Mercedes-Benz GLA Compact SUV Caught Testing

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We’ve already seen no less than three models based on the Mercedes-Benz MFA platform and if you think the automaker is finished developing variants from the chassis, think again. Shown in the following photos is the newest MFA family member, a compact crossover expected to be called the GLA. The BMW X1 and Audi Q3 are just a couple expected competitors once it hits the market. The tester is debadged and covered up, but a number of Benz styling cues are visible including its door handles, two-bar front grille, and headlights that mimic the A-Class. Unlike the A-Class hatch, this test mule has a slightly higher ride height and a sharply angled rear hatch, both of which give it a distinct crossover appearance. Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz confirmed it would produce the GLA at its Rastatt, Germany plant, where the new A-Class is currently being built. Details haven’t been released, but it should share the same front-drive powertrain options as the A and B-Class, as well as the CLA sedan unveiled at the 2012 Beijing auto show. The CLA is expected to arrive in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas I-4 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. We expect all-wheel drive will be optional and wouldn’t be surprised if AMG got their hands on this model as well. Should Mercedes decide to bring the GLA to our shores, expect to see it here sometime in 2014. For now, the only MFA-based model confirmed for the U.S. market is the CLA sedan, which is scheduled to arrive next summer or fall. No word if we’ll see the A-Class in the U.S., but current rumors speculate that the B-Class could arrive here as an electric vehicle in 2014.  

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