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Merc takes CLA off the beaten track


THE ENGINEERS at Mercedes-Benz have seen the movie Inception too many times, because they’ve now created a new niche within a niche.

The German manufacturer recently revealed the all-new GLA, which is an off-road version of the CLA (launching in South Africa end October), which is a four-door coupé version of the A-Class hatch. All we know is this: it looks pretty good. The GLA isn’t just another pretty face though. Mercedes claims a wide range of seating arrangements, with luggage capacity ranging from 421 to 836 litres.

In Europe it will initially be available with two petrol and two diesel powertrains. Output ranges from 120kW to 160kW for the petrol powertrains, while the diesel engines have between 300Nm and 350Nm of torque on tap. Mercedes claims a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 6.5 seconds for the top petrol model, while the base diesel model brags with a fuel consumption of less than 5.0 litres/100km.

The rugged styling cues continue on the inside, where all trim surfaces are galvanised in a metallic finish. The dashboard consists of an upper and lower section, allowing for surfaces that are different in look and feel.

Four-wheel-drive will not be standard fitment, but an optional extra across the range. Even with Merc’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive in place, the GLA won’t be able to wander too far off the road, but it will be able to cope with the occasional dirt road.

The GLA will make its debut in South Africa in 2014.

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