Mercedes’ entry-level small crossovers have been refreshed with new ends, more standard technology, and turbo-4 engines supplemented with a mild-hybrid system for a bit of boost and greater efficiency. In short, these shorties catch up to the rest of the brand’s offerings in infotainment and mild-hybrid assist.
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class arrive in dealerships later this year, Mercedes announced Thursday.
The smallest Mercedes crossover, the GLA curves into more of a European hatchback shape than the boxier form of the GLB. They both sport slightly new ends, and the front lower bumper has horizontal slats on its recessed outer flanks. Standard LED headlights and taillights bookend both crossovers. The AMG 35 models depart from the airplane-wing grilles of the GLA and GLB and have grilles with vertical slats. Both models come with 18-inch wheels standard, though 20-inchers are optional.
More significant changes occur inside with twin 10.3-inch screens under a single glass panel. The center touchscreen pairs with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the digital instrument cluster can be customized for several different displays and ambient light “color worlds” for that hip techno-club vibe. The USB ports are illuminated as well. Mercedes says the voice assistant has grown more intelligent, but those smarts are unlocked only through the Mercedes Me app.
Round turbine vents brightened with metallic trim stamp the dash as before, but the steering wheel now comes covered in nappa leather as standard. The AMG Line trims come with heated steering wheels for the first time.
Options include a Burmester surround-sound system with Dolby Atmos that in other Mercedes vehicles rang crystal clear.
Mercedes GLA, GLB: New mild-hybrid powertrains
The GLA-Class and GLB-Class return with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 now paired with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that can provide a bit of boost from a start but mostly eases the electrical load and shuts off the engine when coasting to a stop for greater efficiency. Fuel economy figures haven’t been released, but the engine generates 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with the mild-hybrid kicking in another 13 hp in certain situations. A 9-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels, though all-wheel drive is an option.
The AMG GLA 35 and AMG GLB 35 have an enhanced version of that powertrain with a twin-scroll turbo-4 that makes 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is standard, and AMG employs an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes estimates that the AMG GLA 35 covers the 0-60 mph run in 5.1 seconds, and the heavier GLB does it in 5.4 seconds.
The high-performance GLA 45 and GLB 45 won’t be back for 2024.
Expect pricing to be announced this summer and the 2024 GLA and GLB to arrive at dealerships shortly thereafter.
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