by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (X 156) - new scoops from Germany

The compact class lineup at Mercedes-Benz is growing fast: after the A-Class that got premiered in spring this year, the 4-door coupe entitled CLA will follow in 2013 and the next year will see the introduction of the all new GLA-Class compact crossover. Codenamed X 156, this new addition to the portfolio will basically act as an SUV and be equipped with 4MATIC and the efficient low-cc diesel and petrol engines. Don't rule out a GLA 45 AMG version with up to 350 hp, possibly slated for 2015.

From the latest spy shots, it seems the new GLA will boast a beefy, muscular stance while also retaining the desired compact dimensions. Practically, the exterior design will be an evolution of the A-Class styling in the sense that, for many spectators and specialists, the X 156 could look as a taller W 176 with more visible shoulders and fenders and a rather radical appearance when seen from nearby. The powerful front fascia will sport a large radiator grille and a new bumper with generous inlets, while the tail section will be slightly toned down to counterbalance the general shape of the body.

The bottom line versions of the future GLA-Class will receive the front-driven MFA underpinnings as standard feature, whereas the high-end variants will get only the 4x4 powertrain. Displacement of the engines will range from 1.5 litres for the GLA 180 CDI with 109 hp (a new Daimler-Renault powerplant) up to 2.1 litres for the top-of-the-line GLA 250 SPORT with 211 hp. Power transmission will be made thanks to the 6-speed manual gearbox and the 7G-DCT automatic tranny. Most of the safety and infotainment systems seen on the A-Class will also make it onto the GLA-Class as well.

The X 156 will be far from being a true off-roader, but we guess it will be a good pick for travelling around in large cities. While the MRA-equipped versions will ride decently, the GLA 4MATIC could handle like magic as the configuration will be a rear-biased one.

Image Credits: Autoevolution /

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