With the addition of the all-new GLA, Mercedes-Benz adds to its already enviable compliment of SUVs. With five models including GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G, the company offers the widest range of any European premium manufacturer.
A prominent front end with the familiar central star and trendy LED daytime running lights lends an upscale first impression. Powerdomes on the hood, the twin-louver grille and a simulated skid plate accentuate a muscular appearance. The divided tail lights make the cargo opening conveniently wide. Around the rear bumper trim there are other SUV-like features such as a loading sill guard and a silver-metallic skid plate.
The interior has a high-quality feel that is achieved by the contours, choice and combinations of high-grade materials. All trim surfaces are galvanized in silver-shadow for material authenticity, resulting in a metallic finish with a "cool-touch" effect.
The dashboard has an upper and lower section, with matte and glossy surfaces that are different in look and feel. The matte satin finish of the wood trim makes the surface especially pleasant to the touch. Five round air vents are integrated into the dashboard to adjust the direction of airflow. A 3-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys is standard equipment.
A choice of seat upholsteries and color combinations allows plenty of opportunities for individualization. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are available as part of the optional Interior Package.
Controls for the standard power driver's seat adjustment are located on the door panels in typical Mercedes style. The interior door panels are also very high quality. The soft, matte surfaces extend right from the beltline to the door pocket
The 2015 GLA250 4MATIC features a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine that generates 208 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Mercedes says sprints from zero to 60 mph take only 6.4 seconds, with a top speed of 145 mph. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy estimates have not been released.
GLA features a McPherson front axle and an independent multilink rear suspension. Electromechanical power steering makes an important contribution to the vehicle's overall efficiency, as the servo assistance only requires energy when the vehicle is actually steered.
The GLA is available with a new generation of the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system, featuring fully variable torque distribution.
Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the center console, and assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed. This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by specific braking intervention.
When the off-road transmission mode is selected using the transmission mode switch, the gearshift points and accelerator characteristics are modified so that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain and especially loose surfaces can be met.
In combination with the standard audio system, the head unit can also be switched to an off-road display. The steering angle, the selected off-road transmission mode and a compass are displayed along with the roll angle in degrees and the gradient in percent.
Numerous driving assistance systems offer support and reduce the driver's workload. Standard features include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which now helps to protect against collisions from a speed of only 4 mph.
Established assistance systems, such as Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist are also available. PARKTRONIC w/ Park Assist allows automatic parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
Like all Mercedes-Benz models, the GLA comes with connectivity service mbrace2, providing users with an extensive range of online and concierge services and apps all linking seamlessly to smartphones for use inside and outside the car.
Pricing is not yet available, but based on its competitors and the company’s own model hierarchy, the cost will likely be between that of the CLA-Class at $29,900, and the GLK-Class at $37,480. By comparison, the BMW X1 starts at $30,800.