The Mercedes GLB-Class has arrived, and it’s gunning for the Cadillac XT4 in the small crossover SUV segment. Let’s take a closer look at this new German entry to see what Caddy will be up against.
Outside, the Mercedes GLB offers a few “off-road-inspired” design features, including short overhangs and large, blocky body components. A kink in the window line under the C-pillar emphasizes the new crossover’s rear haunches, while LED lighting elements illuminate the way forward.
Inside is where the Mercedes GLB starts to throw its weight around. The dash is primed with a widescreen digital cockpit running the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment features, plus a variety of driver assist systems, such as Active Distance Assist and Active Steering Assist. Aluminum, leather, and wood make up the materials list.
Critically, the Mercedes GLB is offered in both a standard two-row and optional three-row configurations, whereas the XT4 is only offered in a two-row, five-passenger configuration.
As for the oily bits, the Mercedes GLB is motivated by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 221 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. Sixty mph arrives in 6.9 seconds, while top speed is rated at 130 mph. An eight-speed automatic gearbox handles the cog swaps.
The XT4 goes blow for blow under the hood thanks to the turbocharged 2.0L LSY four-cylinder engine producing 237 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. The Caddy’s four-cylinder mates to the new GM nine-speed automatic transmission.
The new Mercedes GLB-Class offers front-wheel-drive as standard; a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is optional. The Merc also offers an adaptive damping system and the Off-Road Engineering package, the latter of which includes an additional drive program that adapts the engine and ABS for dirt duty. We should also note that the GLB is derived off a FWD platform, essentially being a crossover variant of the new A-Class and CLA-Class.
Pricing is not yet available, but the Mercedes GLB is expected to start around the $37,000 mark, which is a bit more than the $35,790 price tag attached to the current Cadillac XT4.
The new GLB adds to Mercedes’ ever-expanding crossover stable, joining its platform mate, the smaller GLA-Class – a sub-compact crossover SUV that’s slightly smaller than the GLB. In that regard, the GLA-Class is a rival to the BMW X2, while the GLB-Class is an X1 competitor. All models continue the Mercedes-BMW rivalry into the subcompact CUV space. Cadillac has the XT4 in this space, though Buick is expected to gain its own version with the upcoming Buick Enspire.