Mercedes unveils GLA facelift for Detroit auto show

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Mercedes-Benz AG’s first compact SUV is getting a facelift for the 2018 model-year.

The German luxury automaker unveiled the redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLA on Sunday in Detroit, a day ahead of the SUV making its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche, from left, Daimler AG Board of Management Britta Seeger, Dietmar Exler and Ola Kallenius stand with the new Mercedes Benz GLA.

The 2018 GLA – available in GLA250 (front-wheel-drive and 4MATIC all-wheel drive) and high-performance AMG GLA45 – features refreshed exterior and interior designs as well as updated aerodynamics and technologies, including optional 360-degree camera and instrument cluster. It also features a new optional luxury interior.

"To sum it up, our GLA compact SUV gains more functionality and more comfort," said Mercedes-Benz USA President and CEO Dietmar Exler. "If you want all that and more, go for the high-performance variant."

The vehicle was unveiled with the help of  Bebe Rexha performing her hit song, "I Got You." The American singer ended her performance with, "I want my car!"

The GLA will go on sale in the United States this summer. Pricing was not announced. The 2017 GLA250 starts at $32,850; the AMG model begins at about $50,000.

The GLA250 is powered by 2.0-liter turbo, four-cylinder engine rated at 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The 0-60 is just over 7 seconds. The top speed is 130 miles per hour.

The high-performance model features a “handcrafted” AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine rated at 375 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, with a 0-60 of 4.3 seconds. The electronically-limited top speed is 155 mph or 167 with an optional performance package.

The unveiling kicks off an important year for Mercedes-Benz, as it looks to remain the global premium brand leader in sales. The automaker took the crown from German rival BMW by selling more than 2 million vehicles for the first time in the company's history.

“For Mercedes, 2016 was really another great year for the record books," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler AG Board of Management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "Our new target now is staying on top."

The GLA made its global debut alongside the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe, a two-door version of its E-Class sedan.

Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche introduces the new Mercedes Benz GLA, center.  At right is a CLA vehicle at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

The E-Class Coupe is slightly shorter but wider than its sedan counterpart. Available in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive, the car is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine rated at 329 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. The electrically-limited top speed is 130 mph.

E-Class Coupe pricing was not announced; however, the 2017 sedan version starts at more than $52,000. The car is expected to go on sale in the United States this summer.

For complete coverage of the Detroit auto show go to

(313) 222-2504

Twitter: @MikeWayland