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The Ultimate Compact Crossovers: The new Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLB. 


The most versatile members of the compact car range have been refreshed and renewed for 2023. As part of the mid-life facelift, the two models are brimming with new technology, updated engines and heightened standard equipment and should remain as attractive as ever whilst also being more efficient than ever. 

Both the GLA and GLB benefit from the next generation of Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment which is slick and intuitive to use with a great focus on digital attention to detail. The operating system that made its mark on the entire automotive industry as the closest thing to a smartphone in a car has not stopped improving since. There's more digital detail, new quick-select shortcuts to make changing vehicle settings on the move more convenient and the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for all UK-bound models. 

Whilst the central touchpad has been removed, the touchscreen, voice command and steering wheel mounted controls remain to allow you, the driver, to get the most out of the intelligent infotainment system. I expect the GLA and GLB facelifts to come to the UK with twin 10.25" displays as standard, just as the freshly updated A-Class and B-Class will. 




The improvements continue under the bonnet with mild hybrid-assisted engines making their way to the model range; the 1.3 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the GLA 180, GLA 200 and GLB 200 gain a 48v system with an integrated starter-generator (ISG) that can provide boosts of performance and fuel economy. There is a small electric motor mounted between the engine and the transmission that can extend start/stop times when in traffic, deliver boosts of 10 hp and 200 nm when accelerating and allow for engine-off coasting whilst on the move. The result is a smooth driving experience that can make a relatively small petrol engine deliver near diesel fuel consumption figures in normal driving. 

The GLA continues with its plug-in hybrid variant - the GLA 250 e - which now has a more powerful electric motor and can return up to 43 miles of electric-only driving. The 11.5 kWh capacity battery can be recharged from a home wallbox around an hour and a half. The GLA 250 e should remain a popular choice for drivers who want electric driving in the city but with the flexibility of a petrol powertrain for longer drives. 

So, quite a bit has changed in the cabin and under the skin, but what about outside? Both the GLA and GLB gain updated styling with reprofiled front bumpers, new headlights and tail light clusters and on the GLA, the addition of body coloured wheel arch extensions. All AMG Line models gain new wedge-style grille inserts, reminiscent of the new Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and 63, whilst the bonnet now features two power domes to enhance the powerful styling.




The high-performance models from Mercedes-AMG have also received the facelift treatment and gain the AMG performance steering wheel as standard. As well as improved grip points which make the wheel a joy to hold and use, two dials appear on the lower half of the steering wheel with for selecting drive modes and one to adjust vehicle settings. The Mercedes-AMG GLA and GLB 35 keep their 2.0 litre AMG-tuned four-cylinder engine which now features mild hybrid assistance for an additional 10 hp and 200 nm boost, and drive goes to all four wheels via 4MATIC all-wheel drive via the 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission.




Powerful styling features like the AMG vertical grille and large twin exhaust outlets are coupled with finer details like the AMG crest featuring on the bonnet. With a mixture of power and practicality, the Mercedes-AMG GLA and GLB make a very compelling case for themselves as everyday family performance cars. 

Whilst the two compact SUVs share a lot, there are some differences that set them apart. The GLA is conventionally styled whilst the GLB is bolder with its upright surfaces and steeply raked windscreen. The GLB is a touch longer and, of course, comes to the UK exclusively as a 7-seater. The GLA has the plug-in hybrid option and both models will come with extensive standard equipment when they go on sale in the coming months. Which compact SUV do you like the look of most? GLA or GLB? If you want to find out more and be among the first to drive the newly facelifted GLA and GLB, make sure to enquire with us today. 


To find out more on the new Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLB, contact us today using the form below. A member of our sales team will be in touch soon.

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