Debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and its hotter Mercedes-AMG GLA45 sibling boast a bold new look and benefit from a host upgrades that promise to add more appeal to the automaker’s smallest crossover SUV. Beyond more standard features, the 2018 GLA-Class will offer a selection of new premium options and personalization packages.  

Bolder look

The key exterior changes to the GLA-Class family revolve around redesigned front and rear fascias. Meanwhile, GLA45 raises its profile even further with aggressive AMG-spec body bits and revised 19-inch alloy wheels in place of the new 18-inchers fitted to the front-drive GLA250 and all-wheel drive GLA250 4Matic models. Standard on the GLA45 and optional on the GLA250s are new and more efficient LED headlamps that replace the previous bi-xenon units.

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Buyers will be able to further distinguish either GLA250 with the current Night Package or a new limited-edition Ice Package that matches a Cirrus White exterior finish with Night/Sport/Premium package elements, bespoke 18-inch AMG wheels, a Panorama roof and various interior upgrades. Those opting for the GLA45 can fit it with a new AMG Performance Studio Package. Finished in either Night Black or Cosmos Black paint with Matte Graphite Grey and Yellow accents plus an upgraded interior with color-keyed touches, it comes with the AMG Aerodynamics and AMG Night Packages.

More charming cabin

Playing an even better inside game for 2018, all GLA-Class members get a revised instrument cluster, a larger 8.0-inch high-res center display, a standard rear-view camera and upgraded trim. Options include a new Parking Assist Package with a 360-degree surround-view camera. Also available is a new Hands-Free Access feature for the standard power rear liftgate while support for Android Auto has been added to the Smartphone Integration Package. Remaining true to form, the GLA45 boasts its own AMG-design interior touches that add both style and sportiness.

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No changes were made to the powertrains of 2018 GLA-Class models. The GLA250 duo carry on with a 208-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine backed by a 7-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic while the GLA45 packs a handcrafted AMG version of the engine that makes a heady 375 horses and is paired with a paddle-activated AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed that drives all four wheels through a dedicated AMG version of Mercede’s 4Matic system.

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The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250/250 4Matic and Mercedes-AMG GLA45 models will arrive in showrooms here this summer. Pricing and additional packaging details will be released closer to their on-sale dates.

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