2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jan 10, 2017
  • Minor freshening to compact crossover SUV
  • More aerodynamic styling with new available LED headlights
  • Dressier interior with styling detail modifications
  • Standard 8-inch infotainment system display screen
  • New 360-degree camera system is available
  • Optional off-road suspension for GLA250
  • Revised gear ratios for GLA45 AMG
  • New AMG Performance Studio Package option for GLA45 AMG


2018 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 front quarter left photo


At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mercedes-Benz announced a minor refresh of its smallest SUV, the GLA-Class crossover. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class continues in GLA250 with front-wheel drive, GLA250 4Matic with all-wheel drive, and AMG GLA45 with a performance engine.

Exterior Features

By restyling and modifying certain aspects of the GLA-Class model series, Mercedes has made the compact crossover more aerodynamic than before.

Changes to the GLA250 models include restyled bumpers, revised side mirror housings, new changes to the windshield pillars, a redesigned rear spoiler, and refined taillight shapes. Underbody panels also help the GLA to slip through the atmosphere with less aerodynamic drag, and buyers can choose new wheel designs and a new Canyon Beige paint color.

The racy AMG GLA45 receives several of these changes, plus a few modifications of its own. They are related to the design of the air intake grilles, a front splitter, silver chrome detailing, a new rear diffuser insert, and larger rear roof spoiler. This model also gets standard LED headlights, a new feature for 2018.

Exclusive to the AMG version, optional 20-inch wheels are finished in a choice between Matte Black and Titanium Gray.

Interior Features

Inside, Mercedes installs new gauges, chrome-finished control panels, and revised cabin trim. The seat covers are new, and minor visual updates improve the appearance of the seat adjustment controls, air vent rings, and center console storage compartment.

The AMG GLA45 receives these enhancements, too, along with leatherette dashboard trim with red exposed stitching.

Optional Features

New options for the GLA250 include LED headlights and a hands-free power tailgate. Otherwise, this model continues with the same menu of upgrades offered last year.

Exclusive to AMG GLA45, an AMG Performance Studio Package debuts, perfect for people who love the color yellow. Paint choices include Night Black or Cosmos Black paint. Either way, this version of the GLA45 includes plenty of Matte Graphite Gray and Yellow detailing, inside and out.

Under the Hood

Though Mercedes makes no changes to the engines bolted into the GLA250 and AMG GLA45 models, the GLA45 does benefit from revised gear ratios for its 7-speed Sport dual-clutch transmission. The goal with this change is to enhance the sensation of acceleration.

The GLA250 is offered with a new optional off-road suspension. It raises the GLA-Class 1.2 inches, improving its ability to travel off of the pavement, providing a taller seating position, and giving the diminutive Mercedes a more rugged appearance.

Safety and Technology

The only improvements related to the GLA-Class models’ safety and technology offering relate to a larger standard infotainment display screen, now measuring eight inches across, and a new 360-degree camera system with surround and top-down views.

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