Fit for off-road excursions - Multi-talented: The new Mercedes-Benz GLA

Feb 10, 2014
Progressive in design, serene in day-to-day motoring and with good off‑road capability: a wanderer between automotive worlds, the Mercedes‑Benz GLA reinterprets the compact SUV segment in convincing style. It lightfootedly masters all day-to-day challenges and is also robust enough for off-road excursions.
The first Mercedes-Benz in the fast-growing compact SUV segment is highly manoeuvrable around town (length x width x height: 4417 x 1804 x 1494 millimetres), lively on country and pass roads and dynamic and efficient on the motorway (Cd figure 0.29). The high-quality appointments, developed with a loving attention to detail, and the flexible interior clearly position the GLA as a compact premium SUV.
As the first Mercedes SUV, the GLA is optionally available with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive featuring fully variable torque distribution.
The new GLA rounds off the extensive SUV portfolio from Mercedes-Benz. With five model series (GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G), the company offers the widest range of any European premium manufacturer and meets all the individual mobility wishes of its customers. At the same time the GLA-Class is the fourth of a total of five new compact models from Mercedes-Benz. The sales figures amply demonstrate how well the new compact models are received by customers: in 2013, worldwide 371,399 vehicles from the A and B-Class and the new CLA Coupé were delivered (+64%). Especially gratifying is the high conquest rate of the new A-Class: around 50 percent of the buyers in Europe come from other brands.
As a serene day-to-day companion the GLA has a flexible and variable interior. The rear seat backrests can not only be folded down completely, but are also adjustable for angle if required. The large luggage compartment (421 - 1235 litres) is well laid-out and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low loading sill and the wide tailgate, which opens and closes automatically as an option.
The particularly rigid body structure provides a reliable basis for a wide range of applications. Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250.
The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI develops 100 kW (136 hp), has a displacement of 2.2 litres and maximum torque of 300 Nm. It emits only 114 g of CO2 per kilometre. The GLA 220 CDI likewise has a displacement of 2.2 litres and develops 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm.
All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.
With the three lines "Style", "Urban" and "AMG Line", the "Night" package and "Exclusive" package as well as further optional extras, the GLA offers the broadest scope for individualisation.
Design: quality and self-assurance
Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that communicate high-tech while exuding an all-embracing emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progression. These make up the leitmotif which is accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progression. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, in the interests of keeping tradition alive the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
"With its striking features the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthrals with its off-road proportions," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. "The clearly defined surfaces convey power and serenity, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much purity as necessary."
As an SUV, the new GLA combines the key design values of Progression and Tradition, and is the SUV of the future. It is an all-rounder with hallmark Mercedes-Benz SUV genes, but more youthful, sculptural and full of subtle drama.
The low greenhouse, raised vehicle body and large wheel arches give the GLA great appeal. The clearly defined surfaces are supplemented with sharp lines that provide definition and precision, varying the sculptured contours of the vehicle body which is sensitively modelled and subtly dramatic.
The prominent and self-assured upright front end with a central star lends a muscular and superior impression to the GLA. Powerdomes structure the bonnet as sporty features, and the twin-louvre grille accentuates the vehicle's width. An impressive front aspect is ensured by the headlamps and LED daytime running lamps. This iconic Mercedes-Benz design feature has been developed further using trifunctional fibre-optics, and gives the vehicle its characteristic light signature. The front bumper features diamond-pattern grilles in front of the cooling air intakes. The optional fog lamps are integrated into the front bumper. A simulated underguard at the front and contrasting dark-grey cladding all-round emphasise the SUV characteristics of the GLA. This cladding extends around the bottom edge of the vehicle like a frame and provides protection against stone impact.
The side view of the GLA likewise conveys power and serenity. Following the design philosophy, the "dropping line" emerges at the headlamp and extends to the rear wheel arch. The line of the beltline trim gradually rises from the rear door to the C-pillar. Together the light-catching contour on the curvature and the counter-line to the dropping line at side sill height create an interplay of lines that lends the car flowing dynamism and subtle drama. At the sides the cladding follows the contours of the wheel arches and side sill panels into the rear bumper. The side panel has depressions shaped like an excavator's teeth to accentuate the SUV character. Standard-fit roof trim strips complete the impression; in combination with the "Style" line or the "Night" package, aluminium roof rails in high-gloss black are available as optional extras (black roof rails as standard in the Style line and the Night package, chrome-plated roof rails in the Urban and AMG lines). On request the GLA is fitted with tyres up to size 19-inch.
The muscular shoulders over the rear axle are further highlighted by the inward taper of the C-pillars. In combination with the divided tail lights, this emphasises the width of the rear end. It combines dynamic lines with an overall harmonious appearance.
