What Is It?
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
What's Special About It?
Despite its diminutive exterior dimensions, including a very low overall height, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA is comfortable inside. You'll know you're in a small vehicle, sure, but you'll fit. What's more, it's strikingly well-finished, with an interior so nice that it rivals the materials found in models priced well into six figures.
The GLA is no off-roader, as Mercedes expects most to be used in urban areas, but it's not totally useless in the gravel, either.
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler's chairman, said at the Mercedes-Benz press conference that the GLA is the trekking boot of the Benz lineup. "Certainly you can't climb Everest in it," he said. "But you shouldn't be afraid of lawn edges, either."
This should surprise no one.
In person, the small SUV is well-proportioned, balanced and attractive.
As importantly, it's efficient.
The GLA's 0.29 coefficient of drag is the best in the compact SUV class. Thank the low overall height for the small frontal area of only 710 square feet. Its overall length is also shorter than BMW's X1 and Infiniti's QX50 — a fact that's obvious when you're looking at the small cargo area. Though Zetsche was conspicuously silent about fuel economy in the presentation, less vehicle to haul around should aid fuel economy.
Only one engine will be available when the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA goes on sale next fall. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will drive either the front or all four (4Matic) wheels, though front-drive models won't be available until later. Mercedes says the 4Matic version will hit 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and continue on to a 145-mph top speed.
A strut front suspension and multilink rear are coupled to standard 18-inch wheels and an advanced stability control system. Torque is distributed between the front and rear axles via an electronically controlled clutch. The GLA's electronics can correct oversteer and make steering corrections when braking on surfaces with varying grip levels.
See more details in our 2015 GLA-Class news story.
What Edmunds Says:
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA appears to have the power, utility and style to be competitive in this growing segment.
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder
Gearbox: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power: 208 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque
Length: 173.9 inches
Height: 71.0 inches
Width: 58.8 inches