What originally was a concept with video-projector headlights and inbuilt action cameras, is now a functional compact SUV called the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
In Australia the only choice of SUV from Mercedes-Benz was the old-school luxury G Wagon, family level M Class and the large SUV GL. All of which have had good reception, however we have had nothing in a smaller size for our market. This is despite BMW and Audi having huge success with their smaller SUV’s.
That’s all a thing of the past now. Following the launch of the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Sharing a similar design theme to the new A-Class and B-Class, it is set to be a great entry to the compact SUV market.
The flexibility of the GLA, will be a great selling point for a number of potential customers.The boot space in its default configuration is 421 litres, but when the rear seats are folded down fully (they can be set at different angles for convenience) a capacity of 836 litres is available to be used.
Plus there won’t be any awkward loading manoeuvres to fit that dishwasher or entertainment unit.
Powering the GLA will be a number petrol and diesel options. Starting off with the 1.6litre 115kW petrol engine in the GLA 200 and a 2.0litre 155kW petrol engine in the GLA 250. Moving into the diesel options, there will be a GLA 200 CDI producing 100kW and 300Nm of torque and a 125KW, 350Nm GLA 220 CDI.
We aren’t sure if we’ll get all of those variants in Australia. We are waiting for a reply from Mercedes-Benz Australia on that one.
Across all of these models, (except the GLA 200) there will be the new generation 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system available as an optional extra. This system should give a good amount of flexibility to those who will be wanting to venture off the road, and experience some soft roading on backroads or trails. This is assisted by a good number of features including downhill speed regulation.
Moving to the interior, if you’re familiar with the A-Class or B-Class, you will notice the similarities right away. The interior is clean, modern and feels like a real Mercedes-Benz, not like a plastic knock-off which earlier entry level models felt like. We really, really like the interior’s Mercedes-Benz has designed for these models as we described in our review of the Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport.
Safety wise, we expect the GLA to achieve the highest safety rating with the usual Mercedes-Benz features including Attention Assist which watches out for when the driver is drowsy and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist with adaptive Brake assist as standard features.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Australian Launch
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is expected to land in Australia sometime in 2014. Between now and then, we expect pricing information and a full review!