Denver’s Car2go users will start seeing an upgrade Thursday as the car-sharing service brings Mercedes-Benz vehicles to replace the Smart cars currently in use.

Car2go , serves about 42,000 members in Denver  and will be increasing its fleet to 340 cars from 310 by the end of the summer.

Car2go is phasing out its fleet of blue-and-white Smart cars, replacing all of them with the new Mercedes models. Car2go, Mercedes and Smart all are subsidiaries of Daimler.

Denver, the seventh city to get the new cars, will be the first Car2go market composed entirely of the new Mercedes models. Car2go also is expanding its Denver reach, allowing drivers to start and end their drives in more Denver neighborhoods.

With more expensive cars — the CLA and GLA Mercedes models are about $18,000 more expensive than a base-model, two-seat Smart car — Car2go’s price is going up. Car2go charges on a per minute basis, and the price for a Mercedes is 45 cents per minute , compared to the 32 cents a Smart car cost. Hourly rates will increase to 19 from $15 , and day rates will increase to $79 from $59. 

Although users will see a slight cost increase, upgrading to larger vehicles was a necessary change, said Blaire Kniffin, Car2go’s communication manager/

“Really for us, it’s about the bigger car, it’s about being able to bring our members a four-door vehicle,” Kniffin said. “Up until now, we’ve had two-door Smart cars and could only reach certain demographics. We can’t get families to be members because there wasn’t a back seat for their kids.”

Kniffin  said the company’s insurance policy won’t change.

The new vehicles also bring new tech. The Mercedes models are equipped with Carplay  and Android Auto,  allowing drivers to connect their smartphones to the cars. The cars also have improved safety features such as a rearview camera and automatic braking.

The new fleet won’t be painted in Car2go’s distinctive blue-and-white scheme, though they still will carry a logo on the door.

“We really want these cars to feel like your personal vehicle, and when you drive a blue-and-white Smart car down the road, people may be turning heads at you,” Kniffin said. “As we move to compete with personal vehicles, ensuring these vehicles aren’t so flashly branded is important.”

To support the new expansion, Car2go is offering new users free registration and a $5 credit if they sign up before July 15.

Kniffin said the expansion is a big step to help car sharing continue to grow.

“It’s still a bit of a new thing,” she said. “The concept of sharing a car is still kind of new. I think this is an opportunity for us to make sure our current user base knows this is just a new iteration to get from point A to point B.” 

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify the relationship between Daimler and its Mercedes, Smart and Car2go brands.