It also now sits below the GLB, the largest car on that platform and a new, fully fledged rival to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. That leaves the GLA to compete with smaller compact crossovers such as the Audi Q2 and Ford Focus Active and is why it likely has a lower, more car-like profile.
Minimal technical details of the GLA have been released, but we know it will be closely linked to the A-Class in terms of interior design and technology, engines and gearboxes. That means it will adopt Mercedes’ latest touchpad and voice-controlled MBUX infotainment system, alongside more advanced safety features and increased material quality.
The engine range will kick off with a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol unit developed in conjunction with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This will likely be available in two states of tune, while a 2.0-litre engine will top out the range for the time being. A 1.5-litre diesel will also be offered.
Later on in the GLA’s lifespan, we will see a return of the AMG-tuned GLA 45, putting out anything up to 416bhp through a performance-focused four-wheel-drive system. Before that arrives, there will be a 302bhp 35 variant, as is now available in the A-Class.
The GLA will be produced alongside the A-Class at Mercedes’ factory in Rastatt, Germany. The A-Class will also serve as the basis of the EQA, an electric hatchback that’s scheduled to arrive next year.