Mercedes-Benz GLA - all you need to know

  •  A-Class SUV - all you need to know
  •  Available with front- and four-wheel drive
  •  On sale in the spring, from £25,000

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This is the Mercedes-Benz GLA, a new rival for the BMW X1, Audi A3 and Range Rover Evoque that's due on sale in the spring.

The GLA is the fourth car in Mercedes' new 'compact' line-up, following the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class. It uses the same front- and four-wheel-drive chassis parts as those cars, albeit with modifications designed to give it greater ride height.

Read our first drive of the GLA

Mercedes is pitching the GLA above the A-Class, so that car's more modest engines (including the Renault-sourced diesel), won't be on offer here. Instead, the line-up will start with the GLA200 petrol (with 154bhp), and the GLA200 CDI (134bhp), both with front-wheel drive.

The four-wheel-drive models, badged 4Matic, will get more powerful engines: the 168bhp GLA220 CDI (which could well prove to be the best-selling variant overall) and the GLA250 turbocharged petrol, with 208bhp.

At the top of the range is the 355bhp GLA45 AMG, which manages to get from 0-62mph in just under five seconds. This is due on sale in June, from around £44,000.

Read our first drive of the GLA45 AMG

If you've seen an A-, B- or CLA-Class already, then you won't be too surprised by anything on offer in the front of the GLA, because it shares almost all of its dashboard and fascia with those cars. Mercedes' latest circular air vents (as originally seen on the SLS supercar), are still present, although they get a slightly different chrome surround, with deeper textures.

See what What Car? readers made of the GLA in our exclusive video

The Mercedes GLA is far from the first compact SUV in its class, with Audi, BMW, Range Rover and more all already offering alternatives.

See what rivals the GLA is going up against.

By John McIlroy

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