The Mercedes-Benz trend of offering any and every niche continues strong with the arrival of the new-to-Australia GLB seven-seat compact SUV.
Somewhat inspired by the design of the old boxy-shaped GLK-Class (which was never offered Down Under) but with an added row of seats, the GLB arrives in Australia later this month as part of a three-strong range.
Read next: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB revealed
In terms of the rest of the premium market, there are not too many other players for the GLB to compete with, save for the Land Rover Discovery Sport which can also seat seven people.
Read next: Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e 2019 review
"We’re extremely excited to launch the GLB and add an all-new nameplate to the Mercedes-Benz range in Australia," product communications manager Ryan Lewis told WhichCar.
"The GLB’s unique combination of attributes makes it well-suited to our market, and initial feedback locally has been very promising."
Third-row seats in the GLB
The GLB set begins at $59,900 for the GLB200, bumping up to $73,900 for the mid-tier GLB250 4Matic and topping out with the AMG-fettled GLB35 4Matic at $88,900 (all prices before on-road costs).
Read next: Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 review
All cars will receive the third row as standard, which Mercedes-Benz says is good for passengers up to 168 centimetres tall.
Safety hasn’t been forgotten for the littlies up the back either, with retractable head restraints, seat belt pre-tensioners, side window airbags and ISOFIX anchor points for baby seats.
A drink compartment splits the two seats up the back, while two outboard storage spaces contain a USB port each.
The GLB's boot can expand from 560 litres (with the second row in place) to 1755 litres (second and third rows stowed), and when the third-row seating is lowered, the seatbacks are flush with the boot floor for easier loading.
Safety features standard across the range include active parking assist, adaptive high beam headlights, blind spot assist, lane-keeping assistant, active brake assist and nine airbags.
The GLB200 kicks off the new range with a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that sends 120kW/250Nm via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to the front wheels.
It gets the dual 10.25-inch widescreens that comprise the MBUX infotainment system (above), Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, wireless phone charging, keyless entry and start, an automated boot hatch, comfort seats in leatherette, illuminated door sills and a set of 19-inch multi-spoke wheels.
The range then steps up to the GLB250 model which is powered by a 165kW/350Nm version of Merc's popular 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine.
It uses an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic to send power to where it’s needed using the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
Over and above the GLB200’s spec, the GLB250 gets a panoramic sunroof, electric and heated front seats with memory, adaptive damping suspension, 19-inch wheels and an off-road package.
READ NEXT: Mercedes-Maybach raises the luxe SUV stakes
Things then edge into the red zone with the AMG GLB35 which uses an AMG-tuned 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine which outputs 225kW/400Nm to all wheels via an eight-speed AMG dual-clutch automatic.
A swathe of AMG-specific bits and pieces permeate the GLB35’s equipment list, such as the AMG exhaust system that can start up quietly, speed-sensitive steering, sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, Nappa leather steering wheel, leather sports seats, stainless steel pedals, carbon interior trim, rear privacy glass and 20-inch AMG alloy wheels.
Both the GLB200 and GLB250 are available to order through Mercedes-Benz dealerships now, with deliveries to start within the month.
The GLB35 will take a little longer to arrive, with its Aussie touch-down slated for later this year. WhichCar will be hands-on with the new GLB next month so stay tuned for our Australian-specific impressions in June.
Mercedes-Benz GLB Australian pricing
- GLB200 - $59,900
- GLB250 - $73,900
- AMG GLB35 - $88,900