2020 Mercedes GLA specs, performance and more

Like the Mercedes A-Class but wish it were just a little taller and more SUV-like? You'll want to get your hands on the new Mercedes GLA

James Wilson
Mar 16, 2020

The previous GLA was a high-riding, bigger version of the Mercedes A-Class and the new model follows that tradition by being an inflated version of the new A-Class. That means you'll get a striking, modern cabin with super-slick voice controls, a comfy ride...and that you'll need to do some saving up for this crossover.

Prices start from £32,640, but if you're on a smaller budget and want to buy a car now, rather than have to wait, meanwhile, check out the best deals available on the outgoing Mercedes GLA by clicking on the button below.

The new GLA builds on the technology and design previewed by other recent compact Mercedes models – such as the new A-Class and B-Class. As a result, the 2020 Mercedes GLA is set to come with a cabin dominated by screens - though you're likely to have to pay more to get bigger, more sophisticated screens.

Mercedes has gone tech-heavy in other areas with the new GLA, too, such as safety assistance systems and a dash of off-road tech for four-wheel drive versions. Don't expect to go far off-road with the GLA, though - this is an off-roader only in name.

Quick facts

  • Two petrol engines confirmed
  • European sales to start spring 2020
  • Four-wheel-drive option available
  • Up to 50.4mpg claimed
  • Claimed CO2 emissions from 129g/km
  • Performance AMG model confirmed

2020 Mercedes GLA models and specs

The new Mercedes GLA's rather comprehensive line up of models and engines has now been confirmed. In terms of trim levels, there are six to choose from. 

Things start off with the most basic Sport models. We say the most basic, but there's still plenty of standard equipment to get your teeth into. You get 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated front seats and dual-zone air-conditioning. 

The best part is the MBUX media system with its voice-activated assistant, which is also standard across the GLA range. It's displayed here on two seven-inch displays, a touchscreen on the centre dash alongside a digital instrument display behind the steering wheel.

A step up to AMG Line trim brings a more dynamic feel. There are 19-inch alloys wheels here, along with some sporty design tweaks on the outside and sports seats inside.

Sport Executive and AMG Line Executive models offer some additional tech to their respective trim lines. Along with everything we've listed above, you'll also get front and rear parking sensors, wireless charging for your smartphone and a larger 10.3-inch central touchscreen.

If you're looking at the AMG Line specifically, you'll also have the AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus models to consider. 

AMG Line Premium delivers keyless entry, illuminated door sills and ambient interior lighting, while you also get an uprated sound system, a tow-bar and a larger 10.3-inch digital cockpit display.

Premium Plus models benefit from a panoramic sunroof, memory seats and a number of safety enhancements including traffic sign assist. There's also an option to include the Driving Assistance pack here too for another healthy injection of safety features.

2020 Mercedes GLA prices and delivery dates

In terms of pricing, Mercedes have gone in above rivals such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, with initial prices starting from £32,640 for the entry-level GLA in Sport trim, with diesel models priced from £33,740.

AMG Line trim is available from £34,140 but with more engine choices available here that price tag can climb as high as £38,430 for the model powerful diesel option.

Executive versions of Sport and AMG Line variants will add an additional £1,500 to the price, meaning Sport Executive models will begin at £34,140 while AMG Line Executive starts from £35,640.

Moving up the order, AMG Line Premium with all of it's additional tech comes with a £37,140 price tag, climbing to £41,430, while AMG Line Premium Plus goes from £38,640 and rises to £42,930.

The Driving Assistance pack that's available with Premium Plus models can be added for an additional £1,495.

2020 Mercedes GLA engines, economy and performance

Mercedes has brought the new GLA to the party with a choice of five engines, two petrol and three diesel options.

The first is the GLA 200, a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 163hp, which is available throughout the range. In terms of efficiency, this is not a bad option considering the GLA is a small crossover, CO2 emissions come in at 129-137g/km (NEDC) while fuel economy is quoted at 43.5mpg (WLTP).

A larger, more powerful petrol engine - the GLA 250 - is also available across all models. This is a 2.0-litre block producing 224hp, although emissions rise to 148-153g/km (NEDC) and fuel economy is slashed to 38.2mpg.

The other entry-level option alongside the 200 is the GLA 200d, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine capable of 150hp. It's available in either two-wheel or all-wheel drive, and it's the most efficient of the bunch, with 53.3mpg promised and CO2 emissions from 121-126gkm. Going for the all-wheel drive '4MATIC' version will blunt that efficiency slightly - 51.4mpg and 130-138g/km.

At the top of the diesel engine tree is the GLA 220d. Available exclusively in all-wheel drive, it produces 190hp while reasonable efficiency, with fuel economy figures of 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 148-153g/km.

All but the GLA 200 come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GLA 200 has a seven-speed auto. 

The only other engine confirmed from launch is another 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine expected in GLA 35 4MATIC AMG models, which will be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power output is claimed to stand at 306hp, with a corresponding 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds - pretty rapid for a car of this type. As for a top speed, Mercedes has electronically limited the GLA 35 to a top speed of 155mph.

Performance can be further helped with the addition of Mercedes’ four-wheel-drive 4MATIC system. While it doesn’t bring the kind of off-roading abilities of a Land Rover, it does offer features such as hill descent control and an additional driving mode for off-roading to maximise the grip on offer. The extra off-road features come as part of Mercedes’ “Off-Road Engineering Package” which is standard on all 4MATIC models.

