The new Mercedes-Benz GLA compact SUV has been unveiled.  Ordering is expected to open in November, with the car arriving in dealer showrooms in 2014.

Based on the MFA platform that underpins the A-Class, the new GLA is longer at 4,417mm, as well as 1,804mm wide and 1,494 mm tall.

Inside, the rear seats can be folded down as you’d expect, but they also feature an adjustable backrest angle.

Boot space ranges from 421 to 836 litres, depending on seat position, and Mercedes have worked to give the GLA a low loading sill and as wide an aperture as possible.

The cabin materials are available in a variety of options.  The five round air vents, for instance, can be specified in a finish that echoes that of the exterior skid plates.

An alternative style of instrument cluster is also available that uses small dials placed within each of the larger dials, with needles that rest at the six o’clock position.

The aerodynamics of the GLA have been a particular focus for Mercedes, with underbody panelling to smooth airflow, a small roof spoiler, radiator shutters in the front bumper, and even an aerodynamic shape to the rear light clusters.

Initially four engines will be available – two petrol and two diesel.

Badged the GLA 200, the entry-level model is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol four-cylinder engine developing 156hp at 5,300rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1,250-4,000rpm.

The 2.0-litre GLA 250 produces a heftier 211hp at 5,500rpm and 350Nm at 1,200-4,000rpm, enough to propel it to 62mph in just 6.5 seconds and on to a 145mph top speed.  Provisional figures show a 39.7mpg combined cycle thirst, and CO2 emissions of 151 g/km.

The two diesel options both use a 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit, but in different states of tune.

While the more powerful GLA 220 CDI outputs 170hp at 3,600-4,000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1,400-4,000rpm, the GLA 200 CDI is geared more towards economy.  Its engine develops 136hp and 300Nm, but can record a combined cycle economy figure of 65.6mpg and CO2 emissions of just 114 g/km.

All models feature a start/stop function.  Mercedes’ seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard on the GLA 250, GLA 220 CDI and all four-wheel-drive models, with the remaining models using a six-speed manual.

GLA 250 and 220 CDI models are available with the company’s 4Matic four wheel-drive system.  Similar to that used in the high-performance A45 AMG, the system uses a power take-off integrated into the dual-clutch transmission to drive the rear axle, which features an electro-hydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch to feed in power as required.

4Matic models are also equipped with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) which uses the braking system to govern the vehicle speed on downhill gradients.

In off-road mode, the transmission and accelerator response are altered, and the infotainment system can be set to display data such as steering angle, transmission mode, compass, gradient and roll angle.

A host of safety systems will be available, with Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, and Brake Assist as standard.  Further features, such as Distronic Plus active cruise control and the upgraded Collision Prevention Assist which automatically applies the brakes at speeds of up to 124mph to prevent a collision, will be available as options.

The new Mercedes GLA will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.  Ordering will open in the UK in November, with deliveries starting in 2014.