Mercedes-Benz GLB 2023 facelift: fresh tech for seven-seat SUV | CAR Magazine

Mercedes-Benz GLB 2023 facelift: fresh tech for seven-seat SUV

Published: 16 March 2023 Updated: 16 March 2023

► New Mercedes GLB crossover gets AMG power
► Chunky looks, techy cockpit
► Seven-seat option available

If you’re shopping around for a seven-seat SUV with a premium edge, you might well have shortlisted a Mercedes-Benz GLB. And, if so, you might well be interested to hear that it’s just been updated for 2023.

The changes are admittedly small for the most part, ranging from the likes of a redesigned front bumper to some new infotainment and assistance features. What might prove more interesting to some, however, is the introduction of efficiency-boosting mild hybrid technology for all the petrol GLBs.

What’s new cosmetically, then?

These aren’t pictures of the current model, honest – there are some changes. The front bumper has been given a light overhaul, as has the lower radiator grille, which is designed to emphasise the GLB’s off-road capabilities.

Subtle tweaks to the front and rear lights serve to distinguish it a little further from the pre-facelift car, along with four new wheel design options and the choice of a new colour called Spectral Blue Metallic. Mercedes has also introduced a few additional trim options, helping customers personalise their new GLB further.

And on the technology front?

The 2023 GLB will get the latest iteration of the brand’s MBUX infotainment and voice control system, which features new display styles and connectivity modes – which, later down the line, will include an update to add wireless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That alone will serve as a useful hike in practicality and convenience for many a GLB owner.

Mercedes has added new capabilities for many of the GLB’s assistance systems, too, including a trailer manoeuvring assistance feature that’ll make backing up with a trailer far easier – but you will need to go for the hitch and relevant option packages to enable it.

And, yes, like the just-announced GLA facelift as well, customers will be able to pick from a personalisation package that adds a selection of minigames to the MBUX system. So, if you’ve ever wanted to play Sudoku on your car’s infotainment system while you’re chomping through your lunch at a service station, you’re in luck.

You mentioned something about mild hybrids…

In the European market, the new GLB engine line-up will include four petrol and four diesel options, along with seven- or eight-speed dual-clutch transmissions, and some versions will include the Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

All of the petrol engines, however, will now feature mild hybrid technology in the form of an additional 48-volt electrical system that works in conjunction with a belt-driven starter-generator. This allows for an all-electric boost of 13bhp when the GLB is setting off or accelerating, while the integrated starter-generator grants features such as coasting and energy recuperation.

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car

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