The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA isn’t that old, arriving for the 2020 model year. However, the German-based automaker is ready to refresh it, including the hotter AMG GLA 35, which our spy photographer has tested for the first time.
Mercedes did not give the model a complete makeover. Instead, it’s a mid-cycle refresh where the company tweaked the front and rear fascia and made other updates, and the AMG GLA 35 variant couldn’t avoid it. The photos show the hatchback with a closed front fascia, hiding redesigned headlights and a revamped front bumper. The Panamericana grille remains with minor changes. There isn’t much camouflage at the rear, but the taillights are covered, suggesting that Mercedes will change their styling, possibly updating the internal graphics.
Inside, Mercedes should make fewer updates. The car could receive the same updates as the new A-Class, which includes a new steering wheel and infotainment bezel. Refreshed models should also receive the latest MBUX infotainment software.
With this mid-cycle refresh, we don’t expect the powertrain to receive a significant update. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 302 horsepower (222 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque, which could remain unchanged in the redesigned model. The engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Top speed must remain limited to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour).
Mercedes’ plans for the smaller vehicle remain a mystery. There are rumors that the A-Class and B-Class are getting axes, which will make the GLA and GLB very important to the company. GLA is likely to spawn a third-generation model, which could use the company’s upcoming MMA architecture.
However, that transition is still years away, and Mercedes hasn’t even revealed its second-generation mid-cycle update yet. The reveal likely won’t happen until early next year when Mercedes reveals the regular GLA and GLA 35. The hotter AMG GLA 45 will arrive later. We haven’t seen it in testing yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if our spy photographers saw it before the end of the year.