The new GLA is the eighth model to join the line-up of the current compact car generation from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time it represents the entry level into the brand’s successful family of SUV models. It brings with it added space, added character and added safety.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the second-generation GLA compact SUV, promising new technology and greater comfort. This is almost certain to put some serious pressure on the BMW X2.
At launch, the line-up will include a top of the range (for now) AMG version – GLA 35, with plug-in hybrid and electric versions planned for the future.
The original GLA launched five years ago, and close to a million units have been sold globally since then. As with its predecessor, the new model draws heavily on the closely related A-class hatch and sedan for design inspiration.
Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius describes the second-generation GLA as being “better in every respect, with more convenience, more safety and more efficiency.”
The GLA has grown slightly in almost all dimensions (except length), and that has resulted in more headroom for front passengers and more legroom in the back seats.
Other significant changes come in the form of safety system and electronics. Specifically, Mercedes has packed tons of new safety tech into the GLA. This includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, evasive steering assist, traffic sign detection and an intelligent autonomous emergency braking system that adjusts the vehicle’s speed when approaching intersections or bends based on navigation data. A new exit safety function also helps avoid hitting cyclists and the autonomous emergency braking system works at speeds up to 60 km/h.
Launching with the GLA200, power is courtesy of a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with 0-100 km/h taking a claimed 8.7 seconds.
Moving up to the GLA35. Under the bonnet we find the familiar, 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol found in other AMG 35 variants, producing 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission and a front-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive system. The GLA35 will do the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 5.1 seconds.
Additional body bracing underneath the engine, a variable steering rack and five selectable drive modes, are some of the revisions made to the GLA 35. The five selectable driving modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual) alter the variable exhaust mode, stability control, throttle response, gearbox response and firmness of the optional adaptive dampers.
Helping pull up the GLA 35 to stop are 350mm front discs with four-piston calipers, and 330mm rear discs with single-piston calipers.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA is set to go on sale in Europe in spring of 2020, with an Australian debut scheduled in the third quarter of 2020.