Mercedes-Benz GLA 220 CDI 4MATIC Daimler AG
Mercedes-Benz is announcing that it is venturing where it has never treaded before, launching an especially small crossover SUV for the U.S.
The model will be known as the GLA when it come to American showrooms in the fall of 2014 as a 2015 model. It is the smallest of five classes of SUVs that Mercedes fields in the U.S.
The GLA is about five inches shorter and three inches narrower than the already tidy-size GLK.
The vehicle is to be officially unveiled in September, at the big auto show in Frankfurt, Germany.
As Mercedes models go, this one will be surprisingly modest. Besides its diminutive size, it has a powerplant to match. It will be powered by a 2-liter, four cylinder gasoline engine rated 208 horsepower, 258 pounds-feet of torque. That's good for the engine's size, but is a mouse compared to most car engines from Mercedes.
Mated to a seven-speed automatic and two-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive, the setup will dash to 60 mph form standstill in a brisk 6.4 seconds, M-B says, and has a top speed of 145 mph.
Mercedes has been moving in the small-car direction. The GLA joins the CLA sedan at the small end of the maker's lineup.
Other premium brands are doing likewise. BMW recently added the small X1 SUV to its lineup. Acura adopted a version of the Honda Civic, called ILX, to give it a small, entry model.
Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY