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All-New Mercedes GLA Rounds Out the Growing Premium Compact CUV Segment

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image

You can never have enough crossovers, right? That’s apparently the thinking over at Mercedes-Benz, as they’re preparing for the world debut of what will become its fifth SUV/crossover, the all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Due to be unveiled officially at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the GLA is based on the A-Class and will reach U.S. showrooms in fall 2014. While it’s relatively small in stature, it features a muscular stance and aggressive lines that help it look bigger than it actually is. The low greenhouse, raised vehicle body and large wheel arches, all add to an athletic appearance that should help it stand out from this burgeoning segment.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image

“With the compact GLA we add a fifth attractive SUV variant to the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio in this constantly growing segment. The GLA impresses mainly with its progressive character and agile handling,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “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.”

Inside, most of the styling and components have been lifted directly from the A-Class. Base power will come from a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There’s just one transmission to go with that engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. According to Mercedes, that powertrain will help the GLA250 4Matic sprint from 0-60 mph in a very respectable 6.4 seconds. Naturally, a more performance-oriented GLA45 AMG is bound to arrive in the future, but Mercedes is keeping quiet on that for now.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image

Grip is assured in the GLA as it will come with Mercedes’ next-generation 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. It’s said to balance grip and outstanding agility while also enhancing driving safety and energy efficiency. The setup is also lightweight, helping to keep curb weight down.

While few Mercedes-Benz owners are expected to take their vehicles off-road, the automaker says the GLA could easily tackle the rough stuff should that unusual scenario occur. The vehicle boasts DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard equipment. DSR is activated by a control button in the center console, and assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed within the physical limits when negotiating downhill gradients.

Stay tuned for more details on the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class when it makes its work debut in Frankfurt next month.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class image

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