NEW FOR 2015:
Following last year's introduction of the CLA-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz adds a subcompact model called the GLA-Class to its crossover range.
Based on the CLA (which in turn is based on the B-Class), the GLA shares its powertrains with that little sedan. There's a 2.0L four-cylinder in GLA 250 trim that makes 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and in the GLA 45 AMG, it pumps out 355 hp and 332 lb-ft. Both engines come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, but the AMG's is tuned for crisper shifts and sharper performance.
Where the CLA 250 starts out as a front-driver, all GLA models get 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
GLA 250 standard equipment includes electromechanical power steering, collision prevention assist plus, attention assist, heated front seats, power 12-way front seats with memory, power windows, reflector beam headlights, split-folding rear seatback, run-flat tires, raised suspension, eight airbags, adaptive brake with hold function, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch wheels, chrome roof rails, rear privacy glass, 'artico' leather upholstery, Bluetooth with music streaming function, stability control with dynamic cornering assist, and a Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel with shift paddles.
GLA 45 AMG models build on the 250, adding the more powerful engine, and a raft of AMG-tuned mechanicals, including the dual-clutch transmission, cooling system, brakes, exhaust, suspension, and speed-sensitive steering. Nineteen inch wheels replace 18s; additional features not shared with the 250 include bi-Xenon headlights, silver brake calipers, 'artico/dinamica' upholstery, aluminum interior trim, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and AMG floor mats.