Mercedes Benz GLA Class Overview & Gearbox

Mercedes-Benz GLA Overview

The Mercedes-Benz GLA was launched for the 2014 model year as the company’s smallest crossover to date. Sharing the same platform with the A-Class, B-Class, and the CLA four-door coupe, it’s the SUV equivalent of the A-Class hatchback, which is why it’s wearing the “GLA” badge. Designed to compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, which were launched earlier on the market, the GLA slots below the GLC in the lineup. Powered by four-cylinder engines exclusively, the crossover is available with both gasoline and diesel powerplants in Europe. In the U.S., however, only a gasoline mill is offered, alongside the beefed-up AMG version. The GLA received its mid-cycle update for the 2018 model year at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

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Not surprisingly, the facelift is rather mild inside and out. Minor nips and tucks do little to change the vehicle’s overall appearance, while the cabin boasts new trim, upgraded technology, and some new features. Drivetrain-wise, the GLA carries over unchanged, which is a bit disappointing with a more powerful BMW X1 in showrooms. Of course, crossovers need to check more important boxes, and the GLA does that with the revised model, but will it be enough to give the X1 and Q3 a run for their money? Mercedes-Benz GLA  in Tryaldrive

Mercedes-Benz GLA Design & Style

Yes, the GLA is an SUV but that does not mean you start vacating your parking space or think of getting more area to keep this one as it is very compact in dimensions. Unlike traditional SUVs, this one chooses to look more crisp than brawny.It might remind you of the A-Class but see it in real and the bigger car gets elevated. A pronounced radiator grille with twin slats and a handsome Mercedes Benz logo is the new face of all portfolio cars. It gives a familiar look to all models without making them look like twins. On the hood of the GLA are parallel running power bulges.

There is a large air intake on the front bumper which has been treated in a glossy aluminium finish. The air pockets on both corners of the bumper look smart too. Adding to the front face are the newly designed Bi-Xenon headlights with LED day time lights. The LED curve which is now seen on all cars including the newly revealed AMG GT looks extremely stylish.The side profile gets flared wheel arches. These arches and the lower running board area have plastic cladding making it look tough. We liked the 18inch alloys which Mercedes offers as standard equipment. While we say it is part of the standard list, these models cannot be termed as ‘reasonably’ priced because of the complicated designs and list of additions it gets over the A-Class.

It shares its wheelbase with the premium hatch and that’s the only similarity in dimensions as the GLA is a longer vehicle. Visually, it looks bigger. This one has a ground clearance of 183mm meaning it is more capable to take soft roads in addition to tight manoeuvring on normal tarmac. The same can be vindicated with the fact of 235/50 R18 tyres being offered as standard.What we loved about the styling are the design lines flowing in tandem. It is a SUV, which has been styled like a coupe especially the rhythmically flowing window section along with the character lines on the side profile.

The C-Pillar flows smoothly on the waist line carrying the dynamic stance to the wide tail gate.Many would agree that the rear profile of the GLA leaves a better impact than the front and side combined together. It is simply the attention to detailing like the split tail lights which are connected with a chrome lining or the lower exhaust surround which gets a brushed glossy finish with twin sporty exhausts.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Cabin & Comfort

Now step inside and this is when you can’t make any difference between the A siblings if you are not a keen observer. Only way to feel the difference is the seat height, which is slightly above the average sedan height but in the world of SUVs, it is still low. What changes in the GLA facelift you ask? Well, nothing major apart from the new three-spoke steering wheel, ambient lighting with 12 colours and a bigger 8-inch infotainment display that now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity

. The steering now has a 3D effect to it, the horn pad jutting out, looks nice. The screen is bright and clear but it’s not touch, you have to control it via the COMMAND system knobs. Otherwise everything is similar and the dashboard looks quite attractive, specially the slightly updated instrument cluster. I also like the way the aircon vents are styled, practical yet flashy. However, I really can’t digest the fact that a Rs. 40 lakh + Mercedes doesn’t come with auto climate control! It doesn’t even have a reverse parking sensor but thankfully gets a camera.

What you would like in the GLA is the fantastic quality, consistency and the feel of materials. Everything is top notch, the equipment list is quite strong too, push button start, panoramic sunroof, electric seats, driving modes, electric tailgate, etc. The seats also get soft leather which smells nice too. Now the rear seat experience is average if you have the SUV practicality in mind because headroom for tall passengers is limited and because of the huge transmission hump, the middle passenger might find it a squeeze. The tailgate now is electrically operational. The boot is quite big and accommodating but the spare space saver wheel just eats up a lot of space.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Engine & Gearbox

Under the hood, the GLA carries over unchanged and uses the same four-cylinder engines as before. However, while it was believed that certain units will get power increases and improvements in the fuel economy department, Mercedes decided against it.In Europe, the gasoline lineup includes three powerplants, starting with 1.6-liter rated at 122 PS and 200 Nm of torque (120 horses and 148 pound-feet) in the base GLA180. The GLA200 gets the same unit, but rated at 156 PS and 250 Nm (154 horsepower and 184 pound-feet), while the GLA250 comes with a larger, 2.0-liter mill that generated 211 PS and 350 Nm (208 horses and 258 pound-feet).

Moving over to diesels, there’s the GLA180 CDI with the Renault-sourced 1.5-liter and the GLA200 CDI and GLA220 CDI with a 2.1-liter four-banger. The base model comes with 109 PS and 260 Nm (108 horsepower and 192 pound-feet) on tap, while the other two benefit from 136 PS and 300 Nm (134 horses and 221 pound-feet) and 170 PS and 350 Nm (168 horsepower and 258 pound-feet), respectively.

In the U.S. customers will get the same GLA250 model with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The same version will also be available with 4Matic all-wheel-drive. Buyers will also have access to the performance-oriented AMG GLA45 model, which cranks out 375 horsepower thanks to its AMG-tweaked, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. This engine also carries over unchanged.The six-speed manual remains standard on the base models in Europe, while the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic is optional on most trims and standard on the more expensive cars. The AMG variant continues to use the AMG Speedshift DCT gearbox.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Ride & Handling

Mercedes has upped its game in the dynamics department with the newer lot of cars. Same is the case with the GLA and its ride and handling balance. I really like the way it soaks bumps and takes undulations. You won’t feel out of place on bad Indian roads with this pliant ride quality. Well, ride has been Mercedes’ forte always but they have managed to strike the right balance of handling as well. The nose turns in quickly with your steering inputs and the feedback isn’t numb. It provides consistent feel while cornering and you know where it’s going. Body roll is there but it’s not to the extent that you get annoyed, the roll is controllable. I was a bit disappointed with the brakes of my test car because the previous publication who got hold of it had tested it on the BIC. The brake pads were worn off and the pedal feel was inconsistent.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Safety & security

Safety is a big priority for the three-pointed star and the GLA gets high-tech equipment including ABS, ESP, 6 airbags, hill descent control, tyre pressure monitoring system, attention assist, etc. Mercedes is spreading its foothold in the Indian market rapidly and the network is getting quite strong pan India. In this scenario you need not worry about the after sales, which is quite manageable even in non-metro cities. Yes, it is a German luxury car and you should be ready for heavy bills if you damage a crucial part.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Cost in Mumbai

Mercedes Benz Gla Class On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 37,43,351 to 44,87,652 for variants GLA Class 200 d Style and GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC respectively. Mercedes Benz Gla Class is available in 4 variants and 4 colours. Below are details of Mercedes Benz Gla Class variants price in Mumbai. Check for GLA price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Mercedes-Benz GLA Conclusion

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.

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