Published on August 16th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes GLA Crossover In The Flesh
Mercedes-Benz has just released details of its new GLA crossover, the latest model aimed at attracting younger customers to the brand. The GLA, which debuts at next month’s Frankfurt auto show, will compete in the growing compact crossover segment against models such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. Mercedes said the GLA’s all-round qualities make the vehicle suitable for city and highway driving but also robust enough for off-road excursions. The GLA will be Mercedes’ first SUV to offer the brand’s new-generation 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. The model is the fourth member of Mercedes’ new small compact family based on its front/all-wheel drive MFA platform, along with the A class, B class and CLA.
As with the sporty-styled A class, Mercedes aims to attract new buyers, especially young customers, with the GLA. About half of the buyers in Europe of the new A class come from other brands, Mercedes said. In the first half, Mercedes sold 173,362 units of the A and B class and the CLA.
“So I am very confident that the GLA, with its fascinating design and high everyday practicality, will fill many new customers with enthusiasm for the Mercedes-Benz brand,” Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes head of sales and marketing, said in the statement.
In Europe, the GLA will be sold with a choice of two gasoline and two diesel engines combined with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The most frugal engine is a 136-hp, 2.2-liter diesel that uses 4.3 liter of fuel per 100 km and has CO2 emissions of 114 grams per kilometer.
The GLA will offer a wide range of safety equipment, including Collision Prevention Assist Plus that automatically applies the brakes if an accident is imminent, as well as blind spot and lane-keeping assist and optional park assist. Infotainment features include full smartphone integration, Internet connectivity, applications such as Facebook and Twitter, and street view on the navigation system.