Unveiling the Mercedes-Benz SUV Range

The compact car Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) family from Mercedes-Benz now consists of eight models globally that cover all bases: three wheelbase lengths, front and all-wheel drive, as well as petrol and diesel models.

  • Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Mercedes-Benz GLB
  • Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupé
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d Coupé
  • Mercedes-Benz G 400d
  • Mercedes-Benz GLS

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA

During the launch, Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off its biggest, most luxurious GLA to date, ensuring the entry-level model in the brand’s successful family of SUV models rounds off its current compact-car generation in style.

Under the GLA Hood

South African customers will be able to choose from the GLA 200 and the GLA 200d at launch. The GLA 200’s 1332cc engine puts out 120kW and 250Nm of torque, with combined fuel consumption of 6.0–5.7 1/100 km. By comparison, the GLA 200d’s 1950cc diesel engine generates 110kW and 320Nm of torque, with combined fuel consumption of 5.2–4.9 l/100 km. The engines were completely modernised for the new edition of the compact model series, with significantly increased performance and improved efficiency and emissions.

The GLA Exterior

The GLA features powerful overall proportions, with short overhangs front and rear. Typical of the GLA is the powerful shoulders of the bodywork and the coupé-like lines of the side windows, giving the car its dynamically elegant flair. The doors reach over the sills, thereby improving ease of access, keeping the door frames (and the occupants’ trousers) free of dirt, and improving impact protection in the event of a side collision. All-round protective cladding adds structure to the overall proportions and emphasises the vehicle’s off-road character, as does the simulated underride guard at the front and rear.

Mercedes-Benz GLA front grille

Contemporary Interior

The instrument panel on the driver’s side is dominated by a free-standing display unit, which is available with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), a 7- and 10.25-inch display (26 cm) and, in the Widescreen version, with two 10.25-inch displays. The five, round ventilation outlets feature a high-quality turbine look, and the door centre panel flows seamlessly over into the armrest.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA Dashboard
Meredes-Benz GLA rear seats

The GLAs Eagle Eye in the Sky

Driving assistance systems have also been enhanced in the new GLA and if you opt for the optional Driving Assistance Package, features include turning manoeuvre function, emergency corridor function, exit warning, pedestrian warning, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steer Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, route-based speed adjustment, evasive steering assist, active lane-keeping assist, active blind-spot assist, active brake assist, traffic sign assist and pre-safe plus which detects a potential rear impact.

GLA Car Wash Function

I kid you not. The GLA is the first model in its class to feature a car wash function: with just one command, the exterior mirrors are folded in and the side windows and sliding roof closed. The climate control switches to the air-recirculation mode and, after a few seconds, the front image from the 360° camera (if fitted) is displayed to assist the driver when driving into the car wash. These settings are automatically deactivated when the driver drives out of the car wash.

The GLA Models at a Glance

Mercedes-Benz South Africa GLA Model Spec Sheet



Travel & Motoring Journalist specialising in Africa.

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