2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA makes global debut

Rohit Paradkar Updated: December 11, 2019, 10:01 PM IST

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA has made its global debut, not at a motor show or any swanky function, but on the internet! Not like Mercedes-Benz was saving some precious bucks, but to highlight the GLA's digital approach and smart connected tech that it has onboard. It is also a part of Mercedes-Benz's new digital approach, one of which is the digital stage that all media and customers could participate in for the global reveal.

Entry level cars currently form one-fourth of Merc's global sales, and the GLA has constituted to over a million units in total. It has also fulfilled its duty of attracting new customers for the brand. Most GLA customers typically upgrade within the brand.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA Edition 1

The design is typical GLA - coupé like form, accentuated shoulder like, an upright front end and an imposing face. The lines are sleeker now and there is a sense of minimalism to the design. The new bodywork boasts of a drag coefficient of 0.28cD.

"The new GLA embodies the perfect synergy between pure beauty and robust off-road elements," according to Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer, Daimler Group. "With it, we are carrying the dynamic SUV forward into the future of modern luxury."

The new GLA features sleeker lines than the outgoing car. The broad headlamps still have hints of the previous generation of Merc's designs though, compared to the sharper theme seen on cars like the second-generation A-Class and the CLA

The tail lights feature the new detailing pattern that is now common across the Mercedes-Benz crossover/SUV line-up

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA is expectedly larger than the outgoing counterpart. It claims a 100mm increase in height, which should fix the hatchback-like proportions that its predecessor was ridiculed for. The taller height has its advantages in better headroom and Mercedes-Benz also seems to have raised the seating height to allow a more commanding view of the road.

The second-generation GLA is 30mm wider, but 14mm shorter on the length. But Mercedes-Benz says that they have improved the rear legroom by up to 120mm compared to the preceding model. Furthermore, the rear bench boasts of a 40:20:40 split and each of the seats are adjustable for reach. The rear bench can be dropped flat for more cargo space if required. The cabin also features a panoramic sunroof.

The dashboard layout is very similar to the A-Class hatchback, featuring the turbine-style vents, and a big infotainment screen with the MBUX operating system. The MBUX will be standard across the range, but the twin-displays will be sized between seven and 10.25 inches depending on the variant.

Augmented reality is one of the big talking points for the GLA and it is a part of the navigation system. We have already experienced the system in the upcoming GLE and GLS, and it's pretty cool. Using augmented reality and the forward facing camera, the navigation system displays are easy to read and understand direction signs, names of streets and points of interest. The GLA's MBUX also gets the car-wash assist feature from the new GLS. It will automatically fold the mirrors, roll up the windows, turn off the auto-wipers etc. to prepare the car for the wash.

There is a Crosswalk Assist system that can detect a zebra crossing, any pedestrians that look like they are going to cross the road, and warn and brake autonomously if you aren't paying attention. The new assistance systems can automatically detect and slow down for traffic jams, pedestrians and animals and even brake autonomously if required. In fact, the GLA benefits from plenty of assists that debuted on the updated S-Class (internationally) viz. Active Distance Assist with the braking functions for stationary vehicles; Active Parking Assist and navigation; Active Steer Assist with Evasive Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist; Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Emergency Braking Assist, Active Lane Change Assist in conjunction with navigation, Active Speed Limit Assist and Pre-safe Plus.

At launch, the 2020 GLA has two engine options to choose from. At the base is the GLA 200, which uses a 4-cylinder 1.33-litre engine that is good for 163PS of power and 250Nm of torque and it is mated to the 7-speed DCT. It claims a 0-100kmph sprint of a respectable 8.7s and a top speed of 210kmph.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 AMG

The range topper for the petrol line-up is the GLA 35 AMG which uses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-petrol which puts out 306PS of power and 400Nm of torque. 0-100kmph sprint is claimed at 5.1s and the top speed is 250kmph! It is mated to Mercedes-AMG's new 8-speed DCT.

Going forward, diesels and more powerful petrol engines are likely to be added to the range, along with a new hybrid powertrain.

The suspension set-up consists of MacPherson struts at the front and a 4-link rear axle. The track width at the front and rear is 40mm wider than the predecessor. All GLA models can be specified with the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, which by default, comes with the Off-road Engineering Package which consists of the Off-road driving mode which changes engine and 4MATIC response for use on rough roads. The pack also tinkers with the optional Multibeam LED lights at night to identify obstacles in the path and leaves the cornering lights switched on at all times (under 50kmph) for increased visibility. The Off-road pack also features the downhill assist feature.

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA will go on sale globally by early 2020 and will arrive in India by the festive season.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 42.1 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)

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