The Mercedes-Benz GLA250 Is Not The Crossover You Think It Is

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In fact, we're not sure it's a crossover at all.

It's official. Automakers have finally figured out how to get Americans to like hatchbacks, a body style that Europeans embraced years ago. Simply restyle the exterior somewhat to make it look SUV-ish, jack up the ride height, offer all-wheel drive and presto! The crossover is born. The idea is so simple it's brilliant. But enough of that ramble, let's talk about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4Matic, an AWD subcompact crossover we recently spent some time with.

Launched not long ago, the GLA-Class is built on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the CLA-class, itself a four-door coupe version of the A-Class hatchback, which, as you can probably guess if you didn't know already, isn't sold in the US. Again, Europeans dig hatchbacks, Americans still don't.

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Or at least they think they don't, but they do. Damn, rambling again. Anyway, our GLA250 4Matic came powered by a turbocharged inline-four with 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with power being sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic. Because it's a Mercedes, it's well-equipped with luxury features and other premium bits. Hope you like paying $720 for Metallic Grey exterior paint. Thing is, however, the GLA250 really doesn't feel like a crossover; the driver sits lower to the ground than you think. And we dig that. The closer you can get to the A-Class hatchback, the better. Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento for letting us film the car.

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