Mercedes-Benz's second-generation GLA SUV gets a roomier interior and a tech upgrade to serve as a conquest vehicle in its growing segment.
Mercedes unveiled the new GLA on Wednesday online, the first time the brand has premiered a new model on a live stream.
The GLA will arrive in European dealerships in the spring and go on sale in the U.S. and China next summer. It will be a rival to the BMW X2 and Audi Q2 in Europe.
The GLA is is the eighth member of Mercedes' compact-car family and the brand's entry-level SUV. It's based on the A class and is positioned below the more practical, boxy GLB, which offers up to eight seats, as a rival to the BMW X2 and Audi Q2.
"The GLB is the most functional and most spacious representative of our compact class family, while the new GLA is positioned as its sporty brother and as a lifestyle-oriented SUV," Mercedes sales and market chief, Britta Seeger, said in a statement.
The GLA targets millennials before they have a family, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. "Where their parents would have purchased a coupe, today's aspiring professionals look to stylish utilities before moving up to the bigger models when their own kids arrive," Fiorani said.