by Brian Byrne.

Mercedes-Benz has added further choice to their compact SUV model offering with the arrival here of their new GLB, the first Mercedes-Benz in its class to offer a 7-seat option, writes Trish Whelan.

It comes with a distinctive exterior design with a strong frontal appearance, striking headlamps, railed roofline, short front and back overhangs. An option is 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a special off-road light which helps the driver to detect obstacles at low speeds.

Fully retractable, the two extra seats provide comfortable seating for passengers up to a height of 1.68m. The second row seats also split 40.20.40.

Mercedes-Benz sales manager, Ciaran Allen, says the new GLB ‘redefines the definition of a compact car’ with its ‘exceptional levels of spaciousness with plenty of room in all dimensions’. At 2,829mm, it has the longest wheelbase of the company’s current compact generation. Rear legroom in the five-seat version is 967mm.

Power is from updated 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, all with increased power, improved efficiency and reduced emissions. All are automatics.

Mercedes-Benz Ireland expects the Progressive 180 Automatic priced from €42,350 and the Progressive 180d Automatic from €43,190 to be the main focus for Irish customers.