The X247 Mercedes-Benz GLB has finally made its launch debut in Malaysia, with the model joining the local compact car range that includes the A-Class, A-Class Sedan, CLA and B-Class. The GLB, which is built on the MFA2 (Modular Front Architecture) architecture, was first revealed globally back in June last year to occupy the space between the GLA and GLC in the company’s SUV line-up.
For our market, the GLB comes in two seven-seat variants – the GLB 200 Progressive Line and GLB 250 4Matic AMG Line – with a third option being an AMG model in the form of the GLB 35 4Matic, which we covered in a separate post.
Pricing-wise, the GLB 200 retails at RM269,118, while the GLB 250 goes for RM318,009. These prices are on-the-road without insurance and take into account the current sales tax relief that is ongoing until the end of the year. By comparison, the GLC range currently starts from RM286,379 for the base GLC 200, while the GLC 300 is RM333,157. A four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is included in the purchase price.
So, why would you pick the GLB over the GLC? Well, aside from the slightly lower prices, the GLB provides seating for up to seven people (spread across three rows) unlike the five-seat GLC, so it provides an alternative to those who need to ferry more people but don’t want to splurge on a GLE or GLS, which are also seven-seaters.
Despite being parked under the compact car range, the GLB is a rather sizeable vehicle. At 4,634 mm long, 1,834 mm wide, 1,663 mm (seven-seater) tall, and with a 2,829 mm wheelbase, the GLB is closer to the GLC in terms of size. For comparison, the GLC is 4,656 mm long, 1,890 mm wide, 1,639 mm tall and has a 2,873 mm wheelbase.
The overall design emphasises practicality, with a boxy design that features a rather flat roofline leading to a large tailgate around back. Others cues include an upright front-end with rectangular-shaped headlamps and a six-point grille, the former being different from the sleek designs found on the GLB’s stablemates. Also distinct is the slight kink on the window line, which isn’t evident on the current GLA, GLC, GLE or GLS.
The GLB 200 comes with the Progressive Line trim package, which includes a dual-slat front grille and skid plate at front, along with chrome side door mouldings and surround for the dual exhaust finishers. Meanwhile, the GLB 250 gets the AMG Line treatment, adopting a more aggressive front bumper with faux side inlets and a wider lower intake.
Like the GLB 200, it too gets chrome applications on the sides and back, but the grille at the front is a single-slat unit with the brand’s well-known diamond-pinned insert, while the rear apron sports a prominent diffuser element.
Both variants get LED High Performance headlamps and aluminium roof rails as standard, but with differing alloy wheel sets – 18-inch five-spokes for the GLB 200 and 19-inch AMG five-twin-spokes for the GLB 250. The colour palette consists of eight options, including Polar White, Iridium Silver, Denim Blue, Galaxy Blue, Digital White, Cosmos Black, Mountain Grey and designo Patagonia Red.
On the inside, the GLB’s dashboard adopts a similar layout to other Mercedes-Benz compact cars, with circular air vents and the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system prominently displayed. The latter consists of two 10.25-inch displays, and can be controlled via the central touchscreen, steering wheel controls, touchpad or voice recognition.
This is standard on the GLB 200 and GLB 250, as is an LTE module that enables Mercedes me connected services, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, powered front seats with memory function, a powered tailgate, along with Thermotronic dual-zone climate control with rear vents.
As for safety and assistance items, both variants come with a reverse camera, Active Parking Assist with Parktronic, Pre-Safe, active brake assist, hands-free access, Keyless-Go, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Easy-Pack tailgate.
Variant-specific kit on the GLB 200 includes spiral-look trim elements, a leather steering wheel, comfort seats, velour floor mats and black Artico man-made leather upholstery. The GLB 250 naturally gets more goodies, including carbon-structure trim, a Nappa leather steering wheel, sports seats, Artico leather/Dinamica microfibre upholstery (with red topstitching), ambient lighting, AMG floor mats, blind spot assist and a remote engine start function.
Under the bonnet, the front-wheel drive GLB 200 is powered by a M282 engine that is also used in the A 200. The 1.33 litre turbocharged four-cylinder pushes out 163 PS (161 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,620 to 4,000 rpm, with a 7G-DCT seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission mated to it. In this configuration, the zero to 100 km/h time is 9.1 seconds, while the top speed is 207 km/h.
The GLB 250 gets a more powerful M260 2.0 litre turbo-four – also fitted to the A 250 – with 224 PS (221 hp) at 5,800 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,800 to 4,000 rpm. This is paired with an 8G-DCT eight-speed dual-clutch and the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system, enabling a century sprint time of 6.9 seconds and 236 km/h top speed.
Comfort suspension is standard on both variants, but the GLB 250 gets the Off-Road Engineering package, which adds an additional drive mode to the Dynamic Select system, along with a Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) function and special displays in the digital instrument cluster.
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