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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

$31,300 to $48,300
25 City - 35 Hwy

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About the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class:

Americans can’t get enough of crossover SUVs, and Mercedes wants to attract younger, less-affluent buyers who will, in theory, move up to bigger and more expensive Benzes as they earn more money. That’s right, recently employed Millennials, the new 2015 GLA-Class is aimed right at you.

Model Lineup:

Based on the same platform as the Mercedes CLA-Class, the new GLA-Class is offered as the GLA250 and as the slightly insane GLA45 AMG, each equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive. The GLA250 4Matic will be the one most people buy, mainly because the AMG-ified version costs almost 50 grand before adding any options.

Optional Equipment:

To get a sense of this diminutive crossover SUV’s value equation, consider that metallic paint, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a reversing camera are optional rather than standard. Add them, and the price tag rises to more than $41,000.

Additional upgrades include navigation, a panoramic sunroof, bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights, and bigger wheels and tires. You can also install front and rear parking sensors with Active Parking Assist technology, and CLA-Class is available with Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability.

In addition to these upgrades, the CLA45 AMG can be optioned with unique styling modification, interior trim upgrades, and performance enhancements.

Engines and Transmissions:

A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the GLA250, producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission distributes the power to the standard 4Matic AWD, which sends up to half of the engine’s output to the GLA250’s rear wheels as is necessary. Standard automatic stop-start technology helps to conserve fuel.

The GLA45 AMG model’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine whips up a rather amazing 355 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque, and Mercedes installs a special AMG SpeedShift version of the 7-speed transmission and an AMG performance version of 4Matic to handle the extra power.

Fuel Economy Ratings:

As this summary was written, the EPA had not finalized fuel economy estimates for the GLA-Class. If we had to guess, we’d bet the GLA250 will get about 26 mpg in combined driving, while the GLA45 AMG is likely to come in at around 25 mpg. But those are just edumacated guesses.

Safety Ratings:

As is typical with brand-new models just arriving in showrooms, neither the NHTSA nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had performed crash tests on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class as this summary was published.

Technology Highlights:

Every GLA-Class is equipped with a freestanding 5.8-inch infotainment screen, perched atop the elegant air vents on the dashboard. Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming are standard, along with a USB port and HD Radio. The system can be upgraded with satellite radio, premium Harmon/Kardon speakers, a navigation system, and more.

Mercedes also offers various mBrace and Mercedes-Benz Apps services. Highlights of mBrace include Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Call, and Crisis Assist. Mercedes-Benz Apps technology provides Internet browsing, access to Facebook, the ability to listen to global radio stations, and much more.

Written by Christian Wardlaw

August 22, 2014