The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a luxury compact crossover automobile unveiled by the German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. It was previously unveiled to the public at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2013 as a concept car.
The name GLA was devised in accordance with the revised Mercedes-Benz nomenclature for SUVs. This was formally announced in November 2014 to begin rollout in 2015. However, the GLA-Class name was already compliant with the naming structure since its debut. Under this scheme, SUVs use the base name "GL", followed by the model's placement in Mercedes-Benz hierarchy. The "G" is for geländewagen (German for off-road vehicle) and alludes the long-running G-Wagen. This is followed by the letter "L" that acts as a linkage with the letter "A"—the GLA being the SUV equivalent to the A-Class.
Designed to compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, It slots below the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, renamed GLC-Class from 2015.
The GLA-Class is powered by a range of petrol and diesel 4-cylinder engines, and comes in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive 4Matic.