Next GLA targets younger set
Mercedes revises its popular and versatile GLA compact SUV
MERCEDES-Benz has ushered in the new year with a midlife update to its GLA compact SUV.
Unveiled at this week’s Detroit motor show, the line up gets a larger range of engines along with updated interior and exterior styling and tweaked equipment lines.
Launched in 2013 as the SUV version of the A-Class, the GLA has attracted younger Benz customers with its sporty design and dynamic handling. For 2017 it gets modified bumpers, new light-alloy wheels and the addition of a new colour called Canyon Beige, while the previous optional bi-xenon headlamps are replaced by LED headlights.
Numerous small aerodynamic tweaks have improved the GLA’s drag coefficient from 0.29 to 0.28, leading to improved fuel consumption and lowered wind noise.
Inside, the GLA becomes the first vehicle in its class to adopt a 360-degree camera, which assists in parking by recording the surroundings of the car with four external cameras and showing them on the cockpit media display. It includes a bird’s-eye view, which is just the thing for passing your K53 parallel-parking test.
The cabin of the GLA has been enhanced with new seat covers and trim parts, along with new chromed switches to create a more luxurious vibe.
The free-standing 20.3cm media display is familiarly slim and easily legible, as are the new dials with red needles.
As before the GLA range is available in several petrol and diesel versions and in front-wheel-drive and 4Matic all-wheel-drive varieties. A new addition to the petrol range is the GLA 220 4Matic. With an output of 135kW and 300Nm of torque, this model plugs the gap between the two petrol engines with 115kW and 155kW.
The range-topping Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic retains its high-powered 2-litre petrol turbo with outputs of 280kW and 475Nm, but the AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission gets shorter ratios in gears three to seven for optimised roll-on acceleration. Together with optimised response and shift times, the closer ratio spread ensures better transitions when upshifting.
A restyled front apron and lip on the roof spoiler has also improved the wind resistance of this all-wheel-drive flagship. Top speed of the GLA 45 is governed to 250km/h (270km/h with the optional AMG Driver‘s Package), while the 0-100km/h sprint takes just 4.4 seconds, according to Mercedes.
The GLA 45 will now also be offered as a special Yellow Night Edition featuring styling tweaks and additional equipment. It’s finished in black with matt grey and yellow detailing, with light-alloy wheels available in matt black with yellow. The interior also adopts yellow highlights.
The GLA range is offered in a choice of three chassis variants is offered: standard comfort suspension; lowered suspension optionally available in conjunction with the AMG Line or the Dynamic Handling package; and optional offroad comfort suspension raised by 30mm.
The revised GLA range is due in SA in the second quarter of this year.
New bumpers, alloy wheels and LED headlights identify new GLA. Pictured is the Canyon Beige edition, new for 2017.