Competes with: BMW X1, Audi Q3, Infiniti QX30
Looks like: If it looks different from the old one, I can’t see how
Drivetrains: 208-horsepower (375 for the AMG), turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; front-or all-wheel drive
Hits dealers: Summer 2017
As the mad rush toward small utility vehicles continues to sweep the world, automakers are working hard to keep their offerings fresh and appealing, just like Mercedes-Benz has done with the updated 2018 GLA250 and AMG GLA45 compact SUVs at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
If you can spot the exterior differences between the 2017 and 2018, that makes one of us. They’re subtle; Mercedes-Benz says that the SUVs have new bumpers front and rear, new headlights, new wheels and a new paint color. That’s really not much of a styling update at all, frankly, especially when other fresh entries into the segment are arriving soon. If you want something a bit more special looking, there’s a new Performance Studio Package for the AMG GLA45 that includes either gray or bright yellow exterior trim bits, and a new Ice Edition limited special-edition package for the GLA250.
Inside it’s much the same story — there are a few new pieces of bright trim and also some new seat patterns, but the interior is pretty much the same as the outgoing model. On the electronics front, the 8-inch high-resolution screen is now standard, and there’s a new instrument gauge cluster. Android Auto now joins Apple CarPlay for your multimedia entertainment, and hands-free access has been added to the Premium Package that allows you to open the hatchback by swinging your foot under it. Black Ash wood trim replaces Burl Walnut, and the Performance Studio Package on the AMG version also brings some yellow highlights to the interior as well.