Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the facelifted versions of its compact SUV models GLA and GLB for the 2024 model year. The updated crossovers feature new design elements, more standard equipment, improved technology, and electrified engines for better performance and efficiency.
The GLA and GLB are the smallest SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, competing with rivals like the BMW X1 and X2, Audi Q3 and Q5, and Volvo XC40. They are based on the same platform as the A-Class hatchback and sedan but offer more space and versatility for customers who want a practical yet premium vehicle.
The exterior changes for both models are subtle but noticeable. The front end features a new star-pattern grille, giving them a more distinctive identity. The bonnet has been sculpted with power domes that were previously reserved for AMG variants. The LED headlights have been redesigned with new graphics that match the taillights.
The side profile reveals new alloy wheel designs ranging from 17 to 20 inches in size. The GLA has body-colored wheel cladding for a sleeker look, while the GLB has visual underbody protection points for a more rugged appearance. A new Spectral Blue Metallic paint option is available for both models.
The interior also gets some updates to enhance comfort and convenience. The dual-screen display with MBUX infotainment system is now standard on both models, with screens measuring up to 10.25 inches each. The system has been upgraded with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, optional mini-games, Dolby Atmos sound quality (with Burmester audio system), and voice assistant activation without saying “Hey Mercedes” in some cases.
The center console has been simplified by removing the touchpad controller and relocating some buttons. An additional USB-C port has been added for charging devices. The steering wheel is wrapped in Nappa leather and features Mercedes-Benz’s latest twin-spoke design. It can also be heated as an option on AMG Line models.
The driver assistance features have also been enhanced with trailer maneuvering assist (a first for both models), which helps drivers reverse with a trailer attached by using sensors and cameras to control the steering angle automatically.
Under the hood, both models offer four petrol and four diesel engines to choose from. All petrol engines are now equipped with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that uses a belt-driven starter-generator (BSG) to boost 14 horsepower when needed. This also allows them to coast on electric power alone at certain speeds, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The petrol engines range from 136 to 224 horsepower, while the diesel engines range from 116 to 190 horsepower. All engines are paired with either a seven-speed or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is available on the two most powerful engines of each fuel type.
The plug-in hybrid version of the GLA remains unchanged from before. It combines a turbocharged 1.3-liter petrol engine with an electric motor powered by an 11.5 kWh battery pack. The total system output is 160 kW (218 hp) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. It can travel up to 70 km (43 miles) on electric power alone, according to the WLTP cycle.
The AMG versions of both models also get some updates along with their regular counterparts. The AMG GLA35 and AMG GLB35 retain their turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine, producing 302 hp (225 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. However, they also benefit from the BSG that adds another 14 hp when needed. They also get an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of the previous seven-speed one. This improves their acceleration times slightly: the AMG GLA35 can sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.2 seconds, while the AMG GLB35 can do it in 5.5 seconds.
The AMG models also feature a sportier exterior design with a new grille, front bumper, and rear diffuser. The AMG emblem is now placed on the bonnet instead of the grille. The LED headlights and taillights have been revised with new graphics. The interior gets the same updates as the regular models, plus the new-generation AMG Performance steering wheel and sports seats.
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLB will arrive in European dealerships in late 2023. The Australian launch is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023. Pricing and specifications for each market will be announced closer to the release date.
The updated GLA and GLB are part of Mercedes-Benz’s strategy to refresh its entire SUV lineup with new designs, technologies, and electrification options. The German automaker hopes to attract more customers looking for a compact yet luxurious SUV that offers style, performance, and efficiency.