2017 NAIAS: Mercedes-Benz reveals facelifted 2018 GLA small SUV

Article by Christian A., on January 10, 2017

The 2018 model year represents a mid-cycle update for the Mercedes-Benz GLA small sports utility vehicle. As a mid-cycle refresh, there will be some upgrades for both the exterior and the interior of the 2018 GLA.

These upgrades should make the GLA more appealing even though it doesn’t represent a new generation. Visitors at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto Show) are sure to check out the debut of Mercedes-Benz’ small SUV.

Mercedes-Benz is offering a number of optional packages for the 2018 GLA. One of these is the Interior Package that features standard sports seats and the Night Package that includes 19-inch AMG wheels, black exterior mirrors, roof rails and window trim, as well as black exhaust tips and exterior accents.

Exterior Design

A few visual tweaks were made to the exterior of the new Mercedes GLA, which will be offered – as before – in two variants: the standard GLA250 and the sporty AMG GLA45. For instance, you can see a slight revision of the GLA’s front bumper – keeping it in line with the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the GLC.

A slight design tweak is also implemented on the rear bumper – it is edgier and features a piano black plastic bumper. Mercedes-Benz also provided the 2018 GLA with a new wheel design and the availability of a new color finish Canyon Beige.

Interior Design

You might be surprised at the few updates made on the exterior, but wait until we get inside. As standard, the 2018 GLA comes with the free-standing eight-inch slim display, new gauges with red needles, and strongly accentuated air conditioning vent rings.

The cabin also features chromed control panels, new seat covers and trim parts. For the 2018 model year, the GLA is fitted with a 360-degree camera that could show the surroundings as a full image or as seven different split-screen views.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 Facelift

As for the 2018 AMG GLA45, this performance-laden version of the new small SUV will be endowed with several visual and technical enhancements, particularly in terms of aerodynamics. For instance, the 2018 AMG GLA45 features a sharper front apron, new air intake grilles and a front splitter insert in silver chrome. Also wrapped in silver chrome are the SUV’s AMG Twin Blade radiator grille and the side sill panel inserts.

On the rear, the 2018 AMG GLA45 is fitted with a new diffuser insert in the rear apron and a new spoiler lip on the roof spoiler. Inside, the dashboard of AMG GLA45 is wrapped in MB-Tex with red contrast topstitching. Mercedes also gave the instrument cluster a new number design as well as new gauge needles with a black needle center.

For those wanting more for their new AMG GLA45, they could avail of the AMG Performance Studio Package. When availed, the new AMG GLA45 will be finished in either Night Black or Cosmos Black, as highlighted by Matte Graphite Grey and Yellow sections. The package also features a black AMG twin louver in the radiator grille as well as light-alloy wheels in Matte Black with Yellow rim flanges.

There’s no change in what powers both 2018 GLA models. The GLA250 is still equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo that delivers 208 hp of output and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the AMg GLA45 runs on 2.0-liter AMG inline-four powerplant that generates 375 hp of output and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

Press Release

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLA: Compact SUV refreshed with expressive design and updated equipment

The newly redesigned GLA is starting the 2018 model year with targeted visual accentuation in the interior and exterior design and updated equipment. This sees the look of the compact SUV gaining a significantly more powerful design. At the pinnacle of the model series is the Mercedes-AMG GLA45, with an especially sporty host of equipment being offered by the AMG Performance Studio Package. The GLA will have its world premiere on January 8, 2017 at the North American International Auto Show NAIAS in Detroit.

The GLA was presented for the first time in 2013 and has since become a model of success in a segment it has shaped and redefined. The GLA is characterized by its sportily dynamic design and light-footed handling. As the first compact SUV from Mercedes-Benz, it brought a breath of fresh air to its market segment and established itself there as a major player.

With seven model series (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G), Mercedes-Benz boasts the broadest SUV range of all the European premium manufacturers and thus meets all the individual mobility requirements of its customers.

Expressive design, technical performance

An expressive design with a clear SUV character and technical performance remain the most significant reason to buy the GLA for most customers.

Customers have a choice of an off-road comfort suspension (optional) which raises the body by 30 millimeters, resulting in improved off-road capability, a higher seat position and striking off-roader looks.

Modified bumpers, new wheel designs and the new attractive color "Canyon Beige" characterize the 2018 model at first glance. The GLA thus visually underlines its SUV genes to an even greater extent than before. The previously-optional bi-xenon headlamps have made way for efficient LED headlamps characterized by a color temperature similar to daylight.

