Further options will be introduced later in the year; Autocar understands these will include a 215bhp 1.3-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid badged the GLA 250e EQ Power. This will use the same 15.6kWh lithium ion battery as the A250e EQ Power, providing it with an official electric-only range of more than 40 miles.
Stylistically, the new GLA builds on the foundations of its predecessor, albeit with ground clearance raised by 9mm to 143mm. Design head Gordon Wagener claims it "combines muscular off-road genes with our philosophy of sensual purity".
The exterior combines smoother surfacing with more rugged detailing than other compact Mercedes models, including plastic cladding on the wheel arches and bumpers. Larger wheelhouses accommodate wheels ranging from 17in to 20in.
The AMG model gains a number of bespoke design features, including a Panamericana grille, a new roof spoiler and different tailpipes.
The new GLA is 4410mm long, 2020mm wide and 1611mm high, making it 14mm shorter and 2mm narrower but 104mm higher than the old model. It's based on the second-generation version of Mercedes' MFA platform, with a transverse engine mounting, and has its wheelbase extended by 30mm to 2729mm and its track increased by 46mm front and rear.
Inside, the new GLA is similar to other recent Mercedes models, featuring a dashboard with a free-standing digital display panel. This contains two 7.0in screens for the instruments and infotainment functions as standard, with a widescreen version using two 10.3in screens optional. The displays are operated via Mercedes' MBUX operating system, which supports both touchpad and voice control. A colour head-up display is also available.
To emphasise the crossover nature of the GLA, the front seats are positioned 140mm higher than in the A-Class. There's 22mm more head room up front than in the original GLA, but rear head room has been reduced by 6mm.