The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA immediately faces off against two existing vehicles: the BMW X1, and likely the Range Rover Evoque, as it enters showrooms.
But the three cars look and present in sharply different ways; the GLA has aggressive flourishes on its smooth hatchback shape, the X1 is a much more traditional tall utility wagon, and the Evoque is even more of an urban style statement--with its long, low profile--than the Mercedes.
The versatile Evoque offers a low-volume two-door version as well, and its powertrain is fuel-efficient if coarse.
Along with the GLA, three new models enter the fast-growing segment this year.
First is the Audi Q3, which Mercedes identifies as one of the GLA's two closest competitors along with the X1.
The Q3 a smaller clone of the well-respected Q5, and like the GLA, it's based on front-wheel-drive underpinnings.
There's also the Lexus NX, a more traditionally sized compact SUV with considerably more cargo space but almost none of the driving dynamics of the German cars.
Finally, the Lincoln MKC is the first fully-realized product in a renaissance for Ford's upmarket brand; like the NX, it too is a larger compact SUV.
All the new models will only draw attention to the small luxury crossover market, and the GLA--on the small end of this range--will likely win points for its size, luxury features, and fun-to-drive character.
No one, meanwhile, has a vehicle that competes with the GLA 45 AMG--unless you count the Subaru WRX GTI or the Mitsubishi Evo.
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|2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA ClassBrowse Used Listings||2015 Audi Q3Browse Used Listings||2015 BMW X1Browse Used Listings||2015 Land Rover Range Rover EvoqueBrowse Used Listings||2015 Lexus NXBrowse Used Listings||2015 Lincoln MKCBrowse Used Listings|
|23 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy|
|Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||N/A||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4|
|Small Station Wagon||N/A||Large Cars||Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD||N/A||Small Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD|
|FWD 4-Door GLA 250||FrontTrak 4-Door 2.0T Premium Plus||RWD 4-Door sDrive28i||5-Door HB Pure||N/A||FWD 4-Door|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Four Wheel Drive||N/A||Front Wheel Drive|
|Sport Utility||Sport Utility||Sports Activity Vehicle||5-Door||N/A||Sport Utility|
|Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||N/A||Automatic w/OD|