This impression is heightened by the curved rear window and the sweeping chrome handle between the tail lights. Thanks to the divided tail lights, the loading hatch is pleasantly wide. The large, aerodynamically very effective roof spoiler is another eye-catching feature. It takes up the structure of the rear roof cladding and accommodates the third brake light and various aerials. In the area of the rear bumper cladding there are other SUV-specific features such as a robust external load sill guard and a simulated underguard available in silver, dark chrome or high-gloss black.
Interior: attractive design features and high perceived quality
The muscular and imposing appearance of the exterior is systematically continued into the interior. The interior has a particularly high feel of quality that is achieved by the contours, and the choice and combinations of high-grade materials. The heavy emphasis on horizontal lines, the dynamic design and the highly attractive design features are other high-quality attributes. The same applies to the great precision of joints and gap dimensions.
The dashboard consists of an upper and lower section, allowing surface structures that are different in look and feel. Matt and glossy 3D geometries (graining) create an attractive light effect. The three-dimensional trim section of innovative membrane, aluminium or wood lends a new, modern touch to the interior. The matt satin finish of the wood trim further underscores the modern character and makes the surfaces particularly pleasant to the touch.
Five round air vents are integrated into the dashboard. As an exclusive GLA feature, bezels are optionally available around these circular vents whose SUV-look echoes the underguard and side member claddings. The bezels can be galvanised as an option. The direction of the airflow can be varied by butterfly-shaped inserts which can be optionally galvanised in silver-shadow.
The large, free-standing display has a high-gloss display facing in piano-black and a flush-fitting surround in silver-shadow. This gives the display a particularly high-quality look. A 3-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys and a galvanised chrome clasp feature as standard. On request a sporty instrument cluster version with two tubes is available.
In this case there is a small dial instrument in each of the large dial instruments. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o'clock position. The needle inlays are always in silver.
The wide choice of seat upholsteries in material (e.g. leather, fabric, fabric/leather) and colour combinations allows plenty of scope for individualisation. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are available as an optional extra.
The high quality of the sports seats is emphasised by the aperture in the lower section of the head restraint. On the rear of the front seats this aperture is framed by a surround in silver-shadow, and can have ambience lighting on request.
If the optional Load Compartment package is ordered, the backrest of the rear seat unit can be moved to a steeper position, the so-called cargo position. This enlarges the load compartment capacity by 60 litres, providing more space for bulky items while still allowing the rear seats to be used by passengers.
Set into a galvanised surround, the controls for the optional "electric seat adjustment with memory" are arranged on the interior door panels in typical Mercedes style - a unique feature in this segment. The interior door panels are likewise of extremely high quality. The soft, matt surfaces extend right from the beltline to the door pocket. In combination with the lines or the Exclusive package the door armrests have a high-quality chrome trim strip and, as an option, ambient lighting.
Aerodynamics: as sleek as they come
With the GLA, yet another model series is set to become the leader in its segment with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. It has a Cd value of 0.29. The drag area, Cd x A, which decisively affects fuel consumption from around 60 km/h, is also outstanding at 0.66 m2.
The good air flow characteristics, which are a major contributory factor to the vehicle's low fuel consumption in everyday conditions, result from numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures. These include a low A-pillar step with suitable A-pillar geometry and aerodynamically optimised exterior mirror housings. The rear end is also streamlined. The measures here include the roof spoiler lip and the aerodynamically shaped tail lights. Rear spoilers at the sides ensure that the airflow breaks off for optimal aerodynamic efficiency. Seals in the front bumper (around radiator grille including headlamps) complement the aerodynamic measures.
Extensive underbody panelling, additional panelling in the middle area of the rear axle and an aerodynamically optimised rear silencer followed by a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.
Numerous measures have also been taken to reduce wind noise in the GLA. These include a multi-level door sealing concept, additional sealing of the joint between the tailgate and the roof and side seals on the tailgate. Particularly rigid window frames prevent the airflow from pulling on the doors at higher speeds, and reduce vibrations. External noise has also been minimised by the low A-pillar step mentioned above and by exterior mirrors connected to the body by a stem.
Engines and transmissions: dynamic expression of leadership aspirations
The GLA can be driven at a fuel consumption of only 4.3 litres per 100 km, setting new standards in its segment. Modern four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection, as well as an ECO start/stop function as standard, make for superior efficiency. The new GLA-Class also takes the lead in its segment with its dynamic performance figures.
Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250. The GLA 250 4MATIC sprints from zero to 100 km/h in only 7.1 seconds, underlining the GLA-Class's leadership aspirations on the dynamics front. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and a combined consumption figure of just 6.5 l/100 km (151 g CO2/km).
The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI generates 100 kW (136 hp), maximum torque of 300 Nm and has a displacement of 2.2 litres. This engine has been reengineered for greater efficiency. The modifications include optimisation of the belt drive, a cylinder head package with different roller bearings and additional finishing, optimisation of the vacuum pump, aluminium pistons with optimised assembly clearances and a low-friction ring package, and the roller bearings of the Lanchester balancer shaft.
