Production begins on Mercedes GLA crossover

The latest compact SUV from Mercedes, the GLA, presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year and slated to hit dealerships from spring 2014, has gone into production at the Mercedes plant in Rastatt, Germany.

The future crossover will be available in four versions, ranging in power from 136 horsepower (GLA 200 CDI 4MATIC) to 211 horsepower (GLA 250 4MATIC).

The most eco-friendly model in the line will be the Mercedes GLA 200 CDI, with its 136 horsepower diesel engine. The most powerful model, meanwhile, is the Mercedes GLA 250 4MATIC, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 6.4s and reach a top speed of 146 mph. The latter model’s fuel consumption averages out at 33.1 mpg.

The Mercedes GLA will have the latest version of Mercedes’s branded all-wheel drive system, 4MATIC, designed to distribute power effectively among the wheels. It also includes a collision-prevention system to avoid crashes at speeds of over 4.3 mph, a rear park assist feature, and the option to automatically cap the vehicle’s top speed at 124 mph.

The Mercedes GLA is the latest arrival in the increasingly competitive market for entry-level, compact SUVs or crossovers. The new Mercedes line will be competing with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 lines, to name a few.