Like most premium automakers, Mercedes-Benz took the crossover market by storm in the 2000s. In 1998, the M-Class joined the G-Class as the company’s second SUV, but since then the German carmaker launched no fewer than five crossovers plus a pickup truck. And Mercedes isn’t stopping here. According to recent reports and spy shots, the Germans are planning to launch a brand-new model called the GLB. Although the name suggests that it will slot between the tiny GLA and the C-Class based GLC (formerly known as the GLK), the GLB will be a bit different. Sure, it will fit between the two in terms of size, but unlike its siblings, it will have a boxy design inspired by the mighty G-Class.

Rumors about such a model surfaced back in 2012, when Mercedes unveiled the Ener-G-Force Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Created by the company’s Advaned Design Studio in Carlsbad, California, it looked like a futuristic version of the G-Class and had a hydrogen-powered drivetrain. The rumors turned into certainty when a small but boxy crossover was spotted testing on public roads. With models like the GLA and GLC unlikely to ditch their sleek, sporty lines, the GLB remains the only option for a shrunken G-Class. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes GLB.

  • 2020 Mercedes GLB
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    40000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:


While the Ener-G-Force Concept is often quoted as the main inspiration behind the GLB, the production model won’t look as radical as the show cars. It won’t get its massive ride height either. Instead, the spy shots hint toward a less aggressive design with angular lines taken off the boxy G-Class. Details are tough to spot with all that camouflage on the body, but it’s pretty obvious that the GLB won’t be as sleek as the GLA.

The bumper appears to be a big solid block of plastic, while the main grille is massive and rectangular. So far, it looks as if Mercedes is indeed transferring some of the G-Class’ features onto the GLB, but we won’t know for sure until some of the camo comes off. For instance, the wrap on the engine hood is rather misleading, as the lid itself can’t be that tall. And you zoom on the picture, you’ll notice that Merc made big efforts to camouflage what appears to be a sloping, V-shaped hood. So there’s a chance that it will look a bit like the G-Class, but without the military-inspired stance.

The GLB’s profile is significantly boxier than the GLA and GLC, but not as spartan as the G-Class. The door frames are smoothly integrated into the pillars, while the side skirts are of the small crossover variety. I’d say that the profile is very similar to the old GLK, but the camo could hide sportier rear haunches.

The rear end is all-utility. The tailgate is almost vertical, a breath of fresh air from the sporty designs seen on most small crossovers. It also has a wide loading area above the sturdy bumper, while the license plate recess is placed right below the window. The taillights are experimental in these shots, but it seems that the production model will get two-piece units.

Needless to say, the GLB could turn out to be one of Mercedes’ most unique crossover designs. Sure, it might look a bit like the G-Class, but at least it won’t look like all the other crossovers in the lineup.


Our paparazzi didn’t manage to get a clear shot of the interior due to the heavy, black fabric on the dashboard, but given that it will ride on the same architecture as the new-generation A-Class, there’s a big chance it will share a lot of features with the hatchback. And this would be great news as the latest A-Class has an incredible interior that’s not only gorgeous to look at, but also has the most luxurious feel in the compact market. The only detail I can gather from the spy shots is the floating infotainment screen. It’s not connected to the instrument cluster like in the bigger Mercs and the A-Class, but it appears to be the large 10.25-inch screen. This display will probably be optional.

But regardless of the design and configuration, expect the GLB to come with Merc’s latest technology, including an all-digital instrument cluster, authentic wood trim, a 64-color lighting system, and the new MBUX infotainment system. The latter has the ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence and includes a navigation system with augmented reality and intelligent voice control and natural speech recognition. Several seat options should be available, including seat climate control and maybe even a massage function. It should be the most luxurious vehicle in its class.


While the G-Class that inspired the GLB sports a V-8 engine under the hood, don’t expect to find big engines in this little crossover. Chances are that the GLB will get its drivetrains from the latest A-Class. The hatchback was unveiled with three powerplant and all of them seem suitable for the mini SUV.

The base model will probably get the 1.4-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 163 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This engine will be available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. More oomph will come from the brand-new 2.0-liter four-pot, rated at 224 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist. This version will get the automatic gearbox only. This is also the configuration that will probably make it to the U.S.

European customers will get a diesel too. Motivation will come from the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit with 116 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Of course, Mercedes will offer more powerful versions of this unit after the big launch. The seven-speed automatic and the AdBlue diesel technology will come standard.

An AMG version is also likely, alongside a less powerful model with EQ Boost hybrid technology. But I don’t see any of these coming sooner than 2020.


While logic suggests that the GLB will be placed between the GLA and GLC (which cost $33,400 and $40,050, respectively) pricing-wise, it could actually cost almost as much as the GLC. My bet is on a sticker set around the $38,000 mark.



The X2 is BMW’s newest crossover and if my predictions are corect, it should be a perfect competitor for the GLB. Slightly bigger than the popular X1, the X2 is a pretty unique vehicle in the lineup. Despite wearing an even number next to the "X" in its badge, the X2 isn’t a coupe-style vehicle like the X4 and X6. It’s slightly boxier than the X1, and even though it’s not as utilitarian as the GLB, it has a somewhat massive look thanks to the big grille and the tall bumper up front. The interior comes from the X1 and while it looks modern and comfortable, it’s not as fancy as the A-Class, so Merc might win this one. Drivetrains options are diverse and start off with a 2.0-liter gasoline four-banger rated at 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A more powerful version, also offered in the U.S., sends 228 horses and 258 pound-feet to the ground. A 2.0-liter diesel rated at 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet is already available, but more oil burners will be launched in the future. U.S. pricing information is not yet available, but the X2 could retail from around $30,000 before options.

Read our full story of the BMW X2.

Audi Q2

The Q2 is nowhere near as imposing as the GLB, but it’s a cool design exercise and the first Audi crossover that strays from the big Q7. It has quite a few unique features of its own and it feels boxier than other Audis out there. The interior is based on the A3 hatchback and looks rather bland, but it has all the modern technology, including a fully digital instrument cluster, a seven-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, navigation a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Just like the X2, the Q2 is available with a wide array of drivetrains in Europe. The gasoline range begins with the 1.0-liter three cylinder unit rated at 116 horsepower and 148 pound-feet. This engine mates to a six-speed manual standard and a seven-speed DSG optionally and comes in a front-wheel-drive configuration only. Next up is the familiar 1.4-liter TFSi, a four-cylinder that’s available 150 horses and 184 pound-feet and comes standard with FWD and the six-speed manual, but quattro AWD and the seven-speed DSG can be selected from the options list. The 2.0-liter TFSI engine pumps 187 horses and 236 pound-feet of twist through a seven-speed DSG and quattro all-wheel drive. The Q2 is not yet available in the U.S.

Read our full review of the Audi Q2.


Judging how all crossover niches how expanded in recent years, the GLB is a necessary addition to the Mercedes-Benz lineup. With BMW and Audi already present in this segment, Merc needs to step up a offer a solid competitor. The fact that the GLB will have a boxy, G-Class-inspired design could play an important role here, as it will allow drivers access to a more affordable, more city friendly version of the military-style SUV. That’s something BMW and Audi can’t offer right now. And the only option available is the Jeep Renegade, which won’t be a match for the GLB in terms of premium features and technology.

Love it

  • Boxy, G-Class-style design
  • Luxury interior
  • Powerful gas engine in the U.S.
    Leave it
  • Will the most expensive in its niche
  • Still at least a year away

Source: CAR

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