By on June 11, 2019

Daimler AG

There’s a new occupant in Mercedes-Benz’s cavernous utility vehicle stable, and, like so many vehicles debuting in 2019, it’s a tweener. As the name implies, the 2020 GLB fits between the subcompact GLA and compact GLC, offering tidy proportions and the versatility that comes with optional third-row seats.

Three-row seating is not something you’re likely to find in this small class of vehicle, and it’s a feature Mercedes-Benz is counting on to drive interest and sales.

A global model, the GLB unsurprisingly bears a remarkable resemblance to the Concept GLB that appeared in Shanghai earlier this year. Beneath the vehicle is the front-drive platform found under the new A-Class and CLA sedans.

While the “B” in the model’s name signifies its position in the brand’s SUV lineup, it may as well stand for “boxy.” An upright stance and blunt front end greets customers, with M-B clearly attempting to avoid a cute ute label while maximizing interior volume. The GLB’s 111.4-inch wheelbase falls much closer to that of the GLC, with only a 1.7-inch difference between the two. The GLA’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches shorter.

Overall, the GLB is only an inch shorter than its larger stablemate.

Daimler AG

Until AMG’s tuners get their hands on the thing, your only engine choice is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the CLA 250, mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Power is unchanged at 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. 4Matic all-wheel drive is an option, and buyers who spring for that can expect to tailor their torque delivery via three drive modes. As the company’s Off-Road Engineering package comes standard on AWD models, hill-descent control will be there to tempt owners away from the beaten path.

Of course, off-roading will not be high on most buyers’ to-do lists. Space is what M-B wants to talk about. In five-passenger guise, the GLB’s reclining rear seats can move forward and aft by six inches, with the rear cargo hold measured at 20 cubic feet. Move the seats forward, and cargo volume expands to 26 cubes.

Daimler AG

In the absence of cargo figures for the seven-seater, we can safely assume buyers will be able to fit a pizza back there if they stand it on its edge.

Elsewhere, the GLB’s cabin continued the upright theme seen on the exterior. The dash is mainly flat, adorned by a trio of vents in the center stack, a thick slice of aluminum over the glove box, and a dual-screen setup. Not over-and-under screens, mind you — side by side, replacing the traditional gauge cluster. Twin 7-inch screens come standard, with 10.3-inch units optional, each running M-B’s MBUX operating system.

Pricing remains a mystery, but the model’s tweener status demands a comfortable gap between it and the GLC’s $40,700 entry price. The 2020 GLC 250 heads to dealers by the end of the year.

Daimler AG

[Images: Daimler AG]

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24 Comments on “2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250: Pint-sized Practicality...”

  • avatar

    So, starting price is in the $45K neighborhood, I can’t help but think 3 rows of adults crammed in there is not going to be a joy for anyone. Four adults and two kids max. If you really need a 3-row people-mover crossover you can do so much better then this

  • avatar

    7 seater in a small suv, yikes. Hope others manufactures dont follow this. At least you get the better interior layout versus the glc, gla and c-class

    • 0 avatar

      I think the third row could be important to some buyers. Also, having 3 rows and a flat load floor is one of the tests CAFE applies to see if your vehicle qualifies as a light truck. It’s possible that this vehicle doesn’t meet enough of the off-road tests to qualify, so they included equipment to meet the functional test.

  • avatar

    No ability to build this on the MBZ website at this time. However the GLA comes in about 50% more MSRP than a comparably equipped RAV4. I know this might be a little Apples to Oranges but other than the MBZ turbo vs the Toyota NA ICE and the better technology package on the Toyota that $15K premium is kind of dear for the Star badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis


      If you can’t tell the difference between Mercedes and Toyota. You probably will have trouble telling the difference between you’re wife and a dog. I suggest you don’t get any pets.

      • 0 avatar

        Toyota builds the best engineered, longest-lasting cars on the planet. Mercedes rents disposable luxury. What do I win?

      • 0 avatar

        If you can’t tell the difference between a period and a comma, and “you’re” and “your”, then don’t attempt to look smarter than someone who expresses an intelligent opinion.
        We’ll just let the Twitterverse rudeness level of your comment speak for itself,

  • avatar

    A homely looking vehicle. Sad droopy front eyes and a dorky upright look in the second photo. And it had to happen – roof rail styling extensions all the way down the A-pillars – so sweet. Add in the fake dual exhausts and it’s all show no go. A bigger Kona for the better remunerated.

  • avatar
    formula m

    Looks like a version of the upcoming Kia/Hyundai Venue. If you need a low-mid $40k’s 7 passenger how can you buy this over a Honda Pilot with a V6 and actual space for a family/cargo.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    Tell me that that “instrument” cluster hasn’t gone to a video game display. If so, with no diesel in sight, I sure won’t be trading in our GLK Bluetec anytime soon. Yuk!

  • avatar

    So they’ve now got A, B and C covered. If they slot in any more, will MB start using sub-scripts?

  • avatar

    Build it, and they’ll come?

  • avatar

    So it has a turbo 4 and less HP than a CT-4 at what is probably a much higher base price. I thought that was utterly, totally, unacceptable in this class of vehicle. And the, “but it can seat 7 arguement” will be the likely defense. Ya, if the back 3 are amputees and you want to work that 2.0 liter 221 HP as hard as you can.

  • avatar

    This looks like it’s trying too hard to be impressive. However, badge-shoppers will eat it up. I’d just as soon go with a Venue, if this were the class of vehicle I was interested in; at least it’s honest.

    I wish Mercedes would go back to the angular styling language instead of this weird mix of angles and organic flow. It doesn’t work. Steal somebody from Audi if you want it to look like something other than hot garbage.

    • 0 avatar

      This looks like it’s trying too hard to be a generic compact SUV with a luxury badge!

      This vehicle is utterly devoid of passion. Technological gizmos aside, it is probably as entertaining to drive as a RAV4. Such are the times.

  • avatar

    They’re working on a full Periodic Table. It appears there are spaces for several as-yet-undiscovered models in the Glitzwagen (GL) Series.

  • avatar

    I leased a GLC last month. This is one inch shorter on a 1.7 inch shorter wheelbase. I don’t get it. In the GLC, the back seat has adequate leg room, but I would have preferred a seat that slid back and forth to adjust the foot room/cargo space as needed. Seven seats in about the same size shell??? What are the vehicle weights and the interior EPA volume measurements??? I don’t know where this will fit into the MBZ lineup without stealing sales from the GLA or GLC.

  • avatar

    If you’re going to spend 45k+ and don’t want a van, and NEED 3 rows even occasionally, why not an Acura MDX? Buick Enclave? Highlander? Lincoln Aviator? All are choices with more room. I’m pretty sure long term operating costs will be lower to boot in all cases.

    If you are tied to this footprint however…I guess short of a low mileage used Mazda 5 or a Dodge Journey (actually, Wikipedia says the Dodge is longer), there isn’t much else with 3 rows…so badge snob appeal?

  • avatar

    For those who need/want a third row but cannot afford the GLS!

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