It's not like we were expecting something else...

If you’re in the market for a shiny new premium compact hatchback, the 2019 Mercedes A-Class makes a compelling case. Early feedback suggests it’s a vast improvement over its predecessor, not just in terms of looks, but also as far as the high-tech interior is concerned. Factor in the new family of gasoline and diesel engines, the upcoming front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series has a lot to worry about. Should you want the A-Class to perform a little bit better on bumpier roads, you’ll then have to step up to the GLA seen here out and about testing in Germany.

Update:

Yes, it looks like an A-Class with a pair of stilts, but that’s hardly a surprise. Aside from the jacked-up suspension granting a higher ground clearance, the other telltale sign we’re dealing with the GLA and not just the regular five-door hatchback is represented by the extended wheel arches. The body appears to be virtually the same, though we’re expecting the taillights of the crossover to get a different design as Mercedes could decide one again to make them bigger than the A-Class’ clusters.

From some angles, we can observe the test vehicle had the new dashboard with the pair of digital displays as part of the company’s MBUX infotainment system you’ll eventually see on a plethora of other models. While the GLA will be sold strictly as a five seater, there will be a compact car in Mercedes’ vast lineup with seating for up to seven people. The three-pointed star recently confirmed plans for a seven-seat compact model, and even though it did not reveal the identity of the model, our money is on the G-Class-esque GLB, a boxy crossover slated to arrive in the years to come.

Aside from working on a new GLA, Mercedes is also preparing the next iteration of the CLA swoopy sedan and a first-ever A-Class Sedan bound to be sold in the United States. Spy shots have shown a new B-Class minivan is also planned, while the future of the CLA Shooting Brake seems to be uncertain.

Video: walkoART / YouTube

Gallery: 2020 Mercedes GLA screenshots from spy video