Valuable Interior and Exterior Upgrades

The attractively styled interior of the GLA with high-quality materials and excellent workmanship is enhanced by new seat covers and trim parts as well as chromed control panels. The free-standing 8-inch media display is slim and is easily legible, as are the new gauges with red needles. The controls for switches on the electric seat adjustment in the doors have been given small yet effective highlights in silver chrome - and the stowage compartment in the center console is also surrounded by a chrome frame. In addition, the air conditioning vent rings are more strongly accentuated and thus underscore the harmonious SUV touch in the interior.

Exclusively available in this market segment, the 360-degree camera records the direct surroundings of the car, which are either shown as a full-image depiction or in seven different split-screen views on the media display. Among them is also a virtual top view of the car - produced from the data of four cameras: front, reversing and one camera in each of the exterior mirrors.

The Interior Package, with standard sports seats, remains optionally available and is aimed at the particularly sporty customer.

The Night Package offering includes 19-inch AMG wheels and black window trim, exterior mirrors, roof rails, exhaust tips and exterior accents that underscores the sporty look of the GLA.

Spot on: LED light turns night into day

Available optionally on the GLA250 and standard on the AMG GLA45, LED High Performance headlamps replace the currently available bi-xenon headlamps. Alongside brilliant illumination, these headlamps are characterized by a color temperature similar to daylight and relieve the strain on the eyes when driving at night. The energy consumption is also lower: around 60 percent less than xenon and approximately 70 percent less than halogen. The low-beam headlamps work with LED projector-beam technology and the high beam with LED reflector technology. Indicators, daytime running lamps and position light are designed as multifunctional fiber-optic cables and enable an unmistakable style through higher degrees of design freedom. For added convenience, changing a bulb is no longer necessary over the entire lifetime of the car.

Increased aerodynamics

With the GLA model series, Mercedes-Benz further impresses where aerodynamic quality is concerned. The good flow characteristics, which contribute decisively to the low fuel consumption in everyday conditions and a pleasantly discreet noise level even at higher speeds, was achieved through a multitude of aerodynamic optimizations in the high-speed wind tunnel in Sindelfingen. These include a low A-pillar step with corresponding A-pillar geometry and aerodynamically optimized exterior mirror housings. The generously sized trim on the main floor, an additional trim in the center section of the rear axle and even an aerodynamically optimized rear silencer with a connected diffuser further improve the flow of air beneath the underbody. An elaborate roof spoiler lip, specially shaped tail lights plus discreet side rear spoilers also ensure that the air flow at the tail end is aerodynamically optimal.

Safety first: autonomous braking and drowsiness warnings

Vehicle safety is the top priority at Mercedes-Benz. The GLA offers "Active Brake Assist" as standard: it warns the driver if there is not sufficient distance to the vehicle in front and if required, delivers situation-appropriate braking. If the system detects that the driver is reacting too late, it initiates autonomous braking in order to prevent the collision or minimize the consequences. The GLA is also standard-equipped with "ATTENTION ASSIST," which can detect typical signs of drowsiness via the steering behavior and warn the driver.

More comfort in the end

The rear compartment of the GLA was also the focus of the engineers' attention, and they have integrated new features here: with the optional extra HANDS-FREE ACCESS, exclusive in this segment, the trunk can be opened and closed with a foot movement, without using the one’s hands. The procedure can be completed at any time and any potential obstacles stop the process immediately.

The new Mercedes-AMG GLA45

Mercedes-AMG is continuing its model initiative with full steam ahead and is enhancing the GLA45 both visually and technically. With intelligent aerodynamic measures like a restyled front apron and spoiler lip on the roof spoiler it was possible to increase driving dynamics and driving stability, while simultaneously reducing wind resistance.

The distinguishing design feature of the new Mercedes-AMG GLA45 is the sharpened front section. The front apron was given an even more dynamic shape, new air intake grilles, a front splitter insert in silver chrome plus flics in high-gloss black. These guide the cooling air flows to the vehicle radiators even more effectively. Some earlier optional extras like the LED High Performance headlamps are now part of the standard host of equipment. The twin louver on the AMG Twin Blade radiator grille is now in silver chrome, as are the inserts in the side sill panels. As an additional option a multi-spoke 20-inch light-alloy wheel is available for selection in two color variants: painted matte black with high-sheen rim flange or painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish.

Eye-catching features at the tail end are the new diffuser insert in the rear apron, the trim in silver chrome and the new spoiler lip on the roof spoiler which help to improve the driving dynamics of the new GLA45.

Fine interior with exclusive touches

The interior has been similarly upgraded. The dashboard is covered as standard with MB-Tex and has been given exclusive highlights with red contrast topstitching.

