Mercedes has taken the covers off its second-generation GLA crossover. The baby SUV, which is a five-door, five-seat design as before, will sit below the new Mercedes GLB in the range and, following an early-2020 launch, is expected to be one of the company's best-selling models worldwide.
Taller, but shorter, for more space?
Taking on the latest Mercedes SUV design language, the 2020 GLA is a full 104mm taller (regardless of roof rails), 30mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase than the outgoing car, yet is also 14mm shorter. The new proportions have allowed for more upright seating (140mm higher than in the A-Class and 50mm higher than in the B-Class), enabling Mercedes to claim significant increases in front headroom and rear legroom. Scanning through the dimension charts, it appears that the new car's cabin should be considerably wider front and rear, too, while the boot has increased in volume by 14 litres to 435 litres with the back seats in place. There's a variable-height boot floor as standard and the option to fit adjustable rear seating (in terms of backrest angle and sliding them fore and aft), while split-fold rear seat backs are standard.
MBUX technology for all
Despite the higher seating, we suspect that the GLA's cabin will feel a lot like that of the current Mercedes B-Class. As in that car, the GLA will get one of three MBUX infotainment layouts, kicking off with two seven-inch screens and rising to the rather more impressive widescreen setup, featuring two 10.25-inch displays. The GLA also gets the distinctive five circular air vents of its sibling cars and buyers can opt for a head-up display and even satnav with augmented reality technology.
Mercedes is going big on safety technology for the GLA, too, with various standard and optional sub-systems (we don't yet know the Irish specification) including Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steer Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Land Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist, Pre-Safe Plus and more.
Petrol, diesel, hybrid and AMG flavours
We've not been given full details of the GLA's engine range, but it's safe to assume that there will be GLA 180 d, 200 d and 220d diesel options, and we do know that the entry-level petrol model will be the GLA 200. Powered by a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine, this car has 163hp and 250Nm at its disposal with NEDC emissions from 129g/km. Mercedes has also confirmed that a plug-in hybrid version, presumably called the GLA 250 e, is in the pipeline. Some versions of the GLA can be fitted with 4Matic four-wheel drive, which comes solely with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and includes the Off-Road Engineering Package as standard.
The only GLA model we know full details for is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4Matic, which uses the same powertrain as that in the A 35 4Matic. That means a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, active four-wheel drive and peak outputs of 306hp and 400Nm of torque.