Almost exactly a year on from its world premiere, the latest H247 Mercedes-Benz GLA has finally been launched in Malaysia. Rounding out Stuttgart’s new-generation compact car range in Malaysia, the small SUV arrives in the same two variants as before, albeit with the latest Modular Front Architecture (MFA).

Prospective early-bird buyers will be pleased to know that they’ll still be able to snag a 2020 model if they act quickly enough, meaning that they will benefit from a 50% reduction in the sales and services tax (SST). At current rates, the GLA 200 Progressive Line is priced at RM244,200 on-the-road without insurance, while the GLA 250 AMG Line retails at RM285,337.

Vehicles registered after January 31 will cost RM252,888 and RM295,888 respectively. Compared to the outgoing X156 model, these prices are RM8,000 (against the previous GLA 200 Night Edition) and a whopping RM21,000 more expensive like-for-like. As before, the new GLA comes fully imported from the Rastatt plant in Germany and is offered with a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

As with the local A-Class, the GLA is offered here with two engine options. The GLA 200 is powered by a Renault-sourced M282 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, delivering 163 PS at 5,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,620 to 4,000 rpm. Together with the Getrag seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it’s enough to get the car from zero to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 210 km/h.

Meanwhile, the GLA 250 gets an in-house engine and gearbox combination – an M260 2.0 litre mill that churns out 224 PS at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm, mated to a new eight-speed DCT. This one makes the century sprint in 6.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 240 km/h, despite not being fitted with an all-wheel-drive system as per the previous GLA 250.

Most importantly, all models of the GLA come with four-link independent rear suspension, unlike the A 200 with its torsion beam. Passive dampers still come as standard, however, although the GLA 250 gets a lowered ride height compared to the GLA 200. One thing that the 250 lacks this generation is the AMG Line-specific front brakes with cross-drilled discs, which we’re told is also the case globally.

While the GLA retains its position as a smaller, more low-slung alternative to the GLB, this new model is more than ten centimetres taller compared to the old one, enabling the car to offer more headroom and a raised driving position. The increased height also makes it look less like a jacked-up hatchback and more like a proper SUV, although the design is still curvier and less rugged compared to the boxy GLB.

At the front, you’ll find a more imposing face, consisting of a larger grille and shapely LED headlights. Both models come with a similar front bumper design with a fake full-width air intake and a functional centre inlet underneath, although the GLA 200 also comes with a chrome skid plate.

The AMG Line on the GLA 250 gets a slightly more aggressive look with a jutting front spoiler, gloss black trim and a trapezoidal grille with chrome pins. As for the wheels, the GLA 200 comes with rather basic-looking 18-inch split-spoke silver alloys, whereas the GLA 250 rolls on larger 19-inch two-tone items that have a similar design to the A 250.

Along the side, Mercedes has reduced the number of character lines, added an extra rear side window and stretched the doors downwards to cover the side sills and keep them clean. The two-piece trapezoidal LED taillights are slimmer than before and come with rectangular light guides, and while both models feature twin integrated tailpipes, the GLA 250 has extra fake vents and a sportier diffuser-like bumper insert.

Inside, the GLA is pretty much identical to the B-Class MPV, sharing the same dashboard design that incorporates cutouts for the freestanding display panel and the passenger-side decorative trim, as well as the same metallic tubular grab handles on the doors.

Just like its other compact car siblings, the GLA showcases the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) with twin 10.25-inch instrument and infotainment displays and the “Hey Mercedes” voice control system. While the car is 14 mm shorter than before, the wheelbase has grown by 30 mm, adding an extra 114 mm of rear legroom and a 435-litre boot that is 14 litres bigger. A 40:20:40 split-folding rear bench is standard.

Both the GLA 200 and 250 are fitted with power-adjustable front seats with memory, upholstered in Artico faux leather in the case of the 200. The 250 adds a flat-bottomed steering wheel, Artico and Dinamica microfibre seats, brushed aluminium trim, paddle shifters and AMG illuminated treadplates. Unfortunately, the standard single-zone climate control means you still don’t get rear air vents on either model.

Standard equipment includes keyless entry, push-button start, parking assist, a reverse camera and a hands-free powered tailgate, with the GLA 250 throwing in 64-colour ambient lighting as well. As for safety, all cars come with autonomous emergency braking, door opening warning and Pre-Safe, although only the 250 is fitted with blind spot monitoring.

GALLERY: H247 Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 Progressive Line in Malaysia


GALLERY: H247 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 AMG Line in Malaysia