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New 2023 Mercedes GLB facelift breaks cover

The seven-seat Mercedes GLB SUV picks up mild-hybrid tech and fresh styling

Mercedes has given its family-focused compact SUV an update for 2023, introducing new styling elements, mild-hybrid assistance for certain powertrains and updated user interfaces in the interior. The facelift coincides with further updates to its smaller GLA sibling, as well as the A-Class and B-Class that was revealed late last year.

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Changes to the exterior design include a new front bumper, with AMG Line models (the only available in the UK) featuring larger faux-openings with body-coloured inserts. The full LED lights are new both front and rear, and come with fresh lighting signatures that correlate more closely with other recently updated models. GLBs are also now available with a Night Package, replacing all the chrome detailing with black replacements on the nose, tail, window surrounds and roof rails. There are also four new wheel designs, available in sizes ranging from 17 to 20 inches, as well a new Spectral Blue colour option.

Inside, Mercedes has updated the twin-screen user interface to run its latest MBUX operating system, with a now standard-fit 10.25-inch touchscreen interface paired with either a 7- or optional 10.25-inch driver information display. Interior colour and trim options are also now, and the steering wheel has been replaced with Merc’s latest design with its touch-sensitive controls. 

Under the skin, the GLB retains its existing petrol and diesel engine options, with four of each available in European markets. All petrol units now incorporate a new 48V mild-hybrid system, running a belt-driven starter/generator that helps reduce parasitic losses from the petrol engine as well as adding up to 10kW to the driveline under acceleration. The mild-hybrid system also extends the GLB’s start-stop function and allows for engine-off coasting under light loads. 

Specific engine options in the UK have yet to be confirmed, but it should mirror the current range with two petrol (GLB200 and GLB220) and two diesel (GLB200d and GLB220d) options – the higher-powered of both incorporating all-wheel drive. All non-AMG GLB engine units feature a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There will also be a new AMG GLB35, which will adopt the MHEV system. 

Existing UK prices for the current GLB range between £39,745 for the GLB200 and top out at £48,415 for the GLB220d in its highest specification. We expect prices to rise marginally for the new model when it arrives later in the year.

Click here for our list of the best 7-seaters cars on sale...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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