Shanghai auto show-bound GLB Concept previews new compact Mercedes crossover

Automakers have made it a habit to thinly disguise future production models with accessories, crazy rims, paint schemes, and interior materials, and that’s exactly what the Mercedes GLB Concept is. It essentially previews the production Mercedes GLB crossover that’s set to make its debut in production form in late-2019.

The 2019 Mercedes GLB is Almost Production Ready

The Mercedes GLB Concept was shown just ahead of its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show as a design study, but if you take away its 17-inch wheels shod in off-road rubber, integrated roof lights, and extra roof storage, this is essentially the production GLB. In fact, Mercedes may decide to offer an off-road-oriented version of the series GLB, and it may end up looking a lot like this.

Its interior is also all production ready, if you ignore the chestnut brown-colored Nappa and Nubuk leather and some trim elements.

It looks pretty much like the interior of the new A-Class, CLA, and B-Class models, albeit with a bit more room to move around and an airier feel - none of those cars are especially large feeling inside and the GLB will undoubtedly be the most spacious out of all current compact Mercedes models.

The 2019 Mercedes GLB Concept a New Boxy, Compact SUV
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Believe it or not, this GLB Concept is actually a seven-seater, according to Mercedes.

The automaker points out that “for the first time in a compact model by Mercedes-Benz, a third seat row with two additional single seats that can be recessed flush into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. These seats are far more than emergency seats, and offer comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants.”

We’ll have to try it out for ourselves, though, but if Mercedes is so proud of this third row, maybe it is good enough for adults on longer journeys and not just usable by children. You will be able to slide the second row, it seems, by some 140 millimeters fore and aft to allow for some extra third-row legroom. Apparently, you can fit up to four child seats in the second and third rows, according to the manufacturer.

The 2019 Mercedes GLB Concept a New Boxy, Compact SUV
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The GLB Concept is powered by Mercedes’ M260 four-cylinder turbo engine that, in this application, makes 224 horsepower and 350 Nm, and is hooked up to is an eight-speed dual-clutch. 4Matic all-wheel drive is also present on the concept, but it will definitely be only an option on the production version, along with the concept’s power plant - it will probably be the most non-AMG variant of the GLB available.

The all-wheel-drive system will change power distribution depending on the selected mode: 80:20 for “Eco” and “Comfort” modes and 70:30 in “Sport” mode, while off-road mode splits it equally 50:50.

Mercedes wants the GLB to be the more practical (and seven-seater) alternative to the sportier GLA model that has proven surprisingly popular since its launch back in 2013. Now the automaker is expanding the range of vehicles it’s offering based on the same front-wheel-drive biased platform to cater for a wider range of needs and tastes.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLB Concept - drivetran specifications
Wheelbase 111 Inches
Length 182 inches
Width 74 inches
Height 75 inches
Engine M260 four-cylinder gas
Horsepower 224 HP
Torque 258 LB-FT
Transmission 8-speed-DCT dual clutch

Further reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB.

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