Ask any mother and she’ll tell you that having a child is by no means an easy feat.
Let alone a pair of twins and a baby boy. However, Amber Yong has mastered the art of not only being a mother, but also a working professional (who, by the way, also helms her childrenswear line, LeiaLauren). Sure, excellent time management is key, but Amber and her husband, Peter, will tell you that the secret lies in having a car that can take on any challenges the day throws at them.
For this, the new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a natural choice, not because it’s versatile and incredibly spacious but because it’s been designed both inside and out to go above and beyond the role of a luxury SUV. Instead, the car has been designed to anticipate its driver’s every need — from a highly intuitive infotainment system to its generous slew of safety features — so busy mothers like Amber can focus on the things that matter most: The journey with her loved ones.
Big on presence
This timeless blend of sportiness and modernity means that you can expect striking headlamps, muscular curves and short overhangs at the front and rear that subtly hint at its off-roading DNA.
The family SUV also sees details such as a stylised skid plate at the front and rear as well as roof rails made of polished aluminium to evoke the spirit of adventure even before you step into the car. Choose the AMG variation, and the vehicle’s sportiness gets bumped up a few notches with an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvers, larger air intakes, twin chrome tailpipes and larger 19-inch AMG wheels.
More space, bigger opportunities
The GLB has not only the longest wheelbase of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz, but is also the first compact vehicle from the marque to offer a third row seat with two additional individual seats. Needless to say, it’s plenty spacious, and is primed to accommodate anything you throw its way, whether it’s more family or more cargo.
Still, convenience is integral in making any family trip memorable. To facilitate access to the back, the seats in the second row have an EASY-ENTRY function to allow its passengers to board and disembark without hassle. Safety is also paramount here. Besides a side window airbag for passengers in the third seat row, ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for suitable child seats also come with the package to make any journey a safe and comfortable affair.
The Mercedes-Benz 7-Seater has 1,680 litres of cargo space with all the seats folded flat, but still offers 700 litres with the third row seats folded down, perfect for accommodating groceries, prams, and everything in between. Got your hands full? Simply swipe your foot below the sensor area under the rear bumper, and HANDS-FREE ACCESS will open and close the boot lid for you.
The seats can also be lowered to be flushed with the load compartment floor for more loading space. Busy mothers like Amber especially appreciates the versatility. “With our growing family, we don’t have to sacrifice the SUV for a van. The GLB is a practical choice because we can easily convert it into a comfortable seven-seater anytime we’re headed out for long drives.”
Technology has become such as big part of our lives, mostly because of the efficiency it lends to our everyday activities. Mercedes-Benz has clearly kept connectivity at the top of its mind with MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The intelligent infotainment system not only boasts crisp graphics, but is also powerful and can be tailored to its driver for the best ride possible.
The customisable presentation is accompanied by a full-colour head-up display, navigation with augmented reality, and learning software. Yet the most useful features is inarguably the voice control, where a simple “Hey Mercedes” prompts the car into awaiting your next command — whether it’s to make a phone call, tell you about the weather, or share thoughts about its other German rivals.
Still, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring continue to be available, although you won’t really need either considering how MBUX can do the same — and more.
Feel right at home within
Step into this Mercedes-Benz SUV and the first thing you’ll notice is a posh, minimalist interior that immediately makes you feel at ease. The robust interior sees an instrument panel that consists of a single solid surface — with a cut-out in the driver and front passenger area — that sets the tone for the rest of the cabin. A new staggered dashboard design that gives the impression that you’re sitting up high instead of hunkered down low.
This commanding seating position is accompanied by seats finished in either luxuriously soft all-ARTICO or all-leather seats — if you opt for Multicontour Seat Package. Regardless of which you choose, the seats feature inflatable chambers in the lower part of the backrest and in the side bolsters for adequate lumbar support with a massage effect, making those long car rides a lot more enjoyable, especially for your young passengers.
The free-standing Widescreen Cockpit is a cinch to use, and delivers information with crisp, high resolution quality via the instrument cluster and media display. On it, control everything from your audio preferences and climate control to ambient lighting, so that you always feel at ease no matter where you go.
The adults aren’t the only ones who appreciate the GLB’s thoughtful features; Amber’s twin toddlers, Leia and Lauren love the spacious back seats and of course the Ambient Lighting. “Purple Sky is their favourite,” Amber shared.
Drives like a dream
Power and efficiency don’t usually go hand in hand, but Mercedes-Benz has managed to marry the best of both worlds into this Mercedes SUV. In the GLB 200 Progressive Line, a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is combined with the 7G-DCT seven-speed automatic transmission to make 163hp and 250Nm of twist.
Opt for the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC, however, and the 306hp turbocharged AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine — coupled with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 8G-DCT 8-speed automatic transmission and variable AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive — will do the same in just 5.2 seconds.Whichever you choose, you can count on the family SUV to go the extra mile for you, especially since fuel economy and reduced emissions are key highlights of the powertrain.
“It’s surprisingly torquey and the ride is firm, plus the subtle hiss of the turbocharger makes it an absolute joy to drive,” said Peter. This convenience, of course, means more family trips to favourite hangout spots such as the Botanical Gardens and Marina Barrage.
The GLB features the latest driving assistance systems so that you and your precious cargo are always in good hands, especially on long drives at night or on unfamiliar routes. The strain of driving under such conditions are taken off your hands with the Driving Assistance Package, which includes safety assistance such as Active Emergency Braking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, and PRE-SAFE PLUS, the latter of which detects potential rear impacts and even applies the brakes of the stationary vehicle to minimise whiplash upon impact.
Other notable features that promise to take the stress out of driving includes Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC — which not only finds parking spaces but also helps you to enter and leave them — and Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, which brakes for stationary vehicles and activates “gliding” in the ECO drive mode for fuel efficiency.
Find out more about the new Mercedes-Benz GLB here.
(All image credits: Mercedes-Benz Singapore)