Mercedes Benz GLA has been one of the most appealing luxury compact crossovers from the stable of German luxury car brand. Unveiled at Benz at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes Benz GLA Class initially made its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2013 as a concept. Introduced to compete against the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the crossover finds its place below the GLK Class which is now renamed as GLC Class as per company’s new naming nomenclature. Moreover, the company has now introduced an all-new GLA 220 d 4MATIC ‘Activity Edition’ which comes with a 4MATIC all-wheel drive train system for the first time in the Indian market. The introduction of GLA 220 d 4MATIC ‘Activity Edition’ mark Mercedes-Benz’s 9th product for the year 2016 in the country. Launched by Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO Mercedes-Benz India, the GLA 220 d 4MATIC’s introduction will assist the company to increase its SUV sales. Check On Road Price of Merecedes Benz in Carzprice
EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;
The GLA is a mighty good looking car, especially when compared to the other SUVs in the Mercedes range. It is based on the new MFA platform that also underpins the A-Class, B-Class and the CLA sedan and similarities are so evident that some might say this is the A-Class on steroids.The GLA is not one of the larger SUVs in the segment, but it gets more than a few cosmetic elements that make it look bigger. The front grille gets thick horizontal slats and a big logo, the wheel arches are massive and so are the bulging lines on the bonnet and the side of the car. Only when you spend some time with the car, you will realise that the GLA is not really big even for a compact SUV, but the impression that it leaves on the onlookers is totally different.
Unlike the burly and brutish elder siblings, this entry-level crossover is pretty. The front is a combination of the A-Class and the B-Class with the addition of the big air intake on the bumper with brushed aluminium surrounds. The bonnet is a lot bigger in proportion than the size of the car and it has the same busy design. The side profile is not SUV-like, the GLA is not a tall car and this is one angle which makes it look like an extra-large hatchback. Here the lines are similar to that of the CLA with a downwards sloping shoulder line and a thick waistline. The roof spoiler looks particularly good from the side angle; there are a few nice design elements on the roof as well, unfortunately those are a little hard to notice. The GLA is also one of the few cars that get 18-inch five-spoke alloy-wheels as standard and they look neat. Get deals on Merecedes Benz GLA Class
The rear end appears cluttered to me; the design is an extension of the A-Class and there are so many elements that it takes away the elegance. There are a couple of chrome strips, the bumper gets brushed aluminium cladding that also has twin exhausts with chrome tips, the tail lamps have LED treatment and even the spoiler gets little cuts asking for attention. Overall, the GLA is certainly the best looking compact crossover in the segment. It might not have the size of its rivals, but it makes up for the lack of it by being a showstopper purely on its design. INTERIOR AND SPACE ;
Similar to the CLA-Class sedan, with which it shares many cabin components, the GLA looks like a traditional Mercedes inside. Big analog gauges, a clean center-stack design, and tight fit and finish impart the same premium feel shared across the Mercedes lineup. If you get up close and personal with the materials, however, you can see where the GLA falls short not only compared to more expensive Mercedes siblings but also rivals such as the Lexus NX and BMW X1.
The optional navigation system’s display looks like an aftermarket addition given its location perched high on the dash. On the upside, the screen is easy to read and fairly large. Although it takes a little getting used to, the column-mounted gear selector quickly becomes second nature and frees up valuable, easily accessed storage space on the console. A variety of cabin accents, which include walnut, ash, aluminum and (GLA 45 only) carbon fiber, dresses things up.
A modestly elevated driving position provides excellent forward visibility, but the shallow angle of the tailgate and thick roof pillars impede the view out back. Although there is a lot to like about the front row, the rear quarters are less accommodating and space is distinctly lacking compared with rivals such as the BMW X1 and Acura RDX. For example, the GLA has 27.1 inches of rear legroom and 53.2 inches of rear shoulder room, compared to the X1’s 37 inches/55.2 inches and the RDX’s 38.3 inches/57.2 inches. Fortunately, there’s enough headroom for adult passengers as long as you don’t order the sunroof.
Cargo space behind the GLA’s rear seats measures 14.9 cubic feet — among the smallest in the segment. Fold the rear seats down and you have 43.6 cubic feet available, which is less than most rivals and indicative of a compact hatchback. The standard power liftgate is nice, but the liftover is set quite high, making it a chore to load heavy luggage.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
;The petrol version is powered by a 2.0-litre, in-line drive-train that is integrated with variable valve control technology and direct fuel injection system. This power plant comprises of 4-cylinders and 16-valves altogether making a displacement capacity of 1991cc. This DOHC based mill is also integrated with a turbocharger that helps it to deliver a maximum power of 181bhp at 5500rpm in combination with 300Nm of pounding torque between just 1200 to 4000rpm. While its diesel variants draw power from a 2.2-litre oil-burner that has the latest generation common rail fuel injection system. This motor is also based on DOHC valve configuration featuring 4-cylinders along with 16-valves, which displaces 2143cc. This motor is integrated with high pressure Piezo injectors that enables it to produce a maximum power of 134bhp in the range of 3600 to 4400rpm and yields a superior torque output of 300Nm between 1600 to 3000rpm. The car maker has paired both these motors with an efficient 7-speed DSG automatic transmission gearbox that releases the torque output to its front wheels.
Its oil-burner is integrated with a critically acclaimed CRDI fuel injection system featuring Piezo injectors. These are high pressure injectors, which enables the power plant to unleash immense power and at the same time, they also helps to deliver a maximum mileage of 17.7 Kmpl. While its petrol engine is incorporated with a conventional direct fuel injection system. This empowers the SUV to give away a maximum mileage in the range of 12 to 14 Kmpl.Its 4-cylindered diesel drive-train is based on DOHC configuration and displaces 2143cc. This turbocharged motor has the ability to churn out a maximum power of 134.1bhp in combination with 300Nm of hammering torque. Its petrol motor is also based on a 4-cylinder configuration and is integrated with variable valve control technology for optimum power generation. It can belt out 181.03bhp of maximum power along with 300Nm of hammering torque.
This SUV is bestowed with ‘comfort’ suspension system comprising multilink system for its rear axle and an independent strut suspension for the front one. In terms of braking, its front wheels are fitted with a sturdy set of ventilated disc brakes, whereas its rear ones are coupled to solid disc brakes. Aiding this mechanism is the anti lock braking system that works in combination with brake assist function to reduce the possibility of skidding. In addition to these, this SUV gets a latest generation electronic stability program that works in collaboration with curve dynamic and hill hold assist.
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. Request test drive for Merecedes Benz GLA Class
Mercedes-Benz has always had a strong focus on safety and the GLA follows the same company policy. The GLA gets 7 airbags (including knee airbag) as standard and is rated 5-star by EuroNCAP. Safety equipment includes Attention Assist and tyre pressure monitoring system. The GLA also gets Hill Start Assist, ESP, ASR and BA. As far as after sales is concerned, Mercedes has the widest network than any of the competing brands. The company offers a no frills 3-year warranty as standard on all its products (including the GLA) which can be extended for the additional fourth year at a nominal charge.
It’s not at all surprising that this facelift left the GLA mostly unchanged, but it’s a bit disappointing to see that Mercedes didn’t upgrade the engines or the suspension. More importantly, it seems that the Germans didn’t even bother to fix the noisy diesel drivetrains or do something about the crossover’s lifeless handling most customers have been complaining about in the past. Coupled with the fact that the GLA falls behind its competitors when it comes to interior space and trunk capacity, and Merc’s high-rolling A-Class isn’t very appealing compared to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. On the flipside, the nice interior and the fancy options make it a classy proposition in this small niche.