At Mercedes-Benz’s press drive of its new 2020 GLS-Class (stay tuned for the review), the German brand used the opportunity to show U.S. journalists its newest crossover—the 2020 GLB-Class. With a boxier design, space for up to seven passengers, and the latest technology, the GLB will slot between the GLA and the GLC crossovers. We already covered a lot of ground in our 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class First Look, but here are a few things we found out after the compact crossover was presented in Park City, Utah.
EQB Coming in 2021
As Mercedes pushes to bring more electric vehicles to market, it will be producing new nameplates based on current internal combustion engine models. And the EQB will be no exception. The EQB will arrive to market in 2021 on the same platform as the GLB but with an electric powertrain. Details are scarce at the moment, but we just drove the first electric SUV from Mercedes—the EQC. Our impressions? We thought the steering didn’t offer good road feel, but we liked the interior finishes and user experience from the MBUX infotainment system. We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for the EQB.
Built in Aguascalientes, Mexico
The GLB is the first Mercedes-Benz passenger car to be built in Mexico. The compact SUV will be produced in Aguascalientes, Mexico—in the same plant where the Infiniti QX50 is built, though the two SUVs won’t share a single part. The plant was part of an alliance between Daimler and Renault-Nissan to build Mercedes and Infiniti vehicles. China will also be producing the GLB for the Chinese market.
It’s just a bit shorter than the GLC
It might look much smaller in person, but the GLB is only a tad shorter than the GLC. The GLB has a 111.4-inch wheelbase (compared to the GLC’s 113.1 inches) and is 182.2 inches long (the GLC is 183.3). But in person, its boxiness gives it a more compact look, and it reminded me of the size of the first-gen Volkswagen Tiguan (now known as the Tiguan Limited in the U.S. ).
The third row is for emergencies only
As a 5+2 vehicle, the GLB can carry seven passengers. But the optional third row is only good for young children. The very tight third row is difficult to get into, and if you do get in, your knees will be high, as legroom is pretty compromised. When I talked to designers about offering a third row, they said Chinese customers are always looking for a third row, so they decided to offer it in the U.S. in case there are any takers. But trust us: Only small children should sit back there. In contrast, the second row is pretty spacious and can comfortably seat three adults.