Mercedes unveils Range Rover Evoque-rivalling GLA model
A pumped-up version of the new A-Class, dubbed the Mercedes-Benz GLA, is the latest crossover to join the burgeoning horde of 'soft-roaders' currently roaming around a town near you.
The new model is based on the same MFA platform as the A-Class, B-Class and the recently launched CLA but measures in at 4417mm long, 1805mm wide and 1494mm high – slightly higher and longer than the A-Class.
Unlike many other crossovers, the GLA will be offered with Mercedes' 4Matic four-wheel-drive system with power coming from a 168bhp 2.1-litre turbodiesel in the GLA220 CDI and a 208bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol in the range-topping GLA250.
Those who prefer their cars slightly less thirsty and driven by the front wheels only can opt for a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol with 154bhp in the base GLA200 and a 134bhp 1.8-litre turbodiesel in the GLA200 CDI.
Manual gearboxes with six cogs will be the reserve of the front-wheelers while the 4Matic offerings use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Customers can request auto boxes as an optional extra on the front-wheelers.
Mercedes engines have always been praised for their frugality and nothing has changed here with the most efficient model, the GLA200 CDI, expected to average 65.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
The styling may not be to everyone's tastes with a prominent front grille and heavily sculpted side flanks perhaps appearing a little too fussy but big, impressive wheels will come as standard.
The interior will also boast the sort of premium feel one would expect from a Benz, so iPhone compatibility, internet connectivity and apps such as Twitter and Google Maps will feature.
Prices start at £25,000 and customers can expect to receive their cars early in January 2014.