- First compact luxury SUV added into the brand’s SUV portfolio that now includes: GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G models
- Turbocharged 2L 4-cylinder engine with 7-speed dual clutch transmission producing 208hp and 258 lb-ft of torque
- All-wheel drive 4MATIC model available Fall 2014
- MSRP TBA but base price predictions around $34,500
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class enters the market as a compact luxury SUV designed to be nimble within city centers, smooth on highway and off-road capable, if required. Both the all-wheel drive 4MATIC platform and later to be released front-wheel drive model are powered by a turbocharged 2L four-cylinder engine claimed to produce 208hp and 258 ft-lb of torque. First to arrive on U.S. shores will be the 4MATIC available Fall of 2014. The standard front-wheel drive GLA250 will arrive in early 2015. Pricing for each is to be announced but Motor Trend estimates base price to be within the $32,000-$34,500 range
“With the compact GLA we add a fifth attractive SUV variant to the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio in this constantly growing segment. The GLA impresses mainly with its progressive character and agile handling," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "So I am very confident that the GLA with its fascinating design and high everyday practicality will fill many new customers with enthusiasm for the Mercedes-Benz brand."
Instead of coming in as another beefy SUV, the design more closely resembles the sedans within the lineup such as the CLA. The low-slung and sleek design is also reminiscent of the Audi Q7 or Volkswagen Touareg – clearly the competition it hopes to steal market share from along with the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X1. Agility and around-town maneuverability is key within the compact SUV market and GLA’s dimensions speak to that with a length of 173.9", width of 71" and height of 58.8".
"With its striking features, the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthralls with its off-road proportions," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design at Daimler AG. "The clearly defined surfaces convey power and serenity, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much clarity as necessary."
Aerodynamics was of great design importance for performance and fuel economy as was overall styling cues. Underbody paneling, additional paneling in the middle area of the rear axle and an aerodynamic rear silencer and diffuser improve the airflow underbody.
To the front, powerdomes on the hood, a twin-louver grille, simulated skid pad and diamond-pattern bumper grilles accentuate its smooth muscular appearance. Headlights with available daytime LEDs and tri-functional fiber optics improve nighttime visibility and overall demeanor. The side profile reveals standard 18” wheels (19” wheels available), chrome roof rails and the vehicle’s curvature. A sweeping chrome trunk handle, roof spoiler and lower off-road guards define the rear.
The efficient turbo 2L DOHC 16-valve I-4 engine is claimed to reach 0-60mph in 6.4sec and a top speed of 145mph. A 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission improves smooth shifting acceleration. The 4MATIC model includes the new generation permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque distribution, which will come in handy off-road or on slick asphalt. Electronic assists such as Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), an off-road transmission mode, which changes gearshift points and accelerator characteristics, the interior head unit’s off-road display function, which shows roll angle, elevation gradient and more is also available for the 4MATIC.
Improving road comfort is a McPherson front axle and independent multilink rear suspension. Three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel help manage bumps by offering independent longitude and lateral dynamics. Electromagnetic power steering then translates driver movements to the road with the assistance of an ESP control unit. Steering assistance functions include: countersteering when oversteering occurs, steering corrections when braking on surfaces with various grip levels, reduction of front-wheel drive forces, and compensation for heavy cross-winds and road camber. A rigid body structure then further improves handling and increases safety.
Safety is a focal point of the GLA. Numerous electronic assists work to keep driver and occupants safe. Standard features include Attention Assist that detects driver drowsiness and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist Plus with Brake Assist, which helps minimize impacts with other vehicles. The Driver Assistance Package includes a function that allows the vehicle to autonomously brake at speeds up to 124mph and also brake in response to stationary vehicles at a speed up to 18mph. Also available is Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist and Park Assist.
Creature comforts within the interior are what you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz. All trim surfaces are galvanized in silver-shadow resulting in what Mercedes’ calls a “cool-touch” effect. Five round air vents mark a dash that features matte and glossy graining. Aluminum or wood trim is also available. A large display offers all of the standard features along with the brands mbrace2 connectivity service. 12 function keys can be found on the 3-spoke steering wheel. Standard MB-Tex or optional leather upholsters the seats. Numerous color combinations and sport seats are available as options. Seat adjustment controls are found on the door panel. Noise-reducing material and design keep the interior quiet from outside noise.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class compact SUV enters as an affordable all-purpose vehicle that does not forgo luxuries associated with the brand. Agile and responsive, it hopes to further solidify Mercedes in the luxury SUV market. The GLA will officially be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany next month.
2015 GLA-Class Highlights
- 2015 GLA250 4MATIC: Fall 2014
- 2015 GLA250: Early 2015
- 2015 GLA250 4MATIC - all-wheel drive, five-door premium compact SUV
(208hp, 258 lb-ft.)
- 2015 GLA250 – front-wheel drive, five-door premium compact SUV
Standard Feature Highlights:
- 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission
- Electromechanical power steering
- COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
- ATTENTION ASSIST
- Chrome roof rails
- 18” 5-twin-spoke wheels
- Ambient lighting
Optional Feature Highlights:
- New-generation 4MATIC all-wheel
- Power liftgate
- Blind Spot Assist
- DISTRONIC PLUS
- Lane Keeping Assist
- PARKTRONIC w/Park Assist
- Panorama Sunroof
- Sport Package