Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off the new 2014 GLA compact crossover that was designed for young buyers who are seeking a stylish vehicle. Set to go on sale in the United States in fall 2014, the Mercedes-Benz GLA will be offered as standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) but in early 2015, the German manufacturer will also offer it with front-wheel drive (FWD).
This makes the 2014 GLA, the first Mercedes-Benz crossover sold in the United States with front-wheel drive. The new GLA has a length of 4417 mm, a width of 1804 mm and a height of 1494 mm.
Moreover, the crossover has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29. As expected, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA is based on a new fwd architecture that underpins the CLA sedan. In terms of design, we are not surprised as the GLA is based on the GLA Concept that was first unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Initially, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz will receive 1.6 and 2.0-liter petrol engines. The GLA 200 will be powered by the 1.6-liter petrol engine delivering 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque.
The GLA 250 uses the 2.0-liter petrol engine delivering 211 hp and 350 Nm of torque. The GLA 250 4MATIC uses the same engine and is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.5 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 235 km/h or 146 miles.
Despite these performances, the GLA 250 4MATIC has a fuel consumption of just 7.1 l/100 km (151 g CO2/km – provisional figures). The GLA 200 CDI is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine which develops 136 hp and 300 Nm of torque. According to the official press release, it needs only 4.3 litres of fuel for 100 km.
The GLA 220 CDI features the same 2.2-liters engine that develops 170 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Both GLA 200 CDI and 220 CDI are available with four-wheel drive (4MATIC).
All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function as standard and are combined with a six speed manual transmission or with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission (standard for GLA 250, GLA 220 CDI and the 4MATIC models).
In terms of safety, the GLA is offered as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which now helps to protect against collisions from a speed of only 7 km/h.
Mercedes-Benz centers its design philosophy on sensual clarity as a clear expression of modern luxury. Under this philosophy, the design of a Mercedes vehicle should be defined by clear contours and smooth surfaces as they help convey its advancements in technology and its oozing emotional appeal. This result is the so-called sensual clarity, as exuded in the brand’s core design values: Tradition, Emotion and Progression.
These values serve as the guide for designing each model, as highlighted differently in each nameplate. In a way, Mercedes is able to link the usually huge gap between tradition and progression, as well as between avant-grade and modernity. For each Mercedes model, there is a specific role and character, as exemplified by the values that its design tries to impart. Despite the differences between each model and the new stylistic developments, any Mercedes model is easily identifiable as a Mercedes, thanks to the fact the carmaker has carefully incorporated its own signature cues into them.
Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design at Daimler AG, remarked that the stunning features of the GLA have allowed this SUV to embody the brand’s progressive thinking while impressing people with its off-road proportions. He quipped that the GLA’s clearly defined surfaces exude power and serenity, adding that the new SUV combines emotional appeal and a necessary level of clarity.
Being an SUV, the new Mercedes Benz GLA has thoroughly fused the design values of Progression and Tradition. While the GLA is an all-rounder with Mercedes’ signature DNA, it is also full of youth as well as a bit dramatic.