The popular crossover duo and their AMG alter egos gain sharper looks, more tech, and enhanced standard features for the new model year.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the updated GLA-Class and GLB-Class, which touch down for the 2024 model year with fresh styling, improved technology, and even more available luxuries than before.
At first glance, changes have been kept to a minimum. However, the German giant has made several revisions to the engine lineup, including the feisty AMG derivatives. For 2024, the sporty 35 derivatives receive a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that makes use of a belt-driven starter-generator.
Under certain driving conditions, this has the potential to provide an additional 13 horsepower to the already powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Mercedes claims the new setup also improves the start/stop and coasting functions, both designed to save fuel.
The GLA 35 and GLB 35 produce 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, sent to all four wheels via the quick-shifting AMG Speedshift DCT gearbox. The former can sprint to 60 mph in a fairly rapid 5.1 seconds, with the GLB following closely at 5.4. Both have a limited top speed of 155 mph.
The lesser 250 derivatives also benefit from the new mild-hybrid system and 48-volt electrical system for the belt-driven starter generator. Like the AMG versions, an additional 13 hp is made available under certain conditions and provides smoother and quicker acceleration when permitted. The system can also recuperate energy under braking and acceleration, and feeds energy to the 48-volt battery and 12-volt on-board network.
As before, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine musters up 221 hp and 258 lb-ft, and buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive. These revisions mirror those gained by the 2024 CLA and CLA AMG earlier this year. Interestingly, Mercedes has made no mention of an updated GLA 45. We can expect this range-topper to arrive at a later date.
These trendsetters are big on style, so it comes as no surprise that Mercedes hasn't messed with a proven recipe.
The overall shape of the GLA remains unchanged, but Mercedes has added several new details to modernize the entry-level model. A new radiator grille with vertical louvers has been teamed with a redesigned front bumper, while the hood now features subtle power bulges.
Standard LED headlights and taillights have a new light signature but, aside from that, it's the same as before. Spectral Blue Metallic and three new wheel designs, ranging from 18 to 20 inches in size, give customers more choices when it comes to customizing their vehicles.
For 2024, the GLB benefits from the same new color addition and wheel designs. A new grille, along with a revised front bumper and revised light clusters, round out the changes.
The GLA and GLB 35 AMG models are privy to the aforementioned updates, but also gain an AMG logo on the hood as opposed to the traditional Three-pointed star.
AMG customers will be pleased to know the 35 variants have also received new wheel designs, including a 19-inch ten-spoke rim in matte black. Two 20-inch options will also be offered, presumably at extra cost.
Mercedes has improved the GLA and GLB cabins by adding a Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel as standard, along with several packages. This includes Highbeam Assist, and the parking, mirror, and keyless-go packages. Upholstery options have also been rejigged. A heated steering wheel is finally available for models equipped with the AMG Line interior package.
GLB models go one step further and now include new turbine-style air vents.
The Progressive Line on both models now includes two colors (Black and Macchiato Beige), while the AMG Line gains a fourth upholstery color, Bahia Brown. Mercedes claims the MB-Tex/microfiber upholstery in the AMG Line is largely recycled.
For the AMG models, Mercedes has introduced new sports seats with fresh upholstery options, which include Sage Grey/Black MB-Tex and Red/Black leather. Optionally, AMG Performance seats can be added, along with open-pore Brown Linden Wood inlays.
The AMG 35 twins also gain a performance-minded steering wheel for 2024. With integrated AMG Drive Unit controls, the driver no longer has to take their hands off the tiller to perform important operations or place the vehicle in sport mode, for example.
With regards to the infotainment system, the big news comes in the form of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An additional USB-C port has been fitted to the cabins of the 2024 GLA and GLB, while the USB charging power has been increased. The brilliant MBUX system has the latest generation software and includes new (and configurable) displays.
Drivers can choose between three themes. "Classic" displays necessary information, "Discreet" shows just the essentials, while "Sporty" boasts a dynamic-looking tachometer. A Burmester surround sound system (with Dolby Atmos) is available at extra cost.
Of course, the GLB and GLA also receive the same welcome updates to the MBUX system. However, the performance derivatives go one step further with an AMG-specific screen design and model-specific functions.
On the safety front, Mercedes has upgraded the driver assistance safety suite with the addition of a next-generation parking package. This feature uses 3D images and a 360-degree camera to help park the vehicle. Oddly, the manufacturer claims this is standard on the GLA-Class, but says it is optional on the AMG models.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but we don't expect the 2024 GLA-Class and GLB-Class to deviate from the existing starting prices of $37,500 and $39,800, respectively. Expect the facelifted duo to hit dealerships later this year.
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