GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS, G – Mercedes-Benz already has a variety of SUV models, and that’s not including the different body styles which are available for two of them. It could have easily dropped the basic GLA model, but this was shoehorned into a different role instead.
The first good spyshots for the 2nd generation GLA popped up a few weeks ago. And while nobody knows for sure what this will look like, all signs point towards a jacked up version of the A-Class hatchback, which is still not available in the USA.
This is because, like many other automakers, Mercedes believes that younger buyers want small, “urban” crossovers that take them to work during the week and on adventures come weekend. Of course, this is completely false, as models like the MINI Clubman or Audi Q2 don’t belong to any particular demographic and usually sell on the quality of their designs alone.
If the 2021 GLA ends up looking like this rendering from Russian website Kolesa, we’ll be happy campers. It’s got just enough black plastic to be rugged and A-Class features to give it a sporty edge. It’s nowhere near as creatively designed as some of its rivals. But if you want something nobody else will buy, just get a Citroen.
We predict that the GLA will have the same wheelbase as the A-Class, which would mean 10cm less than the GLB. Thus, it won’t be very spacious, but lightness will be on its side.
The baby crossover should make similar compromises in the powertrain department too, adopting a solid rear axle for the cheaper models and one of Renault’s 1.3 or 1.5 turbocharged base engines. Higher up, we should see the 2-liter diesel, which will be popular with the Germans. At least one AMG is planned, along with a PHEV version.