2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Lingers in Front of the Lens at Traffic Light

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
When I first saw the GLA-Class - the first generation, the one that's still on sale as we speak - my thoughts were "why the hell would you buy this over a regular A-Class?" After a few days with it, however, the question remained, only its protagonists had switched places.
The GLA was for all intents and purposes an A-Class with a little bit of added ground clearance and a slightly redesigned rear. The extra clearance didn't necessarily come in handy all that often - climbing a curb without the fear of scratching the front bumper was probably the only time it made itself useful - but that modified rear aesthetics actually made for a better-looking car than the standard hatchback.

"Yes, but a taller car means worse handling, everybody knows that." The answer, I'm afraid, is yes and no. Having driven both of them one after the other (AMG versions) on the track, I can honestly say they're almost impossible to tell apart. And while the Affalterbach treatment might have indeed brought the two closer together, I bet there's not a palpable gap between the vanilla versions either.

We expect this slight confusion between the two to carry on with the upcoming generation as well, especially since the GLB-Class is expected to be the compact family member (i.e., models developed on the MFA2 platform) with the highest off-road aspirations. That means the GLA should be closer in feel than ever to Mercedes-Benz's benchmark in this segment: the A-Class.

With that in mind, the heavy camouflage we see in these shots becomes a bit redundant considering the new A-Class is out in the open, so we can pretty much imagine what the GLA looks like with a little strain from our imagination. It should look rather well, actually.

Mercedes-Benz nailed it with the second generation of the A-Class (counting from when it gained its true hatchback form, not the weirdo it was before the W176), managing to bring a few elements of the AMG GT sports car into an otherwise pedestrian class, even when talking about the premium segment.

In spite of the considerable time spent in front of the camera, this video doesn't reveal all that much (thanks in no small part to a pesky C-Class T Modell which blocks most of the crossover form view). We do, at least, get to see the car is in production form, confirming we're not too far from its official release.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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