Mercedes Benz GLA Overview
The Mercedes GLA has been on sale in India since 2014 and while it received criticism for looking more hatch than SUV, the little crossover managed to sustain itself over time. Launched with two-wheel drive only, Mercedes later added more versions like the performance-oriented GLA 45 AMG with all-wheel drive and then in 2016 offered the all-wheel-drive system on the GLA 220d with an off-road mode as well. Now about three years on since the first launch, Mercedes has given the car a facelift.
Mercedes Benz GLA Design
What classifies as an SUV today is quite a grey area. Just like most modern SUVs the GLA is based on a truly multi purpose platform. Sharing DNA with the likes of the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class, the GLA is essentially a front-wheel-drive compact SUV that seems to integrate a coupe-ish profile without any fuss. There is no denying the fact that the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is by far the best looking car in its segment.The large two-slat front grille finished in a shade of matte-silver combined with chrome inserts and a large three-pointed-star gives the front fascia a sporty look. The lower bumper too gets the same matte-silver treatment that completes the luxury-cum-practicality look. The large headlamps, inspired from the likes of the A-Class and finished with a fibre-optic daytime running light and a large projector headlamp.
As we mentioned earlier, the GLA-Class has a coupe-ish look to its side profile. That combined with the large 18-inch wheels that come as standard make the GLA look mature and purposeful. The GLA also gets a set of diamond finished 19-inch wheels, a first of its kind in the segment. Around the back though is where the GLA really shines. The large LED tail lamps light up like a Christmas tree in the night and the wide fenders lend an extremely planted look to the car. The GLA’s twin trapezoidal exhaust tips completes the look of this luxury compact SUV.
Mercedes Benz GLA Cabin
Step inside and you’ll notice a familiar cabin, that’s identical in layout, but just like the exterior, the changes are subtle. There’s a new aluminium insert that runs across the length of the dashboard, and it stands out against the beige and black fascia. The circular AC vents look quite stylish with the aluminium bezels around them. Mercedes has introduced 12 ambient light colour options to suit your mood.
The infotainment system has finally been updated and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The graphics are crisper, but not in the same league as some of the competition. An all-new GLA, I suppose, may feature a better infotainment system. Nevertheless, the system in the 2017 GLA is better than before. The little jog dial, which helps navigate through various menus, is placed ergonomically, next to the cupholders, making it easy to operate.
The seats upfront are comfy and offer good support. A neat touch is the extendable cushion that offers added underthigh support, which is a boon on long drives. The new steering wheel is similar to what you see in the new E-Class and I particularly like the perforated grip area. The twin-pod instrument panel has also been revised and looks quite sporty, while the colour display in between the pods shows you all the information you’d need.The rear seats can accommodate two adults with ease; however, kneeroom is just about adequate. The beige interiors and the new panoramic sunroof go a long way in making the cabin feel airy, despite the small windows.
Mercedes Benz GLA Engine & Performance
The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class gets two engines. The petrol, badged GLA200 comes with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged, direct injection engine making 184PS of peak power at 5500rpm and 300Nm of peak torque between 1200-4000rpm. This Euro 6 compliant engine will be capable of propelling the GLA200 from 0-100kmph in a claimed 7.6 seconds on to a top speed of 205kmph. Not only does the petrol engine feel brisk when you put your foot down, power delivery seems instantaneous and linear. As a bonus, the petrol engined GLA sounds fantastic especially passed 5000rpm with just a hint of turbo whistle between gear changes.
India though predominantly is a diesel driven market, and the GLA will come with a 2.1-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. Badged the GLA200 CDI, the engine produces 136PS of peak power between 3600-4400rpm and 300Nm of peak torque between 1400-3000rpm. With a top speed of 205kmph and a claimed 0-100 time of 9.9-seconds, the diesel is substantially slower than the sportier petrol. That said, the GLA diesel feels much more drivable than the A-Class or B-Class diesel with oodles of fuss-free power and torque delivery. Although both engines are rated at the same level in terms of torque, the diesel seems to have more poke especially lower down in the rev range.
Both the petrol and diesel engines will be mated to Mercedes-Benz’s tried and tested 7G-DCT automatic transmission with a dual clutch setup. Although we initially expected only the petrol to get paddle shifters like the A-Class and B-Class, we were pleasantly surprised to see both the petrol and diesel getting them as a part of standard equipment.
Mercedes Benz GLA Ride and handling
The GLA is set up stiff, so the ride is a bit bumpy at slow speeds, especially when driving over potholes or undulations. Pick up the speeds, however, and the ride does get a bit better. But the joy of this set up lies in corners, and that’s where the GLA shines.Despite its 171mm ground clearance, the GLA handles just like a car. It remains flat and true to an intended line around a corner. There is good feedback from the steering too, and the grip from the fat tyres and the all-wheel-drive system make the GLA enjoyable around canyon roads. This, with the added peace of mind that you won’t have to worry too much about scraping the underbelly on bad roads. For information on contact details of Mercedes Benz car dealers in New Delhi visit mercedebengsprice.in
Mercedes Benz GLA Features & Equipment
The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class comes loaded with everything you might want from a luxury compact SUV in today’s day and age. The typically Mercedes-Benz centre console with the inbuilt telephone and audio controls does look a little outdated although they do their job well. With additional features like a reverse camera, parking sensors and GPS-navigation, the GLA is right at par with everything else in its segment. The GLA also comes with safety features like tyre pressure monitoring sensors, attention assist and seven airbags.Mercedes-Benz’s Command system that controls all the function on the main infotainment screen is as good as ever and offers the driver and the passengers an intuitive experience. That said, we did find the infotainment screen to be slightly smaller than what we could have expected and as with the A-Class and B-Class, a slight after though on the part of the designers.
Mercedes Benz GLA Price
Mercedes Benz Gla Class Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 30,63,491/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 38,02,348/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Mumbai. Check On Road price of GLA Class in Mumbai
Mercedes Benz GLA Bottomline
Mercedes should have done a bit more with the facelift. The GLA isn’t the largest or best-driving SUV and needs a change soon. However, it does deliver a stylish car that can manage some light off-roading and is well equipped too. Besides, it will appeal to those looking to stand apart from the typical SUV brigade. The GLA is priced from Rs 30.65 lakh to Rs 36.75 lakh for the 220d 4matic that we are driving and interestingly that means, thanks to GST, you now pay around Rs 3 lakh less for a facelifted car.