The GLA is coming soon, we know that. What we weren’t certain of was whether or not Mercedes was going to have another small SUV built on the same platform. If we’re to believe the guys at Autobild.de, then the rugged little guy above is next on Benz’s list.
They’re calling it the GLG. Like the the GLA, this is supposed to be a minature version of their bigger suvs. Where the GLA looks up to the GL class, the GLG looks up to G-wagen. However, unlike the G-wagen, it’ll be built on the A-class’ front-wheel drive architecture. Doubtlessly it’ll be getting a 4Matic version, but that’s still no substitute for the triple-differentials, sky-high stance, and do-anything tires of the G. Think of it as a G-class “lite”.
Considering the immense popularity of Mercedes’ small platform cars, putting out a rugged AWD coupe could be a major hit for the company. But to succeed, it’ll have to compete against the forthcoming (and eerily similar) Land Rover DC100.
Admittedly, they’re both cool looking little SUVs. In reality, this as close you’re going to get to a semi-offroader from anyone. There are plenty of crossover SUVs around, but they tend to do badly in “off-road” situations. Both Mercedes and Land Rover stand to lose some brand cachet if they’re not able to out do the Nissan Jukes and Mini Countrymans of the world in the dirt. Then again, we don’t imagine that’ll be that hard either.
In any case, a small-scale G would be a better fit for people who tend to stay near civilization anyway. A smaller body, less engine, and lighter weight mean it’ll probably be a better fit for the urban audience with a taste for the occasional patch of rough road.
We’ll keep our eyes open for word from Mercedes on this one.