GLA-class was nice refreshment for Mercedes-Benz lineup, but nothing can last forever. The Germans won’t sit idly and watch how the Japanese (primarily Lexus NX) take most of the market share. Even without the NX, Mercedes-Benz also needs to compete with the like of BMW X1, Audi Q3, Infiniti QX30, and Lincoln MKC. Although there was nothing wrong in the past, for 2018 model year, this small luxury SUV will receive some updates. And there are enough of them that we can say that 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class will receive a mid-cycle refresh.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – Redesign And Updates
For starters, on front grille is redesigned, as well as the bumper which now features more pronounced fog lights. The grille holds crossbars with rectangular punctures. Besides the grille, there are also new optional LED headlights. The Germans have also prepared new wheel designs while there is a new color in the color palette, Canyon Beige. On the back, we also have redesigned bumper and rear lights. With changes to the body from the lower part of A-pillar to the trim on the main floor, 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class will also be more aerodynamic. Also, there is now power liftgate activated with foot-under bumper motion.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – New Interior Additions
On the inside, there are worthy changes. Instead of 7-inch screen, Mercedes-Benz installed 8-inch “floating” infotainment system. And maybe the biggest change is that Android Auto will join the Smartphone Integration Package, as only Apple CarPlay was available till now. There are some cosmetic updates in term of chrome accents on door panels and center console. Instead of 2017’s gray gauge for 2018 model year, gauges come in black. Previously available only as an option, the back camera now comes standard. Maybe the only downside of GLA-class is the cramped rear seat space. It is even worse when buyer opts for panoramic sunroof. But the front seats are very comfortable, especially if the buyer chooses optional sports seats.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – Same Engines
There are no changes under the hood. So the base engine is 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder with 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through the seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission to front wheels. Of course, Mercedes-Benz’ AWD called 4MATIC is available for $2.000 extra. The buyer can also opt for a handcrafted 2.0-liter turbo engine. The difference to the base one is that this AMG version produces 375 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with 4MATIC as standard. The current GLA-class has a firm steering a quick response in corners thanks to firm suspension. But that also makes it a little rough over bumpy terrain, and that doesn’t happen in Lexus NX.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – Safety Rating
While we wait for the IIHS to take a swing at GLA-class, we must satisfy with safety ratings of EuroNCAP. And in their safety crash tests, GLA-class received five out of five stars available. Even though this European Assessment Programme doesn’t conclude rigorous tests like IIHS, we’ll just have to take their word for it.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – Release Date
Nevertheless, new GLA-class will arrive this summer. And even with modest upgrades, we probably won’t see a higher starting price than around $33.000.