In Depth

Mercedes GLA SUV 2017: Everything you need to know

New model has more 'glitz' than its predecessor, say critics, but it's not to the standard of its rivals

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Mercedes' 2017 GLA SUV has arrived, bringing with it minor styling tweaks and a taller ride height. 

The rival to the Audi Q2 and BMW X1, which will arrive on UK shores in April, features a more muscular design, including glossy black highlights around a grille that mirrors the marque's current range.

These changes also add to the aerodynamics, with Mercedes saying they reduce road noise at higher speeds and improve fuel economy. 

Petrol models can achieve a claimed combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg, which is an improvement of around 10mpg over the outgoing model. Diesel units also see better economy and the new model boasts a combined 67.3mpg compared to the current generation's 65.5mpg. 

All UK cars come with off-road comfort suspension, raising the ride height by around 1.2ins to improve drivability on rough terrain. European markets also get a 220 petrol model that is paired exclusively with Mercedes' all-wheel drive 4Matic system - the UK's engine range remains unchanged. 

Mercedes has also tweaked the interior for a more premium aesthetic, including new seat covers and chrome panelling. There's also an 8ins floating touchscreen positioned above the centre console and a redesigned instrument cluster. 

Reviews

As only a handful of visual tweaks to the bumpers and LED headlights set the GLA apart from its predecessor, the small improvements introduced in the 2017 facelift will only be visible to buyers with a keen eye, says AutoExpress.

Mercedes has "added bit of glitz" to the cabin with the introduction of new upholstery and premium trim options, but it's relatively minor and builds on "what was already a pleasant" interior. The tweaks are not up to the standards of the Audi Q3, continues the magazine.

Adaptive dampers have been fitted to AMG Line models, "improving the ride quality in Comfort while keeping the Merc's handling in check when you dial it to Sport". But even in its softest setting, the GLA's ride quality is still "no better than adequate" and doesn't match that of its BMW X1 rival. 

Car agrees, saying the GLA is "hardly a rival to proper off-road-ready machines such as the Range Rover Evoque". It doesn't feel too different to a standard Ford Focus hatchback on rough terrain, the mag adds, although the adjustable hill decent "does work admirably". 

Meanwhile, in the 220d model, the 2.1-litre diesel engine "is undeniably feeling its age now" and while "able to sip fuel at a relatively parsimonious rate", it lacks refinement and can at times feel "rattly". 

AMG GLA 45

Mercedes has also added a raft of improvements to the AMG-fettled GLA 45, including a tweaked front apron and wider air intakes, similar to the AMG GT coupe. Multispoke light alloy 20ins wheels, in either matt black or titanium grey, are among several optional extras. 

The car comes equipped with a man-made leather dashboard with "contrasting red features", says AutoExpress, and "extra AMG logos" and a tweaked instrument cluster also feature. 

AMG models featuring the "A" prefix can come in a special Yellow Night Edition featuring yellow contrasts on the bodywork and yellow rims on the 20ins ten-spoke alloy wheels. It also has an AMG-performance steering wheel and comfort package as standard. 

Prices

You'll pay £25,880 for the entry-level GLA 200 SE, which features keyless start, Apple CarPlay and a reversing rear camera, while an £1,695 optional premium package will see the addition of parking assist and a Germin sat-nav. A special WhiteArt Edition, with AMG-Line body styling and 19ins black alloy wheels, is available for £31,260. 

The range-topping AMG GLA 45 enters at £46,650, for which you'll get a seven-speed automatic gearbox with 4Matic all-wheel drive, and the Yellow Night Edition model is an extra £6,485.

Mercedes 2017 GLA SUV debuts at Detroit

9 January

Mercedes has taken the wraps off its 2017 GLA SUV at the Detroit Motor Show. 

The Audi Q2 and BMW X1 rival, which is expected to arrive on UK shores in April, has received numerous styling tweaks, including a more muscular bodywork and a redesigned gloss black grille that mirrors the marque's current range. 

The modifications also add to the car's aerodynamic efficiency, with the company saying they help the GLA conserve more fuel and reduce noise levels at higher speeds.  

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Mercedes has equipped all the UK models with off-road comfort suspension, raising the ride height by around 1.2ins to improve drivability on rough terrain. There's also a new 220 petrol model available to European markets that is paired exclusively with the 4Matic all-wheel drive system, while the UK's petrol and diesel variants remain unchanged.

Inside, new seat covers and chrome panelling give a more premium aesthetic. Other additions include an 8ins floating touchscreen that sits above the centre console and a redesigned instrument cluster. 

Mercedes has also improved the AMG-fettled GLA 45, including a refined front apron and wider air intakes similar to the AMG GT coupe. Multispoke 20ins light-allow wheels are an optional extra and come in either matt black or titanium grey. 

It comes equipped with a man-made leather dashboard with "contrasting red features", says Auto Express. "Extra AMG logos" and a tweaked instrument cluster also feature. 

Orders are already open for the 2017 GLA, with prices starting at €30,821 (£26,671) for the entry-level 200 and €38,961 (£33,715) for the more powerful 250 4Matic petrol. Prices for the diesel-enginned 200d begin at €33,647 (£29,117), while the range-topping AMG 45 4Matic comes in at €56,852 (£49,197).

Mercedes tease 2017 GLA SUV ahead of Detroit debut

4 January

Mercedes-Benz has teased its 2017 GLA compact SUV ahead of its public debut at this year's Detroit Motor Show, which takes place between 8 and 22 January. 

An image posted on the company's Twitter feed shows the next generation has a more muscular body, with a double-bubble bonnet and heavily defined lines suggesting a significant design overhaul. 

Other exterior differences include a new headlight arrangement and a larger, sculpted grille that mirrors the current range of Mercedes cars. At the front are low swooping double air vents similar to the AMG GT

According to AutoExpress, the interior will receive an "updated touchscreen infotainment system" with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It may also include "some extra standard kit" and will probably have a boost in interior quality, the mag adds. 

There are no details on performance figures yet, but Autocar says the GLA could retain the existing range of engines, with a range-topping 376bhp GLA 45 AMG model "expected to keep its turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine". 

Further details will be revealed when the 2017 GLA is unveiled to the public on Monday.  

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