Following the reveal of the new Mercedes-Benz GLB, and more recently the updated GLS and GLE models, you’d think the brand’s SUV offensive was due a rest. It appears this is not the case, as its smallest SUV offering has just received an update, including the brand’s latest tech and an exterior design overhaul.
Rivalling the likes of Audi’s Q2 and the BMW X2, the Mercedes-Benz GLA has always sat in an unusual spot in the SUV market, standing barely any taller than a standard A-class hatch and offering little extra practicality. It seems the marque was keen to rectify this, with the 2020 model boasting 104mm of extra height over the outgoing model, and a 14mm reduction in length, adding a substantial dose of purpose to its image.
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Going on sale in Spring 2020, the new GLA takes on the brand’s latest interior tech, giving buyers a choice of dual 7- or 10.5-inch infotainment screens and more. Despite the reduction in length, rear seat passengers will also now enjoy an additional 116mm of legroom and 43mm of shoulder room thanks to better packaging.
Though a full-fat 45 model is yet to be revealed, topping the range is the X2 M35i-rivalling GLA35, pushing 301bhp and 295lb ft of torque to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch ’box for a 5.1sec 0-62mph sprint and 155mph top speed. The same 2-litre turbocharged four-pot you’ll find in the A35 produces peak power at 5800rpm, with peak torque between 3000 and 4000rpm.
Setting it apart from the standard car is a new AMG-specific grille, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, dual tips for the valved exhaust system, and various trim pieces (available in either chrome or gloss black) to denote its sporty nature. Four-piston, 350mm front and single-piston, 330mm rear brakes sit behind a choice of 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels. Affalterbach’s tweaks don’t stop there, with carbonfibre inserts, red highlights, optional steering wheel buttons, brushed stainless steel pedals and more featuring in the cabin.
Both a plug-in hybrid and an AWD standard model are due to join the line-up, but for now only the 161bhp, 1.3-litre petrol GLA200 and 301bhp GLA35 are on offer.
Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz GLA is still under wraps, but expect it to start from just under £30,000. Order books open early next year.