The updated 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA and 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 compact SUVs have been revealed at the 2017 Detroit motor show.

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The refreshed model range sees an exterior nip and tuck, new engines and interior revisions, while there’s also a new sporty special edition in the form of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 Yellow Night Edition.

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The visual changes for the GLA are similar to the CLA and A-Class models that came before it – that is, quite minor. There are revised bumpers and mirror housings, new light-alloy wheels, not to mention a new colour, Canyon Beige. The bi-xenon headlights of the pre-facelift model have been ditched in favour of new full LED assemblies.

Inside there are some amendments, with a new surround-view camera system available, while autonomous emergency braking remains standard, as well as a driver drowsiness warning. The 8.0-inch media screen remains, and the seat controls have been updated in silver chrome, while the centre console has been trimmed in a similar material.

There are new seat fabric options, as well as new Artico man-made leather trim colours. Matte black ash wood or carbon-fibre interior trim elements are available, too.

The boot isn’t any bigger – remaining at 481 litres – but there’s a new hands-free opening system available.

There are three suspension height options for the 2017 update: the standard comfort version, the lowered sports chassis, and the new, raised (up by 30mm) comfort off-road suspension pack which offers “improved off-road capability owing to higher ground clearance, a higher seat position and more striking off-roader looks”, according to the brand.

There’s a new petrol all-wheel-drive engine offering that could well be paired with the off-road pack – the GLA220 4Matic. This new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine pumps out 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque, bridging the gap between the existing GLA200 (with 115kW/280Nm) and the 2.0-litre GLA250 4Matic (with 155kW/350Nm).

The GLA220 4Matic model will join the GLA line-up when the updated 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA range arrives locally around the middle of 2017.

The new engine, according to Benz, gives the GLA the most drivetrain options in the small SUV segment – there are six petrol units on offer in Europe (GLA180, GLA200, GLA220 4Matic, GLA250, GLA250 4Matic and the AMG GLA45), as well as five diesels (GLA180d, GLA200d, GLA200d 4Matic, GLA220d, GLA220d 4Matic).

In Australia we have less choice  – there’s an entry-level GLA180 model priced from $43,600 plus on-road costs, then there’s the sole diesel variant, the GLA220d (at $50,400), the GLA250 4Matic (which costs $60,700) and the flagship AMG GLA45 (from $84,315 plus costs). Mercedes-Benz Australia has told us there will be "no substantial change" to prices for the updated model, as extra equipment may be introduced across the range. Full pricing and specification details will be announced closer to its launch: stay tuned.

The high-spec 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the flagship Mercedes-AMG GLA45 continues on with 280kW of power and 475Nm of torque, and its seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox features shorter ratios and quicker shift times. Despite the gearbox tweaks, the GLA45 still zips from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds, the same as it already claimed.

The GLA45 sees revisions to its front spoiler package and its roof spoiler, both of which help lower its co-efficient of drag. The front bumper has reshaped air intake grilles, as well as a front splitter insert in silver chrome, plus flicks in high gloss black, all of which guide “cooling air flows to the vehicle radiators even more effectively”.

The GLA45 now gets Artico man-made leather wrap over the dashboard with red stitching highlights, and the instrument cluster has a new number design and the analogue speedometer is divided into 30 km/h stages. There are new needles, too.

The new Yellow Night edition models are available across the Mercedes-AMG versions of the A, CLA and GLA models, all of which are painted in one of two shades of black (Night Black or Cosmos Black). They feature matte graphite grey and yellow trim highlights, a black grille louvre, and black and yellow wheels.

The yellow theme continues on the side mirror casings, front apron, side skirts, rear wing (not on the CLA sedan or wagon) and rear diffuser. The grey bits include “AMG sports stripes” on the bonnet, roof, boot and sides of the car.

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA and 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 models.