Mercedes has released a new design sketch of its compact SUV, ahead of its official online launch on 11 December
Mercedes has issued a design sketch of the new GLA compact SUV, ahead of its scheduled online debut on 11 December. The teaser gives us our best indication yet of the new model’s styling, which looks set to adopt a more SUV-like appearance than its predecessor in bid to pull buyers away from the Audi Q2 and BMW X2.
Apart from the oversized “design sketch” alloy wheels, this is how the new GLA will look. Its design isn’t too far removed from the outgoing model, keeping the slightly tougher look introduced with the car’s 2017 facelift. Like previously spied mules, this sketched GLA also sports a set of tail-lights inspired by the latest A-Class and B-Class models.
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Mercedes has also confirmed that the new GLA will align more closely with its compact premium SUV competitors in terms of size. It’ll be over 10cm taller than the vehicle it replaces, which the German brand says offers a more lofty driving position and additional headroom for front seat passengers.
Despite the height increase, the second-generation GLA is 1.5cm shorter than the old model. However, thanks to its sliding rear bench (as previewed by the brand’s recent teaser video) and repackaged interior, Mercedes says there is more legroom for rear passengers than before.
The GLA’s major revisions will be under the skin. Mercedes recently introduced a new MFA2 architecture, which debuted on the fourth-generation A-Class – and this new crossover will migrate to this updated platform, adopting its safety equipment, suspension technology and powertrains.
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Mercedes will add a host of driver assistance technology to the next-generation GLA, with buyers receiving active braking assist, lane-keeping assist and Mercedes’s exit warning function which alerts the driver of approaching cyclists or vehicles, as well as issuing a warning when pedestrians are detected near zebra crossings.
The crossover will adopt the same range of engines found in the new A-Class, too. That means buyers will be offered Mercedes’s latest turbocharged 1.3- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols, as well as a choice of diesels ranging from 114bhp to 188bhp.
Though yet to be confirmed, a 416bhp Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 will likely sit at the top of the range, using the AMG A 45 S’s turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The MFA2 platform could also pave the way for plug-in hybrid technology.
Inside, we expect the GLA’s dashboard to be lifted almost wholesale from the A-Class hatch. Mercedes’s latest MBUX infotainment system will feature which, in entry-level cars, comprises of two seven-inch screens with a digital instrument cluster sitting in front of the driver and a touchscreen unit mounted in the centre console. Like with the new A-Class, buyers should also be offered the option to upgrade to a pair of 10.25-inch screens.
Keen for more Mercedes SUV news? Read our story on the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS here…