Mercedes-Benz is really taking the fight to BMW and Audi, listed as number 1 and 2 respectively in the global premium car sales list. Latest armour is the new GLA-Class, the brand’s smallest SUV so far. The GLA will be for eligible people who don’t like the X1, Q3, nor the Volvo Cross Country. It’s coming to Mzansi in 2014.
The GLA is based on the GLA Concept which was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Auto, and is small compared to the likes of the G, GL, ML and GLK (not available here yet). It measures 4.4 metres long, 1.8m wide and 1.49m high. While the GLA is not exactly an off-roader, it can be fitted with the company 4MATIC all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which is probably more for better traction in slippery conditions than anything else.
Some of the safety systems to be expected include Attention Assist drowsiness detection, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Distronic Plus.
At the international launch there will be a GLA 200, GLA 250, GLA 200 CDI and GLA 220 CDI. Starting with the GLA 200, it has the company 1.6-litre turbo engine making 115kW and 250Nm of torque. GLA 250 is a 2.0-litre turbo with 155kW and 350Nm. The two diesels are: GLA 200 CDI with 100kW and 300Nm, and GLA 220 CDI making 125kW and 350Nm. All models will be offered with a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic.