There’s little question the AMG version looks the best. Signature AMG elements include the radiator grille, chrome splitter and inlet louvres, twin-spoke wheels, a roof spoiler, diffuser and twin round tailpipes. But with bonnet “powerdomes” and all the latest and impressively expensive looking Mercedes detailing, any version will surely seamlessly fit into Mercedes showrooms. Some of the GLA’s character may have been lost in this transformation but aerodynamic efficiency benefits: the Cd is an impressive 0.28.
All versions get protective cladding and pretend bash plates front and rear. No, it’s not really an off-roader and never has been, but with slightly more ground clearance than the outgoing version it should cope with unmade roads with ease.
4Matic all-wheel drive versions offer variable torque distribution, with an off-road mode that locks the torque split 50-50 front-rear. 4Matic cars also come with an Off-Road Engineering Package of hill descent control (Downhill Speed Regulation, DSR, in Merc-speak), an off-road animation in the media display and, in combination with Multibeam LED headlamps, a special headlight function for off-road night driving.
Oh, and if you do get your GLA dirty in off-road driving there’s the special car wash button, a feature first seen on the GLS. Just one push and the car automatically readies itself for the hardest challenge of all… Into the car wash!
The new Mercedes GLA will go on sale in the spring, with prices to be confirmed.