The second-generation H247 Mercedes-Benz GLA will be launched in Malaysia next week, with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia confirming a virtual launch set to take place on December 15 at 11am. The successor to the first-generation X156 model was first revealed back in December last year, and will be the sportier, lifestyle-oriented alternative to the more utilitarian X247 GLB we have here.

Underpinned by the carmaker’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) that is also used for its other compact cars like the A-Class, CLA and B-Class, the new GLA has evolved significantly from its predecessor.

For starters, the compact SUV’s height now stands at 1,611 mm (+100 mm), and it is also wider at 1,834 mm (+30 mm). In terms of length, the car is actually shorter than before at 4,410 mm (-14 mm), but the wheelbase has been increased to 2,729 mm (+30 mm). These changes are meant to promote a more spacious cabin, with better headroom, legroom and boot space.

Along with the new dimensions, the GLA has also been redesigned to appear more like a jacked-up hatchback, although it still looks sleek enough to differentiate itself from the boxier GLB. Compared to the previous X156, the new GLA sports a more imposing front end, smoother bodywork along the sides and with taillights that are reminiscent of the W177 A-Class.

Inside, the GLA’s dashboard is similar to that of the GLB, minus the large tubular trim on the centre console and door grab handles. If you’ve been in any modern Mercedes-Benz compact car, the layout should be familiar to you, with three turbine-style air vents dividing the touchscreen panel and climate controls, while a digital instrument cluster is placed in front of the driver.

Those displays are linked to the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system, with plenty of media inputs and connected features available. For practicality, the rear seats in the GLA come with either a 40:60 or a 40:20:40 split, and can be reclined by up to 14 degrees, with a two-position boot floor assisting in transporting bulkier items.

The engine range for the GLA starts with the GLA 200 that packs a M282 1.33 litre turbo four-cylinder making 163 PS (161 hp) and 250 Nm of torque. From there, we have the GLA 250 and GLA 250 4Matic, both with a M260 2.0 litre turbo-four making 224 PS (221 hp) and 350 Nm. These are likely the variants we could be getting, although we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.

Entering AMG land, there’s the GLA 35 4Matic with an uprated M260 making 306 PS (302 hp) and 400 Nm, while the GLA 45 4Matic+ and GLA 45 S 4Matic+ feature the M139 2.0 litre turbo-four rated at 387 PS (382 hp)/480 Nm and 421 PS (416 hp)/500 Nm respectively. All engines get an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the exception of the GLA 200 that gets a seven-speed unit instead.

GALLERY: H247 Mercedes-Benz GLA