doubt feel that bit more rugged and outdoorsy, however which would perhaps perhaps be equally perhaps lawful annoying noises. Efficiency, with 150hp and 380Nm of torque, is fully honest, although, and the eight-creep computerized gearbox is impressively tender. A fully-electrical model, badged EQB, is on account of head on sale subsequent year.

Throughout the corners? Effectively, let’s lawful voice that the GLB has perhaps essentially the most pointless Sport mode ever. It makes the steerage a runt bit heavier and the throttle a runt bit sharper, however with the blueprint the GLB leans by blueprint of corners, and the on the general idle responses of the front stop, there’s lawful no need for it. That’s no longer to assert that the GLB is unruly nor unresponsive – it’s neither – however it absolutely is a vehicle that rewards a more laid-aid approach. The body lean is unhurried and wisely-controlled, the front does grip and flip while you give the gentle, a piece of over-assisted steerage an different, and your complete direction of is fully moderately pleasing. It’s no longer a vehicle to droop about in, criss-crossing mountain roads, however somewhat a solidly cozy family cruiser. The most inspiring demerit is that, every so in most cases, the breeze quality can secure a contact thumpy, and the springs transmit somewhat too many quick, intriguing avenue ripples.

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Does the GLB enact enough, although, to invalidate the allure of the GLA or GLC? Effectively, no longer moderately. While the GLA is, arguably, more intellectual and more overtly sporty, for the same cash I’d possess the chunkier, more sedate GLB whenever. When in contrast to the GLC, you secure as much or a piece of more dwelling and practicality with the GLB, for a piece of less money, however then the GLC does without a doubt possess an air of better class, and it’s internal fixtures and fittings are without a doubt of a increased quality.

That acknowledged, the GLB is highly perhaps essentially the most straight likable, charming, and appealing mannequin that Mercedes has yet spun off its front-wheel force A-Class NGCC platform. It hasn’t – moderately – broken Merc’s mannequin line-up, however it absolutely’s without a doubt added to it.

Energy 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel inserting out 150hp and 380Nm of torque with an eight-creep computerized transmission and front-wheel force.
CO2 emissions (annual motor tax) 129g/km (€270).
L/100km (mpg) 5.7 (49.9).
0-100km/h 9 seconds.
Designate €52,231 as tested (GLB begins at €42,350).
Verdict It’s no longer moderately a excellent shrimp G-Wagen, however the GLB is bursting with allure.

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