Renewed GLA in Ireland this month

A substantially revised GLA is on its way from Mercedes-Benz, with more engines, stronger style details, and improved interior design, writes Trish Whelan.

Shown first at Detroit in January, I’m driving the car in Budapest today at the Hungaroring before it arrives in Ireland later this month at a starting price of €34,759, for the bestselling GLA180d model, which includes the brand’s current 10pc price reduction offer here.

The GLA is Mercedes-Benz’s smallest SUV, and was first launched in 2013. It has been most successful in key markets which include China, USA, Germany and Britain.

Depending on market, there are six petrol powertrains and five diesels.

The visual changes for 2017 include modified bumpers, new alloys choices, and the option of LED headlights which have been designed to provide a colour temperature similar to daylight.

Inside there are new seat trims, more chrome on controls panels, and new style to the main instrumentation. A new Comfort Exclusive package enhances the previous Exclusive package with the addition of SUV-specific black leather seats with buffalo-hide look, with Style and Urban versions also fitted with new seat cover fabrics. The boot lid can now be opened and closed with a foot movement. Optionally available is a 360deg camera that projects the surroundings of the car in full and split screen format.

Brake lights and indicators are controlled in three intensities. Full brightness by day, a medium level for driving during the night and a lower level when at a standstill during the night, so as not to dazzle other road users.

The GLA has Active Brake Assist as standard. It warns the driver if there is not sufficient distance to the vehicle in front and, if required, delivers situation-appropriate braking. If the system detects that the driver is reacting too late, it initiates autonomous braking in order to prevent the collision or minimise the consequences.

At the top end, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 4matic offers 4.4s sprint capability with a 381hp version of the turbocharged 2.0 petrol engine.

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