Stern, more spacious, … cheaper? New Mercedes-Benz GLB
The idea to put a car in the model line between class A and C crossovers suggested itself – but they approached its implementation in Stuttgart creatively. The Germans did not go the same way as in the development of sedans, simply scaling the older model, and added something fresh to the line. Of course, this was not a surprise – moreover, we had been promised a “baby-helico” for a long time, and the output was a sort of chunky ninth-grader with weekly bristles. For the car dealership, he was additionally strapped on rubber boots and his father’s cap – yes, and so they showed off to the public: they say, to the feast, and to the world, and to the dacha.
But on the actual dimensions of the GLB literally comes on the heels of older comrades: the wheelbase is 4 centimeters shorter than the GLC, and in terms of the total length, it turned out to be only 2 centimeters smaller – 4,634 mm. The decision is quite deliberate: despite the similar size, the models are divorced in different consumer niches. Those who choose the glamorous GLC will think about the Coupe version, and they will not look at the GLB side. But the argument in favor of attracting additional attention is a rather unexpected seven-seater layout. Everything is somewhat twofold here with her: on the one hand, she has given new consumer qualities, and on the other, the design has been partly put on the seven-place altar. But he rather benefited from it.
However, miracles, of course, do not happen: with such dimensions, the third row of seats fits into the cabin very conditionally. The second row moves on a sled within 140 mm and in the “full forward” position literally rests against the backs of the front seats. This, of course, was done on purpose: the Easy-Entry function is designed to provide more convenient access to the third row, not only folding the back of the second, but also moving it forward. However, if you sit on the gallery of two people, even “medium build” (and they say, they should be planted there at Mercedes), passengers in the middle row will be frankly crowded.
Here we also add the organization of the luggage space: with the third row of seats unfolded, it does not remain at all – the passengers literally sit in the rest.
Nevertheless, the Germans need to pay tribute: in the absence of need, these chairs fold into a flat floor, having little impact on the amount of available space. Except for the lack of a full-fledged underground, of course.
The salon GLB is an encyclopedia of familiar solutions: it is the most serial and almost the same, for example, with the current B-class. Here and under the steering column selector gearbox, and a block of three ducts in the center, and, of course, a cluster of a pair of screens of 10.25 inches each.
The difference is at the level of nuances: in particular, metal bands were added to the crossover “for greater brutality” —on the door handles, the central tunnel and the front panel. However, in some places, the masculinity of the image with large mud wheels is reinforced by features that are practical in practice: for example, the doors completely close the thresholds with a seal along the bottom edge, so that when you get to the garden, you can also keep your pants on the way out.
Help to get to the cottage is called “permanent four-wheel drive.” Of course, there is no center differential: just a clutch that takes power to the rear wheels, even in Eco mode, works with a constant preload, sending 20% to the rear wheels. On off roads, the clutch can be blocked by dividing the power equally between the axles – and the multi-plate clutch on the rear axle complements the imitation of the axle lock.
Hybrid versions for GLB (at least for the time being) have not been stated: unlike the older GLC, it, like the A-class, is built on the MFA2 platform with a transverse arrangement of the power unit and is poorly suitable for hybridization. “Soft hybrid” implies the presence of a motor-generator inscribed in the gearbox, which is why it turns out to be 11 centimeters longer – and this scheme is used on machines with a longitudinal engine arrangement. Here, the M260 engine is installed, as already mentioned, transversely – but connected with the new eight-stage preselective “robot” 8G-DCT, which first appeared on the B-class. The box leaves a lot of room for the expansion of the motor range: it is designed for torque up to 520 Nm and in the B-class, for example, works in tandem with a two-liter OM654q diesel engine, giving out 400 Nm. In Shanghai, the GLB made its debut with the same engine that is placed under the hood of the A-class: the two-liter petrol M260, issuing 224 hp. and 350 Nm. But with such powerful wheels and 7 seats in the cabin, a diesel engine would really look more appropriate …
The status of the concept at the moment also means that the full list of engines, the presence of front-wheel drive versions in the range, and the list of prices are postponed until the autumn – most likely, to the Frankfurt Motor Show. Considering the “letter” positioning, the GLB should be cheaper than the GLC, which in our country can only be all-wheel drive and starts at 3,530,000 rubles.