In hopes of attracting younger buyers to its luxury auto brand, Mercedes-Benz has launched two new entry-level compact models in the United States during the past year or so. The first vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class four-door coupe, has sold more than 32,000 units since going on sale stateside in September 2013, and its average buyer has been about 10 years younger than the brand’s typical customer. The second vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV, is now rolling out to U.S. dealerships with similar sales expectations.
Housing a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder engine, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA is set in motion by 208 horsepower and class-leading 258 pound-feet of torque. The compact SUV is currently only available with confidence-inspiring 4MATIC all-wheel drive, however a front-wheel-drive model will go on sale in the first quarter of next year with a starting price under $33,000. On the other hand, performance junkies can already opt for the range-topping Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG, which is equipped with a 355-horsepower 2.0-liter AMG four-cylinder engine.
“Both the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA offer unprecedented levels of luxury, performance and technology for their price tags, and they have the fuel-efficient, compact footprint that younger buyers tend to prefer,” said James Buckley, general manager of Smith Motor Sales, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Haverhill, Mass. “The new GLA should fit the bill perfectly for buyers who love the swooping design lines of the CLA but want a bit more versatility and capability.”
Shoring up its appeal to younger drivers with convenient technology, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA comes standard with rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power liftgate, Bluetooth hands-free phone calls and audio streaming, a USB port and Attention Assist, which cues auditory and visual alerts if drowsiness is detected from the driver. The vehicle is available with a number of other driver-assistance technologies to help prevent accidents, including Lane Keeping Assist, Distronic Plus, Parktronic with Active Parking Assist and Exit and a rearview camera.