Mercedes-Benz is known for the quality of its luxury vehicles, and the company’s managers have made a point of ensuring the brand covers nearly all categories in the market. A quick browse through our website will give you an idea of how broad their product line has become. Sedans, wagons, coupes, convertibles and SUVs—the Stuttgart-based automaker has it all.
The new GLA helps Mercedes-Benz round out its family of SUVs (at least for now). As a compact luxury SUV, the GLA promises to sell like hotcakes on account of the category’s rapid rise in popularity. And of course because the GLA 250 and GLA 45 AMG have exactly what customers are looking for, except maybe that the GLA is the only Benz SUV that doesn’t offer a diesel engine.
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In the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy, the GLA comes in as the most affordable of the brand’s SUVs. Immediately above it is the GLK, an intermediate lauded for its great ride. Its exterior is inspired by the GL, a full-size SUV. This explains why it’s robust, spacious and luxurious while offering impressive handling and off-road capabilities. The GLK and GL can be equipped with a selection of engines, with the diesel option being particularly popular in both cases.
Between the two is the ML-Class, the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be sold in North America, where it is built. Many drivers find that it strikes the perfect balance between the GLK (too car-like) and the GL (too truck-like). The first-gen ML had a few flaws, some of which were pretty major, but these have been corrected over time and the vehicle is now more homogenous and versatile. Its diesel engine uses BlueTec technology, where liquid urea is injected into the exhaust gas to meet environmental standards.
A real all-terrain vehicle
The head of this family is the G-Class, a mammoth whose lineage can be traced back several decades. It’s characterized by a boxy body and a luxurious, yet somewhat uncomfortable, interior—and the ability to blaze over anything that gets in its way. But its outdated appearance, high price and utilitarian (rather than sporty) ride explain why it’s not more popular. In Europe, there’s also the Professional model. Stripped of any luxury, it’s a well-respected work vehicle. Moreover, the 536-horsepower G63 AMG was not made for playing in the mud.
Fun fact: The Canadian Army’s all-terrain vehicle is the military version, the Gelandewagen (yes, that’s German for “all-terrain vehicle”). And you’re right in believing that there are no luxury features on this vehicle.
As a closing point, note that AMG versions are available for all Mercedes-Benz SUV models. These boast a sport suspension, a more powerful engine and a tweaked transmission. Obviously, the people who buy these models have no intention of driving through the forest.