Mercedes is making things hard for its prestige competition with strategic pricing on several models, the latest of which is the GLA-Class arriving in a couple of months with an attractive entry level of $47,900.
That gets you into the front-wheel drive 2.2-litre GLA200 CDI diesel, which for the price delivers 100kW of power, 300Nm of torque and an admirable 4.3-litres/100km fuel economy.
Sitting above that is the $57,900 GLA250, carrying a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 165kW/350Nm, delivered to Merc's 4-Matic all-wheel drive with the seven-speed dual clutch transmission shared by all variants. On the top shelf there's the $79,900 GLA45AMG with a hand-built 265kW/450Nm turbocharged petrol four.
All engines have stop-start technology, while the 4-Matic gets downhill speed assist and an on-demand offroad transmission mode. Options packages include some offroad capability for the GLA200 and driver assistance features for both it and the GLA250, plus AMG extras that add sharper dynamics, sportier suspension and larger wheels.
Mercedes says the new arrival will have particular appeal to a younger demographic. "Our new GLA-Class reinterprets the compact SUV segment," CEO Horst Von Sanden says. "Continuing the success of our range in the compact class, the GLA broadens our offering to a youthful, more dynamic target market. Its expressive design, practicality and versatility, and superb performance will ensure that the GLA-Class is highly desired in our local market."