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
Jan 30, 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 are as yet unconfirmed but sales are expected to start in spring, with the car carrying a premium over the A-Class, which is currrently available from £23,710. We'd expect a starting price nearer £28,000 - a notch higher than the outgoing model. Also expect a rapid performance-focused GLA 35 AMG model, producing 306hp and weighing in at a significantly higher price.

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 link 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 specs and models

Mercedes has only officially confirmed parts of the 2020 GLA range. There will be a GLA 200 petrol, GLA hybrid (possibly called the GLA 250e) and GLA 35 4MATIC AMG – the latter being the performance model mentioned earlier, complete with four-wheel drive.

As it is closely related to the A-Class, expect to have the choice from trim levels such as entry-leverl SE, Sport and sportier-still AMG Line. There is also the possibility of further iterations of Sport and AMG Line trims, with Sport Executive, AMG Line Executive, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus all currently offered as part of the A-Class’ lineup. These offer an increasing amount of additional luxury kit with additional costs to match.

Exact specifications are yet to be confirmed, however Mercedes' impressive MBUX media system - which features slick voice controls - will be standard. Keep reading for more information on what equipment will be offered.

2020 Mercedes GLA prices and delivery dates

With order books for the 2020 Mercedes GLA set to open in spring this year, the first deliveries are likely to take place before the end of summer.

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but as a rough guide, they can be expected to start much closer to the £30,000 mark than the old model unless Mercedes is planning on undercutting many of its rivals such as the BMW X1 and X2, which is unlikely. Being a performance model, the GLA 35 4MATIC AMG will likely come with a hefty premium.

2020 Mercedes GLA engines, economy and performance

Mercedes has confirmed one regular engine from launch, a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which is to be paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Mercedes claims this offers 163hp, translating to a top speed of 130mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.7 seconds.

Mercedes claims that the new GLA returns fuel economy of between 47.9 and 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of between 135 and 129g/km with this engine. There is a range of emission and economy figures for this, as the precise figure depends upon whether certain bits of kit are fitted or not, with factors such as wheel size playing a big part.

The only other engine confirmed from launch is a 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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