Straighter, blade-like daytime running lights are in line with updated C-Class and CLA prototypes
Revised GLA crossover spotted with reworked fascia during dynamic tests on track
The updated version of the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover is being put through its paces at a German race track ahead of its launch next year.
As with the Mercedes CLA Saloon and Shooting Brake, the changes appear to be concentrated around the front and rear fascias.
Up front, the headlights have been revised to feature straighter daytime running lights emulating those of the Mercedes C-Class, while the grille inlay’s shape has been subtly tweaked. The rear lights have been reworked in line with the new Mercedes GLC SUV.
Whereas the CLA test cars took on a stealthier appearance – having ditched most of the chrome present on the current cars – this GLA features it in abundance: around the side windows, on the door handles and on the lower rear bumper.
Similarly subtle tweaks are expected inside the new GLA, including a software update for the infotainment screens’ MBUX operating system, and a new design for the centre console.
Given that it was spotted testing at a race track, the GLA’s suspension is expected to be revised to further refine its already adept handling.
However, few other changes are likely to be introduced under the skin. The current engine line-up ranges from the 161bhp GLA 200 petrol engine to two diesels and the 250e PHEV with a 38-mile electric-only range.
The PHEV may get a slightly larger battery to push it above 40 miles of range – and thus into a more friendly company car tax bracket.
The hardcore 416bhp Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S, which crowns the GLA range at a whopping £69,005, could be tuned to wring marginally more power and torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot.
The appearance of a facelifted GLA test car follows the recent emergence of the updated CLA and A-Class, hinting that Mercedes is continuing to push its more affordable models.
This is despite CEO Ola Källenius’s statement in May that Mercedes is “not going to compete with volume makers” any longer – which also implied the firm is going to ditch discounts.
Given Mercedes’ push back towards the luxury segment – and higher profit margins to mitigate production figures dwindled by industry-wide parts shortages – the updated GLA is expected to be more costly than the current car.
As such, the entry-level Sport trim is expected to be ditched, with AMG Line – which starts from £39,545 – becoming the new entry-level version. Adjusting figures to reflect inflation and increased production costs, the new starting price is likely to be north of £40,000.
This would not drastically change the GLA’s positioning – pitting it against the Audi Q3, BMW X1, well-specced Range Rover Evoques and the Volvo XC40 – but it would make it one of the more expensive premium crossovers available.
When asked by Autocar about the updated GLA, Mercedes-Benz declined to comment.