Mercedes GLA preview

Here's the Carzone.ie preview to the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA.

What's this?
Mercedes currently has an incredibly varied small-cars portfolio, containing the A-Class hatchback, the A-Class Saloon, the CLA, the CLA Shooting Brake, the B-Class MPV and the GLB seven-seat compact SUV. The missing link here is the GLA compact crossover-SUV, which has been on sale since 2013 and which is now ready for its all-new second generation. Here’s the rundown on the newcomer.

What will its rivals be?
The GLA competes in a highly competitive market segment of the compact premium crossover-SUV class, which not only features the obvious rivals – like the Audi Q2 and Q3, the BMW X1 and X2, the Lexus UX, the Jaguar E-Pace and the Volvo XC40 – but also some of the larger crossover-SUVs from mainstream manufacturers, which could be considered as alternatives. These include the likes of the SEAT Ateca, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq, Opel Grandland X, Peugeot 3008, Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, Toyota RAV4, Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V, among more.

Any tech info?
The GLA Mk2 remains a five-door, five-seat crossover SUV, leaving the seven-seat arrangement to the GLB sister line. It is taller, wider and has a longer wheelbase than the outgoing GLA Mk1, but it is shorter overall in the body, while the underpinnings are the same platform that is the basis for all six compact Mercedes model lines listed above. It will also have a cabin that features the German company’s most up-to-date technology and finishing, such as the MBUX infotainment system with widescreen displays (in its most high-specification trims).

What will the range be like?
While the exact line-up is unconfirmed as yet, looking to the A-Class and B-Class wider families will give some steer on which engines will appear in the GLA from launch. It is likely that the GLA 180 d, 200 d and 220 d turbodiesels will all be available, while there are a few petrol engines definitely pencilled in – such as the 163hp/250Nm GLA 200, powered by a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has also been confirmed, although its badging and exact drivetrain spec are not known as yet (it’s likely to be called the GLA 250 e, though), and there will be a high-performance version from the off: the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4Matic, with 306hp and 400Nm, uses the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine seen in other ‘35’-badged Mercedes-AMG models of recent years.

Expectations?
The GLA will almost certainly turn out to be Mercedes’ best-selling crossover/SUV/4x4 from a wide range that includes the GLB, the GLC, the GLC Coupe, the GLE, the GLE Coupe, the GLS and the G-Class. Therefore, it’s a hugely important car for the marque and, as the Mk1 was falling off the class-leading pace by the time it was phased out, the GLA Mk2 needs to be very talented to tempt people out of the XC40, X1 and Q3, at the least.

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