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Mercedes GLB Concept is Not the Tiny G-Wagen We Hoped For

autoguide.com 2019-04-15 00:00:00

The Mercedes-Benz GLB Concept previews a new compact crossover that will slot between the GLA and the GLC as a more rugged offering.


The concept, which debuted at the Shanghai auto show, has seating for seven passengers (which is remarkable considering how small it is) and is designed with off-roading in mind. Although we were hoping for something boxy that looked like a mini G-Wagen, the GLB concept still looks pretty good and nearly ready for production.

With an upright stance, short overhangs, and exaggerated body cladding, the GLB Concept has attractive proportions and there’s nothing too outlandish that might be cut for a production model, though we doubt the aggressive off-road tires, integrated roof box, and roof-mounted lights will make it.

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The interior is a highlight and we also think almost everything you see here in the photos could make it to production, as we’ve already seen many of these features in Mercedes’ newer cars like the A-Class and CLA. The dual widescreens, new touchpad interface, and turbine-style air vents are sure to appear in the production car, but we also hope the orange accents, honeycombed open-pore wood, and gorgeous brown suede/leather makes it because that color and texture combination is gorgeous.

Mercedes says the third row can seat two “medium-sized occupants” comfortably and folds flat into the trunk when not needed. The second row can slide forward and backward to make more room for the third-row occupants and can also fold down to create a totally flat cargo area.

You can expect the Mercedes GLB to get the latest iteration of the excellent MBUX infotainment system that comes with a virtual assistant you can summon by using the command “Hey, Mercedes” and gets smarter the more you use it.

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Power for the Mercedes GLB Concept comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that outputs 224 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine will be paired to an eight-speed DCT and a full-time all-wheel-drive system.

Expect a production version of the new Mercedes GLB to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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