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Hello, baby: Benz’s GLA-Class SUV from $48k

Short stuff: The three-model Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class lineup will include a powered tailgate across the range.

Mid-year arrival, $47,990 price tag for Benz’s tiddler GLA-Class soft-roader

14 Feb 2014

MERCEDES-Benz will slot its baby GLA-Class soft-roader into its Australian model mix in April with a sub-$50,000 price tag and big ambitions.

Due in July, the initial three-variant line-up is expected to shadow the four-door coupe-based CLA-Class in terms of specification, although the car-maker has said a powered tailgate will be standard across the range.

The entry-level GLA200 CDI will be priced from $47,900 before on-road costs, with equipment expected to run to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, dusk-sensing bi-Xenon headlights, nine airbags, dual-zone air-conditioning, automated parking function and blind-spot warning system.

Under the bonnet, the GLA200 CDI will use a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 100kW of power and a healthy 300Nm of torque, sending drive to the front wheels. Like all the engines in the GLA-Class range, it will feature an idle-stop function that shuts down the engine while the SUV is stopped in traffic.

Next up is the petrol-powered GLA250 4MATIC, priced from $57,900 and sending drive to all four wheels.

It will use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under its bonnet, producing about 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque to all four wheels, and also mated to the seven-speeder.

At the top of the range will be the GLA45 AMG 4MATIC, priced from a hefty $79,900.

This hero of the GLA range will sport a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 265kW of power and 450Nm of torque to all four wheels, again via the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Mercedes-Benz’s pricing shadows that of its closest rival, Audi’s equally diminutive Q3. Entry-level pricing is only $300 shy of the Q3 2.0 TDI driving the front wheels via a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

At the top end of the range the GLA45 AMG is only $2000 adrift of the Audi RSQ3, launched this week and powered by a 228kW, 420Nm 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine shared with the TT RS two-door coupe.

It is also paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sending drive to all four wheels.

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