Mercedes-Benz breaks cover on the refreshed GLA

The time to grow up to fierce power has come

Mercedes-Benz has officially launched the refreshed GLA today, positioning itself as a major player in the compact SUV category. With it, the company looks to bring in another worthy option for day-to-day travels, and for good off-road fun.

Coming with an extended range of engines, and with a totally updated exterior design, the entire package exudes a more powerful presence on the road and is being complemented with sharp, finer features, plus a slew of smart equipment. All of this was done while retaining the signature silhouette that is distinctly Mercedes-Benz.

In-car entertainment is provided with technology mind by way of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - part of their Smartphone Integration Package. Traveling at night is now more comfortable and safe with their LED high-performance headlamps. The color temperature of bulbs are the closest to that of daylight, which relieves the stress from the driver's eyes, and with their projector-beam technology, there will no longer be any need to change your bulbs throughout the lifetime of the car. The tail lights get the same high-tech treatment as their light's intensity can be controlled three ways, so as to also distract or blind those travelling behind the GLA.

Aerodynamics have been vastly improved as well, leading to reduced cabin noise, and more importantly, better fuel economy.

Turning to safety and comfort, the GLA is top-notch. Active Brake Assist which warns of insufficient distance between you and the car in front, plus Attention Assist which alerts the driver of distractions or drowsiness keeps one's attention on the wheel and on the road. Ample space in the front of the cabin, good head and leg room in the rear, plus a wide and spacious boot are the icing on the cake for this new SUV. And the tailgate also automatically opens should you find your hands full. Yet more practical tech from Benz for the new GLA owners.

The interior does not leave one wanting for  style. The dashboard looks very luxurious shod in ARTICO leather, as is the whole cabin. The material stretches the entire width and with its red topstictching, gives the feel that this car is more than just a people carrier - it can be a sporty tooler as well. Other highlights are done with printed matte or high-gloss finishing on the interior's details. The gauge cluster has also been redesigned. New needles with a black needle centre and the chrome frame around the gear display also ensure an autonomous cockpit experience.

In the case of the GLA 45 4MATIC, power is delivered with an agile 2.0-liter turbo engine. With 376bhp and 350 lb ft of torque, the 4-cylinder engine goes from naught to 100 km/h in only 4.4 seconds. Spray-guided direct petrol injection, combined with the twin-scroll turbo provide fast engine response in line with throttle input, giving a more intuitive feel to the drive. All these are highlighted with the AMG Performance Exhaust System. Given the sportier exhaust note, one may well forget that this its power is transmitted by way of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sport transmission; it is an automatic, still. Shorter gear ratios, and optimized response and shift times provide better transitions when shifting through the gears. Finally mated with the 4MATIC AWD, the GLA 45 is made worthy of the occasional ventures off-road.

The GLA is seen as one of the German brand's stepping stones into transition - transition from what we have been accustomed to to a more grown up state in driving, and in luxury. As Mercedes-Benz launched their new and refreshed SUV, they may have found the perfect platform to do so.