• All-new compact luxury SUV will slot below Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • First compact Mercedes with optional 3-row seating
  • Powered by 221-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • 4Matic all-wheel drive with off-road mode available
  • Predicted to begin in the mid-$30,000 range


Mercedes-Benz unveiled its newest crossover SUV, the GLB 250, which will slot beneath the compact GLC, but not by much. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC measures 182 inches in overall length, about an inch shorter than the GLC, and roughly 10 inches longer than the subcompact GLA.

Design-wise, it shares the tougher image and boxier, upright nature of its older siblings the GLC and GLE vs. the rounded and hatchlike profile of the baby GLA. That, naturally, means more space for gear and passengers, two priorities for its target audience.

How much will the Mercedes-Benz GLB cost?

The GLB slots between the GLC, which starts at $40,700, and the GLA, which begins at $33,950. Given that spread, we expect the GLB to start in the mid-$30,000 range. The exact cost of the Mercedes-Benz GLB 250, along with its on-sale date, will be announced later.

Optional third row

In addition to its standard setup as a 2-row/5-passenger SUV, the Mercedes GLB will be available with 3-rows for up to seven passengers, which the German luxury brand says makes the GLB a good choice for younger, active families.

Mercedes says the GLB is the brand’s first compact vehicle to offer a third row, which appears best for occasional use only. Further touting its benefits as a vehicle for young families, Mercedes says a 3-row GLB can accommodate up to four child seats in back thanks to its standard anchor points.

The third row also features storage compartments, drink holders and USB-C ports. Both rear rows have the ability to fold, and the second row can be moved for and aft up to 6 inches to create more

When not ferrying passengers, the GLB boasts up to 62 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded.

What engine does the Mercedes-Benz GLB use?

The Mercedes-Benz GLB will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That horsepower output is 13 more than that of the smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA, which has the same torque figure. Mercedes estimates the new GLB will go 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 130 mph.

Available all-wheel drive

As with most other new Mercedes models, the GLB will be available with all-wheel drive, which the brand calls 4Matic.

The GLB’s 4Matic will have several modes that vary how much power is sent to the wheels. In eco/comfort mode, it is an 80/20 font/rear split, while sport changes that to ratio to 70/30. An off-road mode changes that to an even 50/50 split.

Off-road chops, too

Mercedes is also touting the adventure-readiness of the new GLB. Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 models equipped with 4Matic come with an additional drive program as part of Off-Road Engineering Package.

In addition to optimizing the 4Matic’s traction and power delivery for off-highway use, it adds visual driving aids via animations on the media display that show gradient, inclination angle other terrain parameters to safely tackle whatever’s ahead. Also included is a hill-descent control that lets you set the decline speed between 1 and 11 mph.

Semi-autonomous driving

When not navigating trails yourself, the GLB aims to make commutes in the civilized world easier and less stressful.

Derived from the flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the GLB will be available with camera- and radar-based driving-assistance systems and drive partially autonomously in some situations. In addition to adaptive cruise control and active steering assist, Mercedes says the new GLB will offer lane-change assist. The feature enables the vehicle to change lanes when safe and by itself after you activate the turn signal.

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New high-tech user-interface

The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB will use the German brand’s latest infotainment system, called MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience.

Information such as driving data, audio selection, phone functions and navigation are presented on a wide screens that stretch from the instrument cluster to the center of the dashboard.

The system can respond to verbal inputs using the “Hey Mercedes” phrase, and also features navigation with augmented reality.

Can't wait for the new Mercedes-Benz GLB?

If you're in a hurry to get into a Benz-badged SUV, consider the smaller and less expensive GLA, or the larger and more expensive GLC. Shop dealer inventory near you right now!

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