Although still featuring some front and rear disguise, the recent shots show that the crossover's shape takes inspiraton from the Mercedes A-Class hatchback it shares a platform with, while the headlights are slimmed down variants of those found on the new Mercedes GLB SUV.
The car sits lower to the ground than its predecessor, but Mercedes has previously confirmed that the GLA's roofline is more than 10 centimetres higher off the ground, allowing for enhanced headroom and a more upright seating position in line with larger SUV models. Leg room is said to have been improved as well, despite the model being 1.5cm shorter overall than the outgoing car.
Earlier this year, spy photographers captured the interior of the compact crossover for the first time. The image shows that the dashboard is also set to be very similar to that of the A-Class and Mercedes' other new compact models, featuring rounded air vents and the twin touchscreens of the MBUX system.
The new GLA will join Mercedes' MFA platform-based range alongside the A-Class hatchback, A-Class saloon, CLA four-door coupé, CLA Shooting Brake estate and Mercedes B-Class MPV.
It now sits below the Mercedes GLB, the largest car on that platform and a new, fully fledged rival to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. That leaves the GLA to compete with smaller compact crossovers such as the Audi Q2 and Ford Focus Active and is why it likely has a lower, more car-like profile.
Minimal technical details of the GLA have been released, but we know it will be closely linked to the A-Class in terms of interior design and technology, engines and gearboxes. That means it will adopt Mercedes' latest touchpad and voice-controlled MBUX infotainment system, alongside more advanced safety features and increased material quality.