Apparently, tis the season for compact SUVs. Mercedes-Benz’s new GLA, which is a cross between a sedan and an SUV—also known as a crossover—has officially gone into production ahead of schedule in Rastatt, Germany, and can be expected in dealerships in spring 2014.
The GLA—which will compete with the BMW X1, the Audi Q3 and the Porsche Macan—has some pretty impressive specifications. Here’s the rundown from The Malay Mail Online:
“The future crossover will be available in four versions, ranging in power from 136hp (GLA 200 CDI 4MATIC) to 211hp (GLA 250 4MATIC).
The most eco-friendly model in the line will be the Mercedes GLA 200 CDI, with its 136hp diesel engine and average CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The most powerful model, meanwhile, is the Mercedes GLA 250 4MATIC®, which can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 6.5s and reach a top speed of 235km/h. The latter model’s fuel consumption averages out at 7.1L/100km, which translates into CO2 emissions of 151g/km.
The Mercedes GLA will have the latest version of Mercedes’s branded all-wheel drive system, 4MATIC®, designed to distribute power effectively among the wheels. It also includes a collision-prevention system to avoid crashes at speeds of over 7km/h, a rear park assist feature, and the option to automatically cap the vehicle’s top speed at 200km/h.”
In terms of styling, it actually reminds us of some of Subaru’s Outback designs although the GLA has Mercedes-Benz features that Subaru can only dream of. Although station wagons are officially unfashionable these days, we do think it is ironic that smaller, “crossover” SUVs are central to many brands’ plans in 2014. Whereas station wagons were about storage space and economy, crossover SUVs are about luxury, comfort, and in the GLA AMG®’s case: turbocharged touring performance.
And as you can tell by the photos, Mercedes is offering quite a bit of luxury for the $31,000 price point. For more details, check out Car and Driver’s review of its features. If you are considering a crossover SUV this season, stop by the showroom at Leith, Inc. Authorized Mercedes-Benz Sales and Service to inquire about the GLA.