Mercedes-Benz GLA Overview
Mercedes’ A-Class siblings in India are quite popular amongst the young luxury car owners. The hatch looks quite sporty but has limited practicality, the CLA has a swanky rear but cabin space is below average. However, the biggest sibling GLA offers the best of both worlds – style and practicality. Recently Mercedes gave it a mild facelift just like the other two. We drive the updated compact SUV to see the changes and examine if the three-pointed star is really a worthy alternative to the full-size mass market SUVs. Request a test drive for Benz GLA in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive
Mercedes-Benz GLA Design & Style
Now the looks of a car are extremely important in the Indian context. While the GLA was already seen in pictures, it was only at the last Auto-Expo that we got to see it in flesh and blood, and we can safely say that it was the star attraction at the Mercedes stall.Compact, car like dimensions, plenty