The GLA 200 CDI requires just 4.3 litres of fuel for 100 km, which equates to 114 g CO2/km. It is rated efficiency class A. The GLA 220 CDI with the same displacement of 2.2 litres generates 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm.
All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines 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), which unites comfort and sportiness in a very special way.
Suspension: for guaranteed recreational fun
With the new GLA Mercedes-Benz is adding a new member to the successful SUV family. This compact model reinterprets the SUV concept in a new, modern way, because the GLA is less long-legged and imposing than previous SUVs, and therefore fits perfectly into the day-to-day urban lifestyle.  At the same time the optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the robust body structure and the variable interior concept guarantee plenty of recreational enjoyment. Motto: away from the daily routine. Rough terrain – the beach, loose ground, unsurfaced gradients – all of these are no problem for the GLA.
The chassis of the CLA features a McPherson front axle and an independent multilink rear suspension. Three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel manage the incoming forces. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are independent of one another. The wheel carriers and spring control arms are made of aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. In the versions with 4MATIC, the rear axle carrier is isolated with rubber bushings for the benefit of ride comfort. In all, there are three suspension variants to choose from: the comfort suspension as standard, the dynamic handling package with suspension lowered by 15 mm and Sports Direct-Steer system, plus the off-road comfort suspension (optional).
Compared to conventional systems, the electromechanical power steering provides better feedback to the driver and makes an important contribution to the vehicle's overall efficiency, as the servo assistance only requires energy when the vehicle is actually steered. It also allows various steering assistance functions that are initiated by the ESP® control unit. These include countersteering when the vehicle oversteers, steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different levels of grip, reducing the effects of front-wheel drive on the steering and compensation of cross-winds and road camber.
The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, as well as a high level of NVH comfort. There are additional reinforcements e.g. to the B-pillars, front damper domes, side members and underbody.
High traction reserves: 4MATIC all-wheel drive
Mercedes-Benz offers the GLA with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution as an option. This all-wheel drive system excels with high traction reserves and outstanding agility, combined with superlative driving safety and energy efficiency.
The components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. This set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight than is available from the competition and high efficiency.
Confident on light terrain: off-road functions
Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the centre 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. This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by specific braking intervention.
When the off-road transmission mode is selected using the transmission mode switch, the shift points and accelerator characteristics are modified so that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain, and particularly on loose surfaces, can be met. In combination with Audio 20 CD (standard) and COMAND Online (optional extra), the head unit can also be switched to an off-road display. The steering angle, the selected off-road transmission mode and a compass are displayed there. The roll angle in degrees, the gradient in percent and activation of Downhill Speed Regulation DSR are also indicated.
Smart safety: advanced assistance systems
Numerous driving assistance systems offer support in the GLA and reduce the driver's workload. Standard-fit features for the SUV include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which now helps to avoid collisions from a speed as low as 7 km/h.
This feature combines with DISTRONIC PLUS (optional extra) to become COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. This incorporates an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 30 km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 20 km/h.
Established assistance systems, such as the optional Lane Tracking package with Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist or Adaptive Highbeam Assist, are also available for the GLA. Active Parking Assist (optional) allows automatic parking in parallel and end-on parking spaces.
"Always on": the multimedia systems
The latest multimedia generation deployed in the GLA boasts new functions, additional apps and a modified graphic colour scheme.
Daimler's Digital Drive Style app concept, which together with the Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® allows seamless integration of an iPhone® into the vehicle, has been extended. Highlights include Siri voice control and Glympse real-time location sharing. Glympse enables the user to share his or her current location with selected persons. Additional functions include Facebook®, Twitter®, internet radio, AUPEO!™ personal radio and the advanced navigation system from Garmin® with internet-based real-time traffic information, an online POI search function including Street View™ and a 3D map display.
The COMAND Online multimedia system has also been extended. The latest generation offers an improved map display, an additional Bluetooth® profile (to enable the internet to be accessed via iPhone®, for example), the display of images additionally in bmp and png formats and the real-time transfer of traffic data via LIVE TRAFFIC.
Here is an overview of the models and prices:
GLA 2001
GLA 2502/ GLA 250 4MATIC1
Number of cylinders/arrangement
4 in-line
4 in-line
4 in-line
4 in-line
Displacement (cc)
Rated power (kW/hp
at rpm)
at 5300
at 5500
at 3400-4000
at 3400-4000
Rated torque 
(Nm at rpm)
250 at       1250-4000
350 at 
300 at 
350 at 
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km)
5.9 S
6.0/6.5 S
4.3/4.9 D
4.4/4.9 D
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
Efficiency class
Acceleration 0-100  
km/h (s)
Top  speed (km/h)
Price (euros)3
1 Available from March 2014, 2 Available from May 2014, 3 Sales price in Germany, incl. 19% VAT
GLA-Class - Driving Event Granada
GLA-Class - Driving Event Granada