A further highlight is the generously sized trim, extending over virtually the entire width of the car: its fundamental structure is printed matte with a high-gloss surface and it bears AMG lettering. It is available in black/red (standard) or in black/silver depending on the choice of upholstery).

The instrument cluster has been given a new number design, new gauge needles with a black needle center and the chrome frame around the gear also ensure a sporty cockpit experience.

Further options for comfort and sport

The new equipment items optionally available include, among other features, a 360-degree camera. With the aid of four networked cameras, this system facilitates parking and maneuvering with a realistic surround view. The car and its surroundings can be depicted in the media display from a birds-eye view, and obstacles beneath the window line are also visible for the driver.

Extremely agile, handcrafted 2.0L turbo engine

With a maximum output of 375 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 is among the most powerful cars in its segment. A speed of zero to 60 mph is achieved from standstill after just 4.3 seconds. The extremely agile Handcrafted AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine blends thrilling performance and the exemplary efficiency with a further best: the power-to-swept-volume ratio of 187.5 hp marks a record for a series engine with four cylinders – it raises the AMG engine to the level of thoroughbred super sports cars.

One of the high-tech components of the four-cylinder turbo engine is the spray-guided direct petrol injection. Piezo injectors centrally located in the four combustion chambers inject the fuel at a pressure of up to 200 bar. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multi-spark ignition improves fuel economy and significantly increases thermodynamic efficiency, leading to low exhaust emissions. The twin-scroll turbocharger and maximum dethrottling of the exhaust system improve the charge pressure build-up, and therefore the engine's response to the accelerator.

On the road the turbocharged, Handcrafted AMG 2.0L four-cylinder engine thrills with extremely fast responses to accelerator movements, high torque, enormous flexibility and an emotional engine note. The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. The intensity of the engine note changes according to the currently active AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode.

With the optional AMG Performance Exhaust System® the sound is even sportier through the modified structure of the muffler system and it thus intensifies the emotively appealing sound experience. It can be regulated via selection of the drive program or via a switch. In the interior the impressive sound can be experienced even more intensely at the touch of a button through the more powerful intake noise of the engine.

Shorter ratios: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sport transmission

The agile and dynamic power transfer is assisted by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. Thanks to shorter ratios selected in gears three to seven, the driver senses an even more appealing acceleration experience in all speed ranges. Together with optimized response and shift times, the closer ratio spread ensures better transitions when upshifting.

Best traction as standard: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive

For optimum traction even in poor road surface conditions, the standard all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC system transfers the drive power to all wheels. The torque is steplessly and variably distributed to the front and rear axle. This configuration results in an optimum ratio of sportiness, efficiency and traction to match the driving situation. A multiple-disc clutch integrated in the rear axle differential with AMG-specific control passes on the engine torque to the rear wheels should the front wheels lose traction. The spectrum ranges from purely front-wheel drive to a 50:50 ratio for the front and rear wheels.

The AMG Performance Studio Package celebrates success of the AMG compact cars

With the CLA45 and GLA45 models, Mercedes-AMG has tapped into new customer groups and spurred on the success of the sports car and performance brand. Mercedes-AMG is now celebrating the best-sellers with an exclusive AMG Performance Studio Package, which is available on the CLA45 and GLA45 and includes a particularly sporty host of equipment.

The special models equipped with this package are painted exclusively in Night Black or Cosmos Black and with their unique combination of Matte Graphite Grey and Yellow sections they are immediately identifiable. The exclusive impression is underscored by the light-alloy wheels in Matte Black with Yellow rim flanges and the black painted AMG twin louver in the radiator grille. Yellow highlights characterize the front bumper, exterior mirror housings, inserts in the side skirts, rear diffuser and rear wing on the GLA45.

The special character is additionally emphasized by the AMG sport stripes in Matte Graphite Grey (foiled) on the hood, roof, trunk lid and sides of the car.

High-quality interior with yellow highlights

The interior is also characterized by the extensive appointments and yellow touches. The AMG Performance Seats in MB-Tex /DINAMICA microfiber also sport yellow trim, as do the AMG DINAMICA Performance Steering Wheel, rear bench seat, dashboard, beltlines (only on CLA45) and armrests. Further highlights include door sill panels in Graphite Grey with a yellow AMG logo, floor mats with yellow edging, AMG logo in yellow, plus yellow air outlets.

The extensive standard equipment of the AMG Performance Studio Package includes the AMG Aerodynamics Package, AMG Night Package, AMG DINAMICA Performance Steering Wheel with a yellow 12 o'clock marking with an "AMG Edition" badge and yellow contrast topstitching among other features.

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