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Mercedes-Benz finally unveils new GLA SUV

Mercedes-Benz’s new, bigger GLA small SUV promises enhancements all-round

12 Dec 2019

MERCEDES-BENZ has finally ripped the covers off its all-new GLA compact SUV, revealed at a digital world premiere in Stuttgart overnight.


Tipped to arrive on Australian soil in the second half of next year, the new GLA stands more than 100mm taller than its predecessor as well as 30mm wider and offers more cabin space despite being 14mm shorter in length.


Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz chairman of the board of management Ola Källenius and Daimler Group chief design officer Gorden Wagener were on hand to reveal the baby SUV and said it had been made better in every way.


“It offers more convenience, more safety and more efficiency,” Mr Källenius said.


“Compared to its predecessor, it has become taller and shorter... it only gained in size where it truly gained in convenience for the passengers.”


This means more headroom (+22mm), more rear legroom (+116mm) and more boot space which is up 14 litres to 435L. 


The new styling follows largely in the footsteps of its smaller hatchback cousin, overall looking more aggressive and rugged with a bigger grille and wider air intakes below.


“It combines masculine off-roader genes with our philosophy of sensual purity,” Mr Wagener said.


As alluded to by the various pictured camouflage test cars and teased concept sketches, the GLA also sports an extra window ahead of its C-pillar – a feature not shared by its A-Class cousin – as well as black protective cladding around its skirts and chin.


Power will come courtesy of variety of four-cylinder engines, though details of just two have been revealed so far, the first being a turbocharged 1.3-litre four cylinder producing 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque in the GLA200, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).


Claimed fuel economy is between 5.6 and 5.9 litres per 100km.


Stepping up to the GLA35 4Matic AMG brings with it a significant boost in power with its 2.0-litre turbo four-pot producing 225kW and 400Nm paired with an eight-speed DCT, good for a 0-100km/h sprint in 5.1 seconds.


Claimed fuel economy is a respectable 7.4L/100km. 


A choice of front-wheel or permanent all-wheel-drive will be available with the optional 4Matic system boasting fully variable torque distribution.


The AWD variants also score Mercedes’ Road Engineering Package which adds an extra driving mode, hill descent control, off-road animation in the media display and multi-beam LED headlights.


On the safety front, Mercedes says all variants feature enhanced safety features, headlined by its Driving Assistance Package which includes autonomous braking, turning manoeuvre function, emergency corridor function and exit warning function which can detect pedestrians, cyclists and stopped vehicles.


Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and active speed limit assistance are also featured.


Aussie pricing and specification levels are yet to be confirmed but a local launch is expected in the third quarter of 2020.


As of November, Mercedes had sold 2258 GLAs in Australia this year, down more than 38 per cent on the same time in 2018 (3664).

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