Pricing has now been finalized for the all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class crossover SUV family which will go on sale here starting next month. As M-B previously indicated, this subcompact 5-passenger soft-roader will have a staggered U.S. introduction. First versions to arrive will be the all-wheel-drive 2015 GLA50 4Matic and the performance-oriented GLA45 AMG 4Matic, which will open at $34,225 and $49,225, respectively. Next spring, Mercedes will complete the lineup with the launch of the front-drive GLA250 model. 

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The new GLA-Class shares much of its basic structure and all of its powertrain elements with the recently introduced Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sport sedan. Both GLA250 variants are fitted with M-B's sophisticated 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of peak torque. The hand-built AMG-spec 2.0-liter in the hot GLA45 AMG 4Matic ups that ante considerably, cranking out 355 horses and 332 lb-ft of peak twist. Both engines feature econo-enhancing ECO start/stop technology and are backed by a 7-speed 7G-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, the AMG Speedshift variation in the performance-oriented GLA45 AMG adds multi-mode adjustability and a Race Start function. The same kind of enthusiast-grade tweaking is found in the steering, suspension, stability control and 4Matic setup of the GLA45 AMG.

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Our recent drive in European-spec versions of the new GLA-Class showed that it's as capable as it is comfortable. A long standards list that includes upline touches like a power liftgate, power driver seat with memory, mbrace2 telematics, 18-inch wheel/tire fitment, M-B's Attention Assist and Collision Prevention Assist can be further augmented with things like a panoramic glass sunroof, Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Parktronic with Park Assist. Armed with that kind of competitive kit and an attractive price point, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class should arrive well prepared to do battle with key rivals like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque.   

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