New £25k compact Merc SUV to take on the Range Rover Evoque; GLA is fourth model from firm's MFA platform
Mark Tisshaw
14 August 2013

The £25,000 Mercedes-Benz GLA has been revealed ahead of its show debut in Frankfurt.

Rivalling the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque, the production GLA closely follows the Concept GLA seen just four months ago. It will go on sale in the UK in December ahead the first deliveries 
early next year.

It is the fourth member of Mercedes’ new small compact family based on its front/all-wheel drive MFA platform, joining the A-class, B-class and CLA. The MFA line-up will be completed next year with the launch of a shooting brake version of the CLA.

The looks of the Concept GLA have been toned down for the production car, particularly at the front and rear ends and with some of the surfacing. But the result is still one of the sportiest and most dynamic-looking cars in the class, with a look clearly in line with the rest of the models in the MFA family.

It is 4417mm long, 1805mm wide and 1494mm high, which makes it slightly longer, narrower and lower than the concept version. The dimensions closely match those of its big three premium compact crossover rivals. It is also 125mm longer than the A-class on which it is based, the pair sharing the same 2699mm wheelbase.

In the UK, the GLA will be offered with a range of transverse four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines equipped with either front 
or four-wheel drive. 

Front-wheel-drive models include a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol with 154bhp in the base GLA200 and a 134bhp 1.8-litre turbodiesel in the GLA200 CDI.

Engines offered with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system include a 168bhp 2.1-litre turbodiesel in the GLA220 CDI and a 208bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol in the range-topping GLA250.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on the front-wheel-drive models and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on the all-wheel-drive variants. The automatic 
is optional with the front-wheel-drive models. 

The 4Matic all-wheel 
drive system defaults to a front-wheel drive set-up in normal conditions, but it can send up to 50 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels when driving conditions require it. 

The take-up for all-wheel drive is expected to be as many as eight out of 10 buyers in the UK, compared with about seven out of 10 buyers in Europe opting for front-wheel drive. About three-quarters of GLAs sold in the UK are expected to be diesel.

As with the other MFA models, fuel economy figures are expected to be impressive. The most frugal model, the GLA200 CDI, is tipped to average 65.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km. 

The usual array of fuel-saving tech features, such as automatic stop-start, make it on to the GLA, but its aerodynamic body also plays a role in its fuel-sipping ability. Features such as active radiator grille shutters and a streamlined body result in a drag coefficient figure of 0.29. 

Inside, the GLA adopts a significantly higher driving position than the A-class’s. The seat height in the A-class is 276mm and in the GLA it is 549mm. The look of the cabin is instantly recognisable from the other MFA cars, with the three circular central air vents, centre console design, infotainment screen, steering wheel and instrument binnacle all carried over from the A-class, B-class and CLA.

The cabin has five seats and the rear-most three can be folded flat and reclined. The boot space is a maximum of 421 litres with the rear seats up, rising to 836 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The GLA does have some off-road ability, although it’s likely to be far short of the Evoque’s. But with four-wheel drive and features such as all-round body cladding and an under-ride guard, the GLA has typical SUV traits. Mercedes says the GLA can cope with sandy or loose surfaces and sharp gradients.

A Downhill Speed Regulation function is standard on all-wheel-drive versions. As the name suggests, this helps the driver control the speed on sharper downhill gradients. The transmission also has an off-road mode, which alters shift points and throttle characteristics. Models with an infotainment screen can also view an off-road display with real-time transmission information.

A whole host of safety features are offered on the GLA, including the drowsiness-detecting Attention Assist, a Collision Prevention Assist that works from 4mph, and a more advanced Collision Prevention Assist Plus system that, in combination with the optional Distronic Plus cruise control, provides autonomous braking at speeds of up to 124mph. This system can also prevent rear-end collisions and collisions into stationary vehicles at low speeds.

The GLA is also well 
stocked for infotainment features, with full iPhone integration, internet connectivity, apps such as Facebook and Twitter, and street view on the navigation system all offered.

Standard equipment on the base SE trim is likely to include 18-inch alloy wheels, comfort suspension and DAB digital radio. An AMG Sport version is set to be the range-topper, with sports suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels. 

