Mercedes-Benz’s GLA urban warrior hits Irish streets

Fourth of five planned new models brings marque into rapidly expanding compact premium SUV market


The new Mercedes-Benz GLA is already arriving in Irish dealerships, mere weeks after its European launch. Effectively a high-rise A-Class in its mechanical package, the GLA takes the styling of the A and adds taller sides, bigger wheel arches and grey body cladding to give it more of an SUV air.

Inside, again, the style is very much that of the A-Class, with a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and optional high-backed “tombstone” seats. As with almost every new car now, in-car connectivity is high on the GLA’s agenda: it has an integrated iPhone connection with full Siri voice control, as well as on-the-go Twitter and Facebook access.

The engine range kicks off for now with a 136hp GLA 200CDI, which will cost from €35,500. That will be undercut by a more affordable but less powerful GLA 180CDI later in the year. A more powerful 170hp GLA 220CDI is available from launch, as is a brace of petrol engines: a GLA 200 with a 1.6-litre 156hp engine and a 2.0-litre 221hp GLA 250. All engines are available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment includes driver-drowsiness detection and a collision-alert warning with active braking; the options list includes a full active-braking system that can throw out an anchor at speeds of up to 200km/h to avoid a collision.

Although it’s being touted as an urban off-roader, the GLA will be available with 4Matic four-wheel drive if you fancy a bit of mud-plugging. A range-topping high-performance GLA45 AMG will also be available.

There will be four trim packages – Style, Urban, AMG and Exclusive – and practicality has not been forgotten: a 421-litre boot expands to more than 800 litres when you tip the back seats.

Ciaran Allen of Mercedes-Benz says: “Following recent A-Class, B-Class and CLA introductions, the arrival of the GLA sees Mercedes-Benz take another decisive step towards capturing that younger breed of motorists that has long been in its sights.

“This is the fourth of five planned new models from Mercedes-Benz, and the GLA brings them into the rapidly expanding compact premium SUV market – the fastest growing segment globally and one that is predicted to treble in size over the next decade.”

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