Mercedes-Benz updated GLA: New tech explained

Cape Town - In May 2017, German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz launched its facelifted GLA crossover  in South Africa.

The updates include a more prominent grille, slightly more powerful and economical engines, and a seven-speed auto. Inside, the vehicle remains largely the same as the outgoing model but better materials and new seats are very much a part of the package.

Occupants are also treated to a fair amount of space.

But this is all on the surface. Mercedes has also upped the ante on the features its little crossover is fitted with and everything works below the surface - behind the scenes - to make the fresh GLA a better proposition than the model it replaces.

Night into day

Available as an optional extra, the GLA can be equipped with Mercedes’ high performance LEDs, replacing the standard bi-xenon units. These headlamps, says Mercedes-Benz SA, will illuminate the road ahead while using up to 60% less energy than the bi-xenon headlights and 70% less than ordinary halogen lights. The LEDs will, saus the automaker, last the duration of the GLA’s lifetime.

Now in SA - Mercedes-Benz GLA receives a dose of freshness!

The brake and indicator lights are also upgraded to the high performance units and come with three intensity levels. By day the brightness of the lights will be on maximum and by night the levels are on medium. Also by night, when the GLA is at a standstill, the lights will be at its lowest level; so as not to blind oncoming drivers with too bright a rear light.

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Active safety systems

The facelift GLA comes standard with active safety systems to always ensure that drivers are focused on the road ahead. Attention Assist monitors a driver’s driving habits via the steering wheel. If the system detects that the driver is showing signs of drowsiness, it will take the necessary precautions to warn the driver about said drowsiness.

Active Brake Assist (ABA) monitors the distance to the car in front and if it senses that the driver is slow to react, it will automatically bring the car to a halt. This autonomous braking is initiated and implemented to prevent collisions. And if a collision does happen, ABA aims to minimise the damage.

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Top traction for AMG model

The GLA45 AMG model is fitted with Merc’s powerful 280kW/47Nm 2.0-litre engine, but controlling all that power can be a mission. And exactly because of that, Mercedes-AMG also refined the all-wheel drive system this car is fitted with. Under calmer driving conditions the AMG model is primarily front-wheel drive, but will split the torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles in a split second.

READ: Mercedes-Benz's updated GLA in SA - Details and prices

Should the front wheels have difficulty gripping the road, a multiple-disc clutch in the rear axle will transfer the engine’s power to the rear axle. The drivetrain has also been tweaked to handle the power better; resulting in an eye-gripping 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds.

Image: QuickPic