Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its second-generation GLA H247 to the world; slotting between the A-Class hatchback and GLB SUV. It adopts Mercedes-Benz’ latest styling language and is set to go on sale next spring, replacing a car that’s sold to more than a million customers. Prices haven’t been officially confirmed yet, but it’s expected to start from around £32,000.
NEW GLA STANDS TALL
O[/dropcap]ne of the biggest changes for the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 rival, is its dimensions. While the first GLA closely resembled an A-Class with raised suspension, the new GLA is 104mm taller, yet 14mm shorter, giving it a more conventional SUV silhouette. Meanwhile, its wheelbase has also been extended by 30mm, so its interior should be noticeably more spacious.
Front occupants now sit 140mm higher than in an A-Class and buyers can choose a rear seat that slides by 140mm to juggle rear legroom and boot space – boosting knee room by up to 116mm over the previous model in its rearmost position. The boot holds 435 litres, a 14-litre improvement, while the hatchback aperture has also been widened by 85mm to make loading bulky items easier.
The GLA has adopted the A-Class hatchback’s general styling theme, especially for its front and rear lights, but it gets a bigger grille and more prominent SUV-style wheel arches, skid plates and side sills than before. Alloy wheels can measure up to 20-inches in diameter. Inside, the similarities to the A-Class are even more apparent, thanks to the same MBUX twin-screen infotainment setup featured in the hatch and GLB SUV. This is fitted with two seven-inch screens as standard, but top models come with dual 10.25-inch displays for a more impressive widescreen effect.
In the engine department, Mercedes-Benz is remaining tight lipped as to which diesel engines will be used, however, it’s expected that 148bhp GLA 200 d H247 and 188bhp GLA 220 d H247 versions will be announced closer to the spring on-sale date. A plug-in hybrid GLA 250 e is also expected, producing 158bhp from the 1.3-litre petrol engine, together with a 101bhp boost from an electric motor. 4Matic four-wheel drive will be offered, too, with an 80:20 (front to rear) power split in Eco and Comfort driving modes, switching to 70:30 in Sport and 50:50 in its off-road setting. 4Matic versions also get an Off-Road Engineering Package, with headlights tuned for off-road driving, an off-road driving display for the infotainment screen and Downhill Speed Regulation to keep the car under control during steep descents.
In line with the rest of the Mercedes- Benz line-up, the range is likely to be offered with a choice of Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus models.