The compact SUV segment has worked wonders for Mercedes Benz. Even though the brand with the three-pointed star’s traditional best-sellers has always been executive sedans, it’s the range of SUVs that have been drawing the public to the dealerships. So much so, that more recently, the German carmaker even brought out a new GLB SUV, to fill minute price gaps. The most recent development from Stuttgart unsurprisingly doesn’t deviate from that body structure.

December 11th is the day Mercedes Benz will be world premiering the second-gen of its baby SUV, the GLA. For the first time in the carmaker's history, the premiere will be carried out digitally. Interested beings can watch the same at Mercedes' media website. Although the carmaker has been smart enough to keep the specifications with itself until the D-day, it has also been kind enough to provide the elementary highlights.

I believe a lot many people took the GLA as a jacked-up hatchback rather than an SUV. The conventional ‘raised driving position’ and tall butch looks are two traditional factors of an SUV, and the current GLA class was a compromise with both. But the next-gen iteration appears to have solved those.

Mercedes is said to have increased the height of the new GLA by 10cm and reduce the length by one and a half centimetres. While the former aids in providing more headroom and the much-needed raised seating position, the latter although sounds derogatory but the carmaker claims it isn’t. Even though the car itself is now shorter, the designers have managed to scoop out extra legroom by stretching the wheelbase and keeping the front and rear overhangs at minimal.

Technology seems to have been stuffed in the GLA like a cheeseburger is stuffed in an American’s mouth. The new-gen GLA will come equipped with the firm’s latest MBUX infotainment software. Couple that with the single-binnacle-yet-two-LCD-screens unit and the turbine-inspired AC vents and you’re looking at a dashboard seen in the new A-class the new GLB.

A plethora of safety net tech is also said to have been installed in the new-gen GLA including the likes of Active Brake Assist, the cornering function and the emergency lane function. However, the availability of these technological pieces will depend on the respective country’s supported legislature and infrastructure.

With respect to engines, although Mercedes Benz themselves haven’t uttered a word, I believe the new GLA will not be debuting any new engines at launch. It is being speculated to carry options from the firm’s current stable of four-cylinder mills. While the petrol iteration might carry the 165hp 1.3-litre unit and 228hp 2.0-litre engines, the diesel might also join the bandwagon with the 115hp 1.5-litre offering or the 2.0-litre engine. The introduction of a plug-in hybrid, as seen in the new A-class and B-class, at a later stage, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

While the new GLA will offer just the front wheels to be driven as standard, the updated 4-Matic four-wheel-drive system will also be available as an option. So might be the case with the 8-speed dual-clutch transmission as 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic gearbox options will be present as standard.

While there is no confirmation on the arrival date of the new-GLA on the Indian shores, expect the same by the second-half of 2020. The same can be said for the AMG iterations of the new GLA, scheduled to get launched globally first and then six months later, in the subcontinent.

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