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All-new Mercedes-Benz GLA breaks cover

The GLA will be the first Mercedes-Benz in the compact luxury CUV/SUV segment

Published: August 15, 2013, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:04 PM

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz has teased us with sketches of its all-new GLA utility vehicle, which will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Now it has released photos and details of the brand's first entry into the fast-growing compact luxury CUV/SUV segment.

The GLA becomes the fifth offering in Mercedes' extensive stable of CUV and SUVs, joining the existing GLK-, ML-, GL- and G-Class models already available. It is expected to arrive at North American dealers in the fall of 2014.

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Based on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the A-Class (not available in Canada) and the CLA, it is truly compact in dimensions (length x width x height: 4417 mm long; 1804 mm wide; 1494 mm high). That makes it a bit shorter than a Ford Escape or Honda CR-V. and substantially lower.

In appearance, it looks more like a station wagon than a conventional SUV, sharing many of the styling features of the CLA.

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As with that vehicle, Mercedes-Benz has paid particular attention to aerodynamics with the GLA. It is said to have a Coefficient of Drag (Cd) of just 0.29 – exceptionally low for the vehicle type.

While front-wheel-drive versions may come later on, it is expected that Mercedes will launch the GLA in North America with its optional 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive system.

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Featuring fully variable torque distribution between front and rear axles, the power take-off to the rear axle is integrated into the 7G-DCT automatic dual clutch transmission.

The powerplant for the Canadian model has not yet been confirmed, but it is expected to be the same turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine used in the B250, producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

In spite of its diminutive size, expect the GLA's interior appointments and comfort, convenience and safety features to be up to Mercedes-Benz usual standards.