The four-wheel-drive setup on 4MATIC GLA models uses a system which distributes power based on the driving mode a car is in and the road conditions. For example, while in eco/comfort modes, 80% of the engine’s power is sent to the front wheels, while 20% is sent to the rear. On the flip side, in off-road mode, the split is 50:50.

In addition to the initial models, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model is believed to be on the way. The plug-in hybrid A-Class, which the PHEV GLA will likely borrow technology from, comes with around 40 miles of range and is able to travel at speeds of up to 87mph under battery power alone, so expect a little less range than this for the bigger, heavier GLA.

2020 Mercedes GLA rivals and alternatives

Like-for-like upmarket German crossovers include the BMW X1 and Audi Q2. Both of which have their positives and negatives. For example, the BMW handles well and comes with a choice of good engines but can get expensive. Meanwhile, the Audi is spacious inside and offers impressive safety equipment, yet other appealing features are optional (and pricey). Other upmarket alternatives include the Lexus UX, Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque – with the Evoque starting at north of £30,000. 

Other small SUVs/crossovers that might appeal include the Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen T-Cross. While each has its merits, it is unlikely that someone genuinely considering a GLA would jump ship to any of the cars mentioned in this paragraph, since they are less glitzy. That said, if you wanted to go really nuts in the cost-cutting stakes, the very affordable Dacia Duster is an option, too.

2020 Mercedes GLA technology

Mercedes offers something it calls a Driving Assistance Package (whether this is standard on UK cars is yet to be confirmed). As part of this package, Active Distance Assist (think adaptive cruise control, which keeps you a safe distance behind the car in front), Active Steer Assist (helping drivers change lanes under normal and emergency situations), Active Speed Limit (which works with Traffic Sign Assist to allow a GLA to react to changes in speed limits) and Pre-safe Plus (which monitors for potential rear collisions and prepares the vehicle for impact if a collision is expected – such as applying the brakes to hopefully minimise the chances of whiplash) are all included.

Other features such as Lane Keep Assist, Evasive Steering Assist and Blind Spot Assist are also available. Blind Spot Assist remains active after a journey is completed so that when drivers exit the vehicle they are warned of the presence of any obstacles in their blind spot.

Headlining interior tech is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience system or MBUX for short. All models will come with two screens as part of MBUX but there are a couple of combinations of sizes. The range kicks off with two small seven-inch displays, above which is a system featuring one seven-inch and one 10-inch screen, with top-spec consisting of two 10-inch displays, giving you larger, clearer dials.

Complementing the large displays is a colour head-up display, which shines driving information onto the windscreen in front of the driver and can create an effect that looks as if sat-nav instructions are being projected onto the road ahead. Furthermore, voice control for the system is included.

Mercedes has announced it is offering tech it refers to as 'energizing comfort control' and 'energizing seat kinetics'. The former is claimed to combine various environmental conditions such as lighting and seat massaging which can work with an 'energizing coach' to suggest the ideal settings for users – drivers can even link selected smartwatches so that the car can learn their stress levels and sleep quality.

On top of that, ‘energizing seat kinetics” supposedly makes subtle changes to the seats during a journey to help keep users comfy. Whether these systems actually work remains to be seen. Moving away from seats, the 2020 GLA is set to come with a 'car wash' mode, which folds in the door mirrors, prevents automatic wipers from operating and alters the climate control to maintain the preferred internal conditions while going through a car wash. Once driving away clean and fresh, the GLA will revert to its normal operating mode.

For buyers of AMG models, there are a number of extra pieces of kit. This includes AMG Track Pace, which can display the ideal racing line for well-known tracks on the MBUX information and media system (drivers can add their own tracks to the system as well).

The exhaust note is adjustable too, with Sport+ mode bringing the fruitiest tune. There are also several driving models to pick from. These include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual – each subtly changing the performance of the vehicle to match their names.

Stability control has three settings, allowing drivers to dictate how much control a GLA has over its performance, with adjustable suspension and other tech to improve cornering offered.

2020 Mercedes GLA interior

Mercedes has created a disctinctive and upmarket style for the GLA's interior. This image is created thanks to the dual screens in front of the driver, minimal clutter around the dash/centre console (thanks to a dearth of buttons and switches) and ‘turbine’ air vents.

Those buying an AMG model are treated to seats clad in man-made Artico leather and microfibre with contrasting stitching. Further to this, Mercedes has stated a total of four optional leather upholsteries will be offered.

Carbon-fibre trim is also used within the cabin to promote a sporty look, as are steel shift paddles for automatic versions and brushed stainless steel pedals. Rounding off the sporty interior is a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel clad in soft leather.

2020 Mercedes GLA exterior

From the outside, its lineage to the A-Class is obvious even though the roofline and raised ride height provide distinct differences between the GLA and A-Class. Mercedes has stated that wheel sizes from 17- to 20-inches will be offered.

The German carmaker has included plastic cladding around the bottom of the new GLA – a feature very common with crossovers and SUVs. Finally, subtle roof rails are present as well. For AMG models, there are specific alloys, a sportier front grille, more aggressive front/rear bumpers, a roof spoiler and twin tailpipes.

2020 Mercedes GLA dimensions and luggage space

Mercedes’ new GLA measures in at 4,410mm long, 1,834mm wide (2,020mm including wing mirrors) and 1,611mm high (1,616mm with roof rails). These represent a 14mm decrease in length, 30mm increase in width (although including mirrors it is actually a 2mm decrease) and 104mm increase in height.

The result of all this is that there will is 435 litres of luggage space with the rear seats up and 1,430 litres with them down. The seats themselves fold 40:20:40 and the boot floor is height adjustable.


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