2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover revealed ahead of Frankfurt motor showWed, 14 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Mercedes-Benz will show its new-for-2015 GLA -- its first-ever shot at the compact SUV class -- at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in September. The GLA will arrive in U.S. showrooms in fall 2014.
The GLA is a sharp, muscular-looking little thing, measuring 173.9 inches long and 58.8 inches high. The little SUV, set to battle the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque, is the first Mercedes SUV available with the (optional) new-generation permanent all-wheel drive system (4MATIC) with fully variable torque distribution.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo four developing 208 hp and 258 lb ft of torque, good enough for a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Stop-start is standard. Suspension is McPherson struts in front and multilink rear. 18-inch wheels are standard, 19 inchers are optional.
Mercedes promises high-quality materials inside, with a heavy emphasis on horizontal surfacing and tight gaps. You can choose aluminum or wood trim.
Of course there is safety equipment galore, including what Benz calls Collision Prevention Assist Plus: If potential for an accident arises and the driver doesn't respond, the system will brake the car at speeds up to 124 mph. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles up to 18 mph, and can prevent rear-end collisions at speeds up to 12 mph. You'll also find blindspot and lane-keeping assist and optional park assist.
There is also a long list of infotainment features, including full smart-phone integration, internet connectivity, applications such as Facebook and Twitter, and street view on the nav system.
We also hear talk of a range-topping GLA45 AMG, with a 360 hp 2.0-liter four. Can't wait for that one.
By Greg Kable