Mercedes-Benz GLB 250: The return of the station wagon?


A GLB 250 Station Wagon? What’s a Station Wagon?

I know, it’s heresy; mention ‘station wagon’ to anyone younger than 50, and they likely won’t know what you’re talking about. Mention it to someone selling a premium SUV, and they’ll likely walk away from you, while rolling their eyes. Which is what the sales consultant on the Montreal Auto Show Mercedes-Benz booth did when I took a look at their new GLB 250 and proclaimed, “You’ve brought back the station wagon”.

Whoops. Not a great way to get more information on a brand new vehicle. But hear me out.

This is going to be a significant vehicle for M-B. It slots into the spot between the GLA and the GLC in the lineup, and is priced accordingly. So why do I say it’s a station wagon?

From 1990 to today

Let’s take a quick look at one of the most popular station wagons of all time, the Ford Country Squire. It went out of production in 1990, being effectively killed by the rise of the minivan in the 1980s. The faux wood-paneled Country Squire could seat up to 8 people and came equipped with a powerful V-8 engine (base engine of 220 hp). It was a very large car (wheelbase: 2,903mm) and a length of 5,479mm. The big Ford had a cargo capacity of 1,489L with all the seats up (not folded).

The new GLB 250 can seat up to seven (check), has a thrifty but powerful 221 hp engine (check) and a wheelbase of 2,830mm (check). The cargo capacity ranges from 570L with the seats up to 1,805L with the seats down (check). It seems to sit lower to the ground than the GLC so it’s easy to get in and out (check), just like the car-like Country Squire.

Two things. The Country Squire was about 850mm (33 inches) longer than the new GLB with an overall cargo capacity of 2,550L.  It was BIG.  For today’s families, that kind of size isn’t really needed and there are lots of full-size SUVs that will fit the bill if they do.

Don’t hesitate to see for yourself. The GLB is arriving in dealerships right now.  It’s priced very competitively for a premium seven passenger SUV.  And if you want something a little ‘retro’ with all of the modern safety and convenience features that we’ve all come to expect, you might find the new GLB the right fit for you, albeit without the fake wood on the sides.  Look for the all-new GLB on Automobl soon.

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