The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a front-engine, front or four wheel drive five-door subcompact luxury crossover SUV. The name GLA was devised in accordance with the revised Mercedes-Benz nomenclature for SUVs. Under this scheme, SUVs use the base name "GL", followed by the model's placement in Mercedes-Benz hierarchy. The "G" is for geländewagen (German for off-road vehicle) and alludes the long-running G-Wagen. This is followed by the letter "L" that acts as a linkage with the letter "A"—the GLA being the SUV equivalent to the A-Class.
The GLA-Class is powered by a range of petrol and diesel 4-cylinder engines, and comes in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive 4Matic.