Mercedes has opted to reveal its new-for-2015 GLA before its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Sharing a platform with the new A-Class and CLA-Class, the GLA will be the fifth SUV/crossover in the Mercedes lineup when it arrives in showrooms this fall.
Set to do battle with the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque, the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA is sharp and muscular, stretching 173.9 inches in length and 58.8 inches high. It will be the first Mercedes SUV available with the optional new-generation permanent all-wheel drive system (4MATIC) with fully variable torque distribution.
“With its striking features, the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthralls with its off-road proportions,” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design at Daimler AG. “The clearly defined surfaces convey power and serenity, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much clarity as necessary.”
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder developing 208 hp and 258 lb ft of torque, good enough for a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph before topping out at a lofty 145 mph. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Stop-start is standard. Suspension is McPherson struts in front and multilink rear. 18-inch wheels are standard, 19 inchers are optional.
“With the compact GLA we add a fifth attractive SUV variant to the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio in this constantly growing segment. The GLA impresses mainly with its progressive character and agile handling,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “So I am very confident that the GLA with its fascinating design and high everyday practicality will fill many new customers with enthusiasm for the Mercedes-Benz brand.”
A host of the latest telematics and assistance systems are also available. Mercedes-Benz’s new-gen telematics platform, mbrace2, offers connectivity and the infotainment features fans have come to expect in a free-standing display that sits atop the dash. Collision Prevention Assist provides autonomous braking from speeds of up to 124 mph is the system detects an imminent collision. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles up to 18 mph, and can prevent rear-end collisions at speeds up to 12 mph. In addition, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping, park assist and adaptive cruise control are standard. Infotainment features include full smart phone integration, internet connectivity, applications such as Facebook and Twitter, and street-view on the navigation system.