GLA: Mercedes’s first crossover to be sold in the U.S. with fwd image

Daimler, the maker of luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles has just unveiled its latest crossover: the GLA; the first crossover from the Stuttgart based automaker to be sold in the United States with a front-wheel-drive architecture.

First, the automaker will bring the GLA with all-wheel drive. The vehicle will carry a new generation of Mercedes’ 4Matic system. It will hit the market somewhere in fall 2014, and shortly after, in early 2015, U.S. will get the fwd version of the GLA crossover.

As expected, the new GLA is based on a new fwd architecture that also underpins the CLA sedan, which goes on sale next month in the United States. The automaker has not disclosed pricing for the five-door crossover, but considering that the new CLA starts at $30,825, including shipping, the fwd GLA is expected to cost $31,825 , while the all-wheel-drive model $32,825 including shipping.
Smaller than the GLK (that costs $38,015 including shipping), the new crossover will hit a strong competition from the BMW and Audi, more precisely the X1 and Q3.

“With the compact GLA we add a fifth attractive SUV variant to the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio in this constantly growing segment. The GLA impresses mainly with its progressive character and agile handling,” Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes’ head of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

The GLA Class will come with DAB radio and Artico fake leather upholstery as standard, while the sports seats with integrated headrests shown in the car here are optional.
The front-wheel-drive GLA 200 and 200 CDI are powered by 154bhp 1.6-liter petrol and 134bhp 2.1 diesel engines respectively. The GLA 250 and 220 CDI come with a 208bhp 2.0 petrol or 168bhp 2.1-liter diesel, and can be had with either front-wheel drive or Mercedes’ latest 4MATIC four-wheel drive.