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Baby Mercedes G-Class Shown To US Dealers Before 2019 Launch

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Latest intel suggests the Mercedes GLB will arrive in showrooms in Q4 2019.

Rumors that Mercedes is planning to build a baby G-Class, known as the GLB, to capitalize on the demand for premium compacts have been rife for several years now. Spy shots of prototypes testing in Scandinavia have seemingly confirmed the model's existence, and now a new report by Automotive News claims the Mercedes GLB has been shown to US dealers as a pre-production model alongside the new A-Class sedan.

Pricing and launch date haven't been officially confirmed, but Automotive News reports dealers are expecting the GLB to hit showrooms in Q4 2019. Dealers were told in the meeting that the Mercedes GLB will arrive as a five-seater with an optional seven-seat configuration. One dealer said the compact crossover "reminded me a little of the boxiness of the GLK. It's a functional, small SUV, more of a people mover, whereas the GLA is sportier." The baby G-Class will most likely be built on the MFA2 platform that underpins other small front-wheel-drive Mercedes cars such as the A-Class hatchback. It's expected to be built at a new plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, as part of a joint venture between Daimler and Nissan.

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The new A-Class sedan will also be assembled at the same plant before going on sale in the US later this year. Given that the GLB is said to slot in between the GLA and GLC, we would expect the baby G-Class to sell for between $33,400 and $40,050. As well as the GLB, revamped versions of the GLE midsize crossover and GLS large SUV are also expected next year. This year, Mercedes will launch a redesigned G-Class and CLS Coupe, as well as a new AMG GT four-door coupe. The A-Class will also be going on sale in the US for the first time – but these are just the first of many redesigned models in the pipeline.

In eight months, Mercedes will introduce four new vehicles, and that pace will continue as we get substantially more cars down the road," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler, adding that Mercedes expects to introduce "a first-ever or totally redesigned" vehicle every two months over the next few years.