2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Introduction

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is an entry-luxury stylish crossover based on the CLA sedan that’s quiet and refined. The 2016 GLA comes in GLA250 and high-performance AMG GLA45 versions.

Launched as a 2015 model, little has changed for the 2016 model year, apart from minor feature improvements: The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC and GLA250 get an updated infotainment system with a new 7-inch touchscreen display, revised seat cushions, a 180-degree rearview camera, and more standard features, including DYNAMIC SELECT.

The 2016 GLA45 AMG gets all that plus more power and revised gear ratios, increasing 0-60 mph acceleration performance from a quick 4.8 seconds to a very quick 4.3 seconds. DYNAMIC SELECT replaces the previous E/S/M button on the 2016 AMG GLA45, and the available Dynamic Plus Package includes a limited-slip front differential, AMG Adaptive Suspension, and a RACE mode.

GLA250 is front-wheel drive, while the GLA250 4MATIC is all-wheel drive. The high-performance AMG GLA45 is all-wheel drive. Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC provides usable off-road capabilities, helped by an 8-inch ground clearance.

Buyers get the utility of a crossover, without the stodgy demeanor that can make it seem too family-friendly. A prominent skid plate enhances the SUV look, while bold body sculpting imparts a more youthful character.

Well-built, quiet and refined, the GLA250 is comfortable as well as stylish. Easy to drive, it promises Mercedes-Benz quality on a smaller scale. Sitting tall on 18- or 19-inch wheels, the GLA250 is about as easy to park as a subcompact. On the down side, the GLA is not spacious, with a snug back seat and skimpy cargo space.

Beneath the GLA250 hood, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine develops 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch is the sole transmission. The stop/start system will shut off the engine at stoplights, but the feature may be switched off. A GLA250 can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.

The 2016 GLA45 AMG engine gets a power boost, the turbocharged four-cylinder now generating 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The AMG GLA45 looks quite different in proportion because it’s more than 3 inches lower to the ground than the GLA250, while riding on 19-inch wheels.

On the safety front, few cars in this class offer such optional features as Attention Assist drowsy-driver detection, radar-based Collision Prevention Assist with adaptive brake assist, and Distronic Plus active cruise control. Available Collision Prevention Assist Plus can brake automatically. Parktronic and Park Assist can steer into a parallel or perpendicular parking spot automatically. Blind-spot and lane-keeping assist also are available.

Base MSRP excludes transportation and handling charges, destination charges, taxes, title, registration, preparation and documentary fees, tags, labor and installation charges, insurance, and optional equipment, products, packages and accessories. Options, model availability and actual dealer price may vary. See dealer for details, costs and terms.

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