Mercedes-Benz Tweaks GLA and GLB

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Those of you just itching to get behind the wheel of a new entry-level Mercedes will enjoy the news that Stuttgart has given its smallest vehicles a nip and tuck while also gifting them an electrified powertrain.

In case you fell asleep in Merc 101, let us remind you the GLA and GLB share much in terms of structure and power teams but are styled to target two completely different customers. The GLA attracts those seeking rounded bodywork; the GLB was styled with a t-square and appeals to shoppers who think the G-Wagen is a looker.

For 2024, both get freshened front and rear designs, primarily courtesy of new lighting signatures emitted by snazzy LEDs. Grilles are typically loud Mercedes units, showing up for duty with enormous tri-star badges and an array of styles depending on which option package is chosen. Front bumper areas have been redesigned and there are new choices on the paint palette.

Americans can choose their GLA 250 and GLB 250 with or without 4Matic all-wheel drive guts. Under the hood is a mild hybrid arrangement comprised of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that features an additional 48-volt onboard power supply for the belt-driven starter-generator. Power checks in at 221 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque backed by an eight-speed dual-clutch. These numbers will seem familiar but this year’s addition of the 48-volt system should fill in any power gaps at low speeds, potentially making these two feel a bit more fleet around town when trying to squeeze into that gap in traffic.

Not to be outdone, the AMG speed freaks made like Burger King and had it their way, tweaking the powertrain to belt out 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. They also fettled the dual-clutch transmission and applied their own brand of aggro in the form of AMG-specific grilles and styling addenda, not to mention optional seats offered in snazzy colors.

Speaking of the interior, dual 10.25-inch screens now stand at the ready under a single pane of glass, ready to proffer details on vehicle vitals and infotainment. Packed into the system is the latest iteration of MBUX software, able to wirelessly work with smartphones or serve up a variety of info displays. Burmester sound systems remain optional, and Dolby Atmos is available in some models as well.

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA/GLB and its variants will arrive in U.S. dealerships later in 2023.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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4 of 23 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Mar 17, 2023

    Question for anyone who has leased or bought one of these:

    Are these engaging to drive in any way, or are they relaxing to drive? Because for similar money, you can get a GLC300, and I can tell you with high confidence that is very comfortable and damn close to what I think of a Mercedes to be but in SUVese.

    During our lease GLC300 period, we got a loaner GLA to drive - the prior gen one. Hot garbage. Truly, it was 2010 Chrysler quality. Who in their right mind bought one of those?

    • See 1 previous
    • ChristianWimmer ChristianWimmer on Mar 18, 2023


      Weird, I posted a long reply yesterday regarding my experiences with these cars and TTAC didn’t allow it it seems…

      Bottom line: my last loaner when my A250 was getting serviced was a brand new facelifted 2023 GLA200 AMG Line without the Advanced Suspension Pack. It drove very nicely and didn’t feel like an SUV at all. Handling was crisp, steering feedback was good and the standard suspension was a splendid compromise between sport and comfort. It’s no sports car but you can toss it around sportily around corners and it will cope nicely. Didn’t detect much understeer either. The 163-hp 1.33-l turbo-4 is a very peppy and agile engine, a bit buzzy when accelerating but smooth and fairly quiet at idle. I don’t like the design of the GLA but the driving qualities were pretty good in my opinion, more than enough to satisfy someone who wants a comfortable and somewhat sporty ride.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Mar 17, 2023

    Circa late 2010 I tried to convince my mother to purchase a B class Mercedes. As she was looking for what would be her 'final' car. The B fit all of her requirements regarding visibility, safety, utility and ease of access/egress. However she balked at using 'premium' fuel and rumours of Mercedes maintenance fees and disregarded my suggestion.

  • Philip I love seeing these stories regarding concepts that I have vague memories of from collector magazines, books, etc (usually by the esteemed Richard Langworth who I credit for most of my car history knowledge!!!). On a tangent here, I remember reading Lee Iacocca's autobiography in the late 1980s, and being impressed, though on a second reading, my older and self realized why Henry Ford II must have found him irritating. He took credit for and boasted about everything successful being his alone, and sidestepped anything that was unsuccessful. Although a very interesting about some of the history of the US car industry from the 1950s through the 1980s, one needs to remind oneself of the subjective recounting in this book. Iacocca mentioned Henry II's motto "Never complain; never explain" which is basically the M.O. of the Royal Family, so few heard his side of the story. I first began to question Iacocca's rationale when he calls himself "The Father of the Mustang". He even said how so many people have taken credit for the Mustang that he would hate to be seen in public with the mother. To me, much of the Mustang's success needs to be credited to the DESIGNER Joe Oros. If the car did not have that iconic appearance, it wouldn't have become an icon. Of course accounting (making it affordable), marketing (identifying and understanding the car's market) and engineering (building a car from a Falcon base to meet the cost and marketing goals) were also instrumental, as well as Iacocca's leadership....but truth be told, I don't give him much credit at all. If he did it all, it would have looked as dowdy as a 1980s K-car. He simply did not grasp car style and design like a Bill Mitchell or John Delorean at GM. Hell, in the same book he claims credit for the Brougham era four-door Thunderbird with landau bars (ugh) and putting a "Rolls-Royce grille" on the Continental Mark III. Interesting ideas, but made the cars look chintzy, old-fashioned and pretentious. Dean Martin found them cool as "Matt Helm" in the late 1960s, but he was already well into middle age by then. It's hard not to laugh at these cartoon vehicles.
  • Dwford The real crime is not bringing this EV to the US (along with the Jeep Avenger EV)
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Another Hyunkia'sis? 🙈
  • SCE to AUX "Hyundai told us that perhaps he or she is a performance enthusiast who is EV hesitant."I'm not so sure. If you're 'EV hesitant', you're not going to jump into a $66k performance car for your first EV experience, especially with its compromised range. Unless this car is purchased as a weekend toy, which perhaps Hyundai is describing.Quite the opposite, I think this car is for a 2nd-time EV buyer (like me*) who understands what they're getting into. Even the Model 3 Performance is a less overt track star.*But since I have no interest in owning a performance car, this one wouldn't be for me. A heavily-discounted standard Ioniq 5 (or 6) would be fine.Tim - When you say the car is longer and wider, is that achieved with cladding changes, or metal (like the Raptor)?
  • JMII I doubt Hyundai would spend the development costs without having some idea of a target buyer.As an occasional track rat myself I can't imagine such a buyer exists. Nearly $70k nets you a really good track toy especially on the used market. This seems like a bunch of gimmicks applied to a decent hot hatch EV that isn't going to impression anyone given its badge. Normally I'd cheer such a thing but it seems silly. Its almost like they made this just for fun. That is awesome and I appreciate it but given the small niche I gotta think the development time, money and effort should have been focused elsewhere. Something more mainstream? Or is this Hyundai's attempt at some kind of halo sports car?Also seems Hyundai never reviles sales targets so its hard to judge successful products in their line up. I wonder how brutal depreciation will be on these things. In two years at $40k this would a total hoot.So no active dampers on this model?