Mercedes GLA 2017 facelift: Merc gets the mascara out

Published: 09 January 2017

► Crossover A-class gets updated for 2017
► New lights, trim, expanded engine range
► Eye-melting Yellow Night AMG limited edition

Is it really facelift time for the Mercedes GLA already? It’s now more than three years since the faux-by-four version of the A-class hatchback was first launched, and Mercedes-Benz has given it the obligatory mid-life brush-up to keep it fresh for 2017.

Highlights include:

  • New lights, bumpers
  • Expanded engine range
  • Updated interior
  • Reduced aerodynamic drag
  • New options

Mercedes GLA 2017

Design updates

Droopier-looking headlights can now swap their previous xenon lamps for LEDs as an option, and blend into a new bumper design.

Inside, there are similarly minor tweaks, including redesigned seat covers, instrument panel dials and trim pieces, notably some shiny chrome panels and switches.

A fresh family of alloy wheel designs round off the styling changes.

New engine variant: Mercedes GLA 220 4Matic (but not for the UK)

With 180bhp and 221lb ft, the newly added 2.0-litre 220 engine sits in the middle of the petrol line-up, between the 154bhp GLA 200 and 210bhp GLA 250.

It won’t be available in the UK, however.

Mercedes GLA 2017 interior

What about the GLA 45 AMG performance version?

The 380bhp hot-crossover-hatch gets a few updates of its own, with new front apron, air intakes and splitter, a redesigned rear bumper, and a new fake leather finish stuck to the dash.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been fitted with shorter gear ratios from gears three to seven for quicker acceleration – 0-62mph takes just 4.4sec.

A locking front diff is now available as part of the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package, too.

Prices in Germany for the updated GLA 45 AMG start from €56,852, with UK prices TBC.

What on earth is that black and yellow car in the gallery about?

That would be the Yellow Night Edition GLA 45 AMG (pictured below), available as a limited edition in 2017.

Finished in an eye-opening/watering back-to-the-’80s decal scheme, it features most of the GLA options list fitted as standard, and yet more yellow bits inside.

All four of the A-class AMG models – the A45 GLA 45, CLA 45 and CLA 45 Shooting Brake – get a Yellow Night Edition of their own for 2017. The GLA version costs a not-insubstantial €64,468.

Mercedes GLA 2017 Yellow Night

You mentioned new options for the Mercedes GLA range in 2017?

Keyless entry is now available, as is a 360deg camera system (one front, one back, and one on each door mirror) to record surroundings, shown on the media display as a birds-eye image to help with parking, or in the unlikely event of off-roading.

Hands-free boot opening, by waggling a foot beneath the tailgate, is now available too.

And lower drag?

The GLA’s drag coefficient has decreased from a Cd value of 0.29 to 0.28. That’s thanks in part to a redesigned roof spoiler lip, tailgate side spoilers and underbody trims to tidy airflow beneath the floor.

When/where/how much?

The 2017 Mercedes GLA has made its global debut at the Detroit motor show, with USA one of the key markets for the GLA together with China, Germany and the UK.

It goes on sale in January 2017, with UK deliveries from April 2017. Domestic market prices start from €28,940, with UK pricing still to be confirmed.

Click here for more from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Mercedes GLA 2017

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer