The Mercedes-Benz GLB promises a more affordable way to hit the trail and still have the three-pointed star plastered to your grille. This “baby G-Wagen” was shown in concept form at the Shanghai Auto Show this year, but a production version should debut before the close of 2019.
First, the GLB concept wasn’t wild at all. Whenever a concept looks basically like a production model, that’s a good indication it’s coming to market soon. Mercedes probably just wanted to test market feedback, which seemed overall quite favorable. After all, who doesn’t need one of these to make that arduous journey to Starbucks?
Supposedly, it will be at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show where the production-ready Mercedes GLB will debut. That’s in September and it’s a believable timeline.
Mercedes already has the tooling in place at facilities in both Mexico and China so it can start rolling out the “budget” off-roader. If current reports are accurate, the GLB will begin coming off those assembly lines by December of this year.
Obviously, the GLB won’t be like the G-Class. Expect a small, turbocharged four-cylinder engine like what’s in the CLA but maybe a little hotter. If it’s supposed to really be used for off-roading, locking differentials should be included, while an air ride suspension would be nice but might not be in the cards. We’ll see soon enough.