Surprise feature in new baby Benz
Mercedes-Benz is cramming another SUV into its range.
The German maker has confirmed the all new GLB.
Based on the A-Class platform the compact SUV will fill the void between the GLA and GLC.
The GLB presents a unique proposition for a compact SUV with the option of a seven-seat layout. The rear pew is a kids-only proposition, though. Occupants can be no taller than 1.68 metres, or five foot five.
With the rear seats clearly designed for younger children the GLB is targeted towards growing families and those that need part-time large family-hauling ability.
The boxy-looking SUV benefits from a longer wheelbase than the new B-Class hatch, which helps accommodate the rear seats by increasing the interior space.
There appear to be no real rivals for the GLB. The smallest seven-seat SUVs are currently in the class above with the Tiguan Allspace, Nissan X-Trail and Honda CR-V all coming in seven-seat guise.
Mercedes-Benz claims the vehicle can head off-road due to its short front and rear overhangs and optional four-wheel drive. But the chances of these machines heading off the bitumen is slim to none.
If you do decide to take the SUV onto the rough stuff there is a special off-road light feature. This works by switching on the vehicle's cornering light full-time giving a greater and brighter field of view in the dark so drivers can see potential obstacles easier.
There will be a number of petrol and diesel engines available. The two petrol options consist of a 1.3-litre and a 2.0-litre option. These are paired to a seven-speed and eight-speed dual-clutch auto respectively.
Diesel versions consist of two 2.0-litre options in different tune. Both are matched to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed that it will sell the new GLB locally. The first deliveries are expected in the third quarter of next year.