It's unfortunate for Mercedes to miss out on the compact premium crossover SUV segment while its rivals BMW and Audi have used it to overtake the three-pointed star in India.
The global leadership in the luxury car segment nestles in the compact premium cars, a segment which is seeing the boom in the recent times and the premium players are firing on all cylinders to bring out compact entry level vehicles.
The BMW X1 and Audi A3 are doing phenomenally well across the globe while Mercedes has nothing to be called as a compact crossover SUV. However, the Mercedes GLA is on its way to take its position in the lower end of the product portfolio.
The GLA compact SUV had been caught testing by Mr. Michael, a reader of Worldcarfans.com.
Many parts of the heavily disguised prototype are yet to be real-world ready and hence the missing bits are borrowed from the A Class. Over the next two years, Mercedes will run test mules with original skin, although don't expect them to shed camouflage until the final stages of development.
The GLA looks like a grownup A Class with similar front grill, swept back headlamps and silhouette. The car sits on the same MFA platform which underpins the A and B Class but has an increased ride height. The crossover, according to reports, measures at 4.44 m in length, 1.8 m in width, 1.5 m in height and the wheelbase stands at 2.7 m.
The car would be powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine developing 155 bhp, a 2.o litre turbo petrol generating 210 bhp, a 1.8 litre diesel and a 2.1 litre diesel engines. An AMG version with 2.0 litre turbo petrol developing around 340 bhp is also in the cards.
The Mercedes GLA will be arriving in India as soon as the car is launched globally at the end of 2013 or at the start of 2014. The GLA is expected to give Mercedes the much needed edge in the entry level premium car segment.