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From its rugged good looks to tech-savvy cabin, here's what you need to know about the all new Mercedes-Benz GLB compact SUV.

28 Nov 2019

The all new Mercedes-Benz GLB is set to mark its presence on the road. With its striking new design, distinctive claddings and boxy proportions that put it in the same perspective as a car like the iconic and timeless Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the new compact SUV is set to forge its very own character.

But more than that, it being all new deserves a detailed explanation and description of what the new car is all about. Here's what you need to know about the Mercedes-Benz GLB compact SUV.

1. It's based on the MFA2 platform

Thanks to its lengthier dimension, the GLB enjoys a longer wheelbase as well
As its moniker suggests, the GLB is created to slot nicely between the GLA compact SUV and the GLC mid-sized SUV. However, unlike the GLC, which is based on a similar architectural platform at the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the GLB is based on the Modular Front Architecture 2 (MFA2) platform that's also shared with the rest of the compact models such as the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA models.

Despite that, measuring 4,634mm tip to tip, which makes it 210mm longer than the GLA and just 22mm shorter than the GLC, the GLB sports the longest wheelbase of 2,829mm amongst its current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz.

2. It may be compact but it has a generous wheelbase

Passengers up to 1.68m will fit in the third row without any fuss
Speaking of wheelbase, the Mercedes-Benz GLB may be a 'compact' SUV, but there's really nothing compact about it when it comes to space.

Thanks to the aforementioned 2,829mm wheelbase length, it leads its segment - against the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque and the Volvo XC40 - when it comes to legroom.

Logically, this feat has greatly assisted the possibility for the development of a three-row configuration in the compact SUV. Incidentally, according to Mercedes-Benz, it's even spacious enough to fit anyone up to a height of 1.68m tall.

3. GLB has not two but three rows of seats

Long wheelbase translates to the capability of having three rows of seats
The GLB is the German carmaker's first compact SUV to offer seat six and seven. As a matter of fact, going head on with cars in its class, it is the first car in its class to offer three rows of seats.

Naturally, you would think that the last row are best left for kids, which isn't entirely inaccurate, or worse still - best left for the grocery bags. But during my time with the car, a full-sized Singaporean adult has no problem sitting at the back.

If a problem has to be reported, it would probably be ingress and egress into the third row seats. Even someone as pint-sized as me has to struggle a tad.

4. Stunning cabin to match the space

Cabin is a delight to be in, especially once the sun has set
More than just space, which is understandably relevant to buyers of such a car, the GLB has a rather stunning cabin that would please even the most demanding driver. For instance, like the A-Class, the car comes equipped with the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) -  a system that features two huge 10.25-inch screens. And yes, you can talk to the car via the voice control system.

The cabin, as you'd come to expect from a luxury carmaker like Mercedes-Benz, is also accompanied by leather-swathed seats and dashboard, plush aluminium-looking finish on the turbine air-con vents, a multi-functional steering wheel, ample cubby holes and several USB-C ports.

5. Undisturbed communication... with the car

The voice control recognises who activated it last
You know how cars are now able to listen to your voice input? Yes, Mercedes-Benz has decided to take it to another level. Saying "Hey Mercedes" activates the Siri-like system that serves you whatever you've requested.

However, where it differs from other carmakers is that the voice control recognises who activated it last.

Thanks to a learning software that enables a customisable presentation, as well as other innovative hardware components, if the playful kids in the GLB decide to happily crow "Hey Mercedes", the system will ignore them.

6. Yes, of course it will go off-road

The GLB is as capable off-road as it is on-road
That's what the whole boxy, rugged-looking design is for too. The GLB, despite its modernised disposition, is capable of going off the beaten tracks.

During my time in Spain, I took one of the cars that had the Off-Road Package through a series of challenging off-road courses to see how the car behaves. Apart from highlighting its jungle competencies as well as the Downhill Speed Regulation system that automatically adheres to a pre-selected speed, the GLB also showcased its modern capabilities with its camera assistance, allowing me to see what's in front of me as I head towards a steep inclining slope.

7. There will be a fully electric version, if that's up your alley

The EQC (above) will be positioned just above the upcoming EQB electric SUV
According to Marcus Adolph, Development Compact Cars Mercedes-AMG GmbH, a fully electric version of the GLB would be available soon, although no timeline was specifically mentioned. The Mercedes EQB, as it's called, is set to see daylight sometime in 2021 and will sit beneath the bigger EQC.

Although powertrain details are yet to be confirmed, we can expect the EQB to feature a battery that will allow the electric compact SUV to go up to 500km on a full charge. And while the GLB comes with three-row configurations, it's possible the EQB will be offered strictly as a five-seater. This is to accommodate the car's battery pack.

It is still unknown as to when the EQB will arrive in Singapore.

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