Mercedes GLA: your new crossover entry point

Mercedes has finally pieced together its small car range with this: the new GLA crossover. It sits alongside the A-Class, B-Class and CLA range and GLB on the brand’s small car platform, and is here to take on cars like the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.

Stuttgart promises big gains in terms of space and practicality on its predecessor (though that isn’t hard), even if the new GLA is a bit shorter. There’s also plenty of tech enhancements and a new engine range.

You mentioned more space?

Yes. The old GLA was one of the least practical crossovers on the market and, frankly, not very well liked in the CAR office.

This new one, however, claims to do and carry more; while shorter, it’s taller, wider and has a longer wheelbase with the biggest benefit being inside. Rear legroom has grown by 116mm and the boot area is bigger, too.

How about tech?

This bit isn’t quite as much of a surprise, as the GLA uses Merc’s MBUX infotainment system that’s been rolled out over the past couple of years. Not a shock, but definitely an improvement, with features like natural voice assistance, augmented reality navigation and the brand’s slightly odd ‘energising comfort’ system all available.

If you spec the all-wheel drive system, Merc’s Off Road Engineering pack includes an off-road function for the LED headlights at slow speeds, an off-road drive mode, technical graphics on the infotainment system and hill descent control.

Any GLA engines and specs?

Two are confirmed for now: a GLA 200 petrol and AMG GLA 35. The 200 uses a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol making 161bhp, with a 0-62mph sprint in 8.7sec. 4Matic all-wheel drive is an option. AMG has also stuck its finger into the GLA pie with a new GLA35 4Matic, capable of a 5.1sec sprint to 62mph and a top speed of 155mph.

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