Spied: Mercedes-Benz GLB

Mercedes is planning a new SUV to slot between the GLA and GLC.

SUV sales are booming, and Mercedes-Benz is looking to take advantage of that fact with an all-new model that was spotted undergoing shakedown testing earlier today in Scandinavia.

The gap between the GLA and GLC may not be vast, but Mercedes will reportedly park a new SUV known as the GLB in that space by the end of this year. Our spy photographers managed to nab the first-ever spy shots of the GLB while it was undergoing cold weather testing.

The GLB is set to ride on the same basic front-wheel drive architecture that underpins Mercedes' A- and B-Class small cars. The GLB should stretch about 180 inches in length, placing it between today's GLA and GLC models.

Thanks to that front-wheel drive architecture, Mercedes will be able to offer some versions of the GLB with a third-row seat. However, the GLB's way-back will likely be tight and therefore best used for occasional trips rather than everyday carpool duties.

This prototype is covered heavily camouflaged, but we hear the GLB's styling will essentially be a modern take on the Mercedes G-Class — think the previous Mercedes GLK. Global powertrains are set to include small displacement gas and diesel engines, but if the GLB makes it to these shores it's expected to use a 2.0L turbocharged gas engine. Although front-wheel drive-based, the GLB will be available with all-wheel drive.

When it doesn finally land in showrooms — likely sometime in 2019 — the GLB will carry a base price somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000.

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