Mercedes-Benz is giving its entry-level sport-utility vehicle, the GLA, a makeover that includes the integration of new technology and safety features.
The GLA’s new contours, with reduced lines and accentuated planes, convey serene sportiness and modernity, according to Mercedes-Benz designers. The GLA has short overhangs, strong shoulders and the coupe-like lines of the side windows. This side profile gives the car its dynamically elegant flair and offers an interesting play of light and shadows.
“The new GLA embodies the perfect synergy between sheer beauty and robust off-road elements”, according to Gorden Wagener, chief design officer, Daimler Group. “With it, we are carrying the dynamic SUV forward into the future of modern luxury,” he said.
The new GLA is more than 10 centimeters taller than its predecessor. The higher seating position typical of an SUV makes more headroom available on the front seats. Legroom in the rear is likewise much more generous – even though the GLA is now one-and-a-half centimeters shorter. The rear seats can be optionally adjusted by 14 centimeters and the rear seat backrest set to a steeper angle to make room for such items as bulky boxes.
Hallmark off-road design features include the upright front section and protective cladding all round. The 4Matic models feature the Off-Road Engineering Package, which includes an additional driving program, a downhill driving assist function and an off-road animation in the media display, and multi-beam LED headlamps for off-road driving.
The GLA boasts excellent aerodynamic efficiency with a Cd figure of 0.28. An EQ Power model with third-generation hybrid drive will already be available in the first half of this year.
The new technology integrated into the GLA includes Driving Assistance Package, for example, the turning function, the emergency corridor function, the exit warning function alerting the driver to approaching cyclists or vehicles and a warning when pedestrians are detected near zebra crossings. The GLA can react when the driver doesn’t.
In many situations the function of Active Brake Assist is to apply autonomous braking to avoid a collision or to reduce its severity. At typical city speeds the system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians, and avoid collisions depending on the situation.
The MBUX infotainment system with intuitive operation as well as the comprehensive energizing comfort control, the new model has all the strengths of the current generation of compacts from Mercedes-Benz
“The launch of the new GLA marks the culmination of a complete renewal of our family of compact cars,” said Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.
“The high demand for our SUVs shows that we can offer the right model for all of our customers in this segment. To meet their wishes, the range includes the GLB and GLA, two off-roaders that ideally complement each other: the GLB is the most functional and most spacious representative of our compact-class family, while the new GLA is positioned as its sporty brother and as a lifestyle-oriented SUV,” she said.
The new GLA is scheduled to launch in Europe at the end of April 2020. It will appear in dealerships in the U.S. shortly afterwards and will also be available in China. Mercedes-Benz expects it will become one of the brand’s most popular compact-class models over its lifecycle. The GLA is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany, and in Beijing, China.