Among all the Mercedes-Benz models on the market, the GLA-Class is one of the youngest. After all, the GLA was only introduced for the 2015 model year, meaning there have only been 2015, 2016, and 2017 models. Even with such a short history, it is worth learning a bit more about why Mercedes-Benz created the GLA-Class and how it has evolved in this time.
Why the GLA
While the Mercedes-Benz GLA was all-new for 2015, it made perfect sense to create this model. Mercedes-Benz wanted to unify its naming method and make sense of the various SUVs in their lineup. This is simply an extension of how the E-Class is larger and more luxurious than the C-Class. The “G” portion of the GLA-Class name stands for the German word for off-road vehicle, “geländewagen.” Since the GLA is the smallest of the Mercedes-Benz SUVs, it is almost like an A-class, which brings the “A” into the name. The “L” is simply there to connect the elements. The other SUVs in the lineup follow the same pattern. In order of size and features, they are the GLA, GLC, GLE, and GLS. This renaming system simply makes life easier for the automaker as well as shoppers trying to make sense of the lineup.
Changes in its History
Now that you know why the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA was introduced, you are better equipped to understand some of the changes it has gone through in the last few years. The initial version was a well-trimmed small vehicle that combined the best traits of a crossover with those of a hatchback.
The 2016 GLA saw upgrades in the infotainment to include a 7-inch screen as standard. Also, it made adjustable-length front-seat cushions, dual-zone automatic climate control, and keyless ignition standard. Mercedes-Benz introduced the Dynamic Select drive-mode selector for this model year, as well, and upgraded the rearview camera to 180 degrees. It also added more power in the form of the AMG version and made the mbrace2 standard across the models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto arrived for the 2017 model year, along with a mild redesign to the instrument panel and a new AMG Dinamica Package.
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