Mercedes-Benz is out to prove its smallest and cheapest SUV to date still has all what it takes to lure city dwellers, active people or young customers with lifestyle loathing.
To showcase the robustness and technology of its newest small crossover, Mercedes is out of office this week, taking the GLA on the rugged terrain around Granada in southern Spain. The model, while holding to the premium traits a Mercedes inherently needs, is also targeted at the tech-savvy generation, featuring cool features like iPhone integration, live traffic data and Glympse location-sharing systems.
Even Daimler’s Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche took off from the comfort of its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany to praise the GLA and laud the momentum Mercedes has gained in recent months.
“The developments from January and the last few months are definitely satisfying, but it’s certainly not the final confirmation that we’ve done everything right,” Zetsche told reporters.
The GLA, slotted to start its sales in Europe from March is critical to keeping the momentum going, as Mercedes has experienced faster sales growth in recent months than at BMW or Audi, and the new crossover – the fourth of a planned five compact models – is a pillar to this boost.
“We are supplying every compact car we can, but not all that the markets are demanding,” Zetsche said.
At 29,300 euros ($40,000) in Germany, the GLA is scheduled to reach European showrooms on March 15 and than US dealers in September – being around half the price of a full-sized M-Class, the new model is also the cheapest SUV in the Mercedes line-up.