Mercedes-Benz is updating much of its SUV line-up, with the GLA joining the larger GLE and GLS in getting a mid-life refresh.

    Photographers captured this facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLA prototype testing ahead of a potential debut in 2023.

    Like the recently spied GLS prototype, there’s camouflage on small sections of the front and rear of this GLA prototype, suggesting a fairly minor facelift.

    There appears to be a slightly reworked grille, different air intakes, as well as headlights with a different lighting signature.

    Down back, this spied GLA prototype only has camouflage where the tail lights are, which indicates they’ll receive a new design.

    A new set of alloy wheel designs may be included with the update. The GLA is currently available with a choice of 19-, 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels.

    We’re yet to see the interior in the updated GLA so it remains to be seen if there will be any changes to the infotainment system.

    Currently, the GLA has a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system which runs the MBUX operating system.

    It’s expected these dual 10.25-inch screens will be retained in the updated model but run a newer version of MBUX.

    It’s unclear if Mercedes-Benz will update the engine line-up or outputs for this facelifted model.

    The Mercedes-Benz GLA is offered here in GLA200 guise with a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque, and as a GLA250 with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 165kW and 350Nm.

    High-performance Mercedes-AMG GLAs also use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four, with the GLA35 producing 225kW and 400Nm and the GLA45 S pumping out 310kW and 500Nm.

    In other markets, the GLA is also available with a range of four-cylinder turbo-diesel powertrains plus a plug-in hybrid.

    It’s unclear if Mercedes-Benz Australia intends to introduce the PHEV powertrain to the GLA locally at this stage as part of the mid-life update.

    It currently offers PHEV versions of the A-Class, E-Class and GLC, though there’s a wider range of PHEVs available in Europe.

    Like the GLE and GLS, of which updated models have been recently spied testing, the current generation of GLA entered production in 2019.

    Mercedes-Benz’s small SUV went on sale in Australia in early 2020, and was joined by its electric EQA counterpart later that year.

    The GLA and EQA are based on the MFA2 platform that also underpins the A-Class, CLA, B-Class, and the GLB.

    Mercedes-Benz is debuting a new compact MMA platform in 2024 that will replace MFA2 and debut the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS).

    It may be the last Mercedes-Benz platform to be introduced with the option of internal-combustion power, as from 2025 onwards the company has said all new platforms will be electric-only.

    As previously reported, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class will reportedly be discontinued in 2025.

    Insiders told German media outlet Handelsblatt the three-pointed star will instead concentrate on four small models: the GLA and GLB crossovers, the CLA four-door coupe and, perhaps surprisingly, the CLA Shooting Brake.

    To the end of May 2022, Mercedes-Benz has sold a total of 1307 GLA models. It was outsold during this period by the Volvo XC40 (2269 sales), but outsold the likes of the Audi Q3 (1247 sales) and BMW X1 (1176 sales).

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    MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz GLA

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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