2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA grows up

Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level GLA SUV gets more tech and more space

Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 2020

Mercedes-Benz has dropped details of its all-new second-generation GLA small SUV, which competes in the same space as premium crossovers like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

It will be sold here in three variants, and starts at $55,100 before on-road costs for the GLA 200.

Based on the same modular underpinnings that debuted under the A-Class in 2017, the Mercedes-Benz GLA features more interior space, more tech smarts and a better driving experience than its polarising predecessor.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 2020

While it actually comes up shorter by 14mm, it’s grown in width and wheelbase by a crucial 30mm, and it’s more than 100mm taller as well.

This gives the GLA much more rear legroom – 116mm to be exact – as well as more boot space, which is a key criticism of the current car. It grows from 421 litres with the seats up to 435L, while the second row of seats is now mounted on rails for more flexibility.

It also gives the GLA a boxier look, moving the GLA away from the ‘A-Class on stilts’ appearance of the current car. Expect LED headlights and taillights, a bold grille and big wheels, as is the fashion for small, more expensive crossovers of the modern era.

Take, for example, the GLA 35; it wears 21-inch rims as standard (below).

Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 2020

The GLA will score Mercedes-Benz’s twin-screen MBUX multimedia system, and wireless Apple CarPlay will be part of the mix, along with upgraded Android Auto capability. It also features Merc’s cool three-dimensional sat-nav system that hovers street names over a camera image of the route you’re negotiating.

It’s also set to receive the brand’s ‘energising comfort’ package, which is an odd mix of scents, temperature control, seat heating and massaging as well as audio to alternatively freshen, warm, bring vitality or joy to the driver. Quite.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 2020

If you opt for the 35, there are AMG-badged niceties like steering wheels and digital instrument displays (above), as well as a Track Pace app.

Safety tech will be a big part of the GLA’s pitch, and it’ll offer AEB with evasive steering assist, traffic sign recognition and an intelligent autonomous braking system that can slow the GLA as it approaches traffic or corners.

When it comes to engines and drivetrains, the entry-level GLA 200 is equipped with a 120kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine sending power to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

Cloth seats, keyless entry, powered tailgate, climate control, MBUX multimedia system combined with satellite navigation, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Google Android smartphone integration and wireless device charging for compatible devices are all included.

Selectable driving modes, ambient interior lighting, rain-sensing wipers, DAB+ digital radio, active parking assist, blind-spot assist and active lane-keeping assist, traffic sign assist, adaptive high beam assist, LED fixed headlights and 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels also feature.

The GLA 250, meanwhile, costs $66,500 and is powered by a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 165kW and 350Nm via an eight-speed DCT eight-speed auto and all-wheel-drive.

A panoramic electric sunroof, heated electric front seats with memory function, lowered comfort suspension and sports-direct steering, Off-Road Engineering Package, remote engine start via the Mercedes me Connect app and 19-inch five-spoke rims are included.

The aforementioned GLA 35 will cost $82,935, and will use Merc’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and will send 225kW and a healthy 400Nm through all four wheels via an eight-speed DCT.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 2020

It also gets bigger brakes, chassis bracing and a variable steering rack, along with additional drive select modes. And because it’s all-wheel-drive, it will also get Merc’s off-road package as standard, including specific headlight modes, traction control maps and more on-screen data.

Not hot enough? How about the GLA 45 S? For $108,035, it packs an astonishing 310kW and 500Nm from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine linked to an eight-speed DCT auto and all-wheel-drive.

An AMG Driver’s Package (with top speed increased to 265km/h), AMG Performance steering wheel in Dinamica microfibre with contrasting top-stitching, leather seats with contrasting top-stitching, route-based speed adaptation, automatic parking (including a 360-degree camera), LED headlights and AMG-specific body styling including a roof-mounted spoiler and rear diffuser are all standard.

An AMG exhaust system with two round tailpipes, six-piston calipers, AMG Torque Control, bodyshell stiffening and speed-sensitive electromechanical steering with AMG-specific front steering knuckles and rear axle subframe is also part of this potent little package.

The GLA 200 and GLA 250 4MATIC arrive in August, while the GLA 35 and 45 S go on sale in later this year.


Mercedes-Benz GLA 2020 Pricing

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 $55,100 (MRLP)

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 $66,500 (MRLP)

Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 $82,935 (MRLP)

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S $107,035 (MRLP)

Edition 1 Package $6990 (GLA 200), $5990 (GLA 250 4MATIC) (MRLP)


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