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz GLA

This compact crossover has it all to do in a crowded, talented class

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Comments
31

14 August 2013

Range Rover have nothing to worry about there. It just looks like a fat Merc estate.

14 August 2013

The GLA does not compete with a Range Rover.

Against an Evoque - Yes

I am one of the few who cannot stand the styling of the Evoque.  Looks good in pictures - but is both impractical and you have restricted vision through the letter box rear window.

My bet is that the GLA will have a much lower cd value than the Evoque.

Would not buy a GLA until others had proven it to be robust and practical

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

15 August 2013

RPrior wrote:

The GLA does not compete with a Range Rover.

Against an Evoque - Yes

I am one of the few who cannot stand the styling of the Evoque.  Looks good in pictures - but is both impractical and you have restricted vision through the letter box rear window.

My bet is that the GLA will have a much lower cd value than the Evoque.

Would not buy a GLA until others had proven it to be robust and practical

You’re definitely not one of the few. The Evoque has inherited the Range Rover styling curse in that it looks incredibly dated just a short time after launch – you see so many on the roads now and they just look like blinged up Kia’s.

Amazes me how people still use it as a bench mark – its heavily outsold by virtually all of its competition – and is essentially the Joan Rivers of the automotive world. Nipped, tucked and adorned with garish baubles so much you can’t actually tell what it was a few decades back (a Mondeo).

I seriously doubt Mercedes (as BMW also discovered) have anything to fear from the Evoque – a fully specced GLA should still easily undercut it.

 

18 August 2013

philcUK wrote:

RPrior wrote:

I am one of the few who cannot stand the styling of the Evoque.  

You’re definitely not one of the few. The Evoque has inherited the Range Rover styling curse in that it looks incredibly dated just a short time after launch – you see so many on the roads now and they just look like blinged up Kia’s.

I agree with you both. The Evoque looks chintzy and already very dated. This GLA would be far less embarrassing to drive, and it looks so much more stylish.

289

19 August 2013

@ RPrior

...looking through some old threads, did you see the message from FARR who still has your old Ace?

He left a tel no. for you to contact him. see below

700 BBP

18 hours 13 min ago

You sold it to me in September 1970. I still have it. If you want to talk about it or see it give me a ring on 01276 65823.

regards 289

14 August 2013

25K, well if that turns out to be true it'll be a bit of a bargin for a Merc with 150bhp, 18 inch alloys and Dab.

Not sure about 8 out of 10 owners going for 4 wheel drive seems a bit high to me. I'll check the Q3 stats and get back

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

14 August 2013

xxxx wrote:

25K, well if that turns out to be true it'll be a bit of a bargin for a Merc with 150bhp, 18 inch alloys and Dab.

Perhaps the reporter got mixed up because by the looks of that car in the above pictures, £25k might be nearer the price of the added options.

289

14 August 2013

...as a life long loyal Mercedes-Benz owner, I have to say I really dont like the way Mercedes-Benz design is going.

Its more 'Bangle' than BMW was at the height of his powers - flame surfaces everywhere, complicated and unecessary...Fussy!

No doubt it will leap out of the showrooms though.

They have ruined the ML now...looks like an MPV...GL too.

The only new release which looks good in the flesh is the S-class...IMO

Also I cant wait for this 'dropped on its roof' look to run its course. It makes the bodies look dumpy and means that you have to fit enormous and impractical wheels  to stop the car looking like an invalid carriage. Makes the interior a gloomy and depressing place to sit- especially when they fit black headlinings too.

 Personally I like to see who is creeping up behind me...I like to be able to park my car without the aid of infernal bleepers (for the downright incompetent), and I like to see this beautiful country as I pass through it rather than staring out of a pillbox!

14 August 2013

Looks like another great product from merc.. yes there will be those who will say that it isn't quiet like the concept..but no doubt it looks great, far sportier than X1 and Q3.. the inertior looks great too. The front 3/4 view looks phonemenal!

Realistically which consumer of these class of cars , even Evoque buyers will take them off-raoding??? about 5% if that.  If I want a car in this category I am looking for a car like driving experience, elevated seating positon, a little more room in the back, with some good looks and premium feel. This kind of nails it!

14 August 2013

I like it a lot more than the A class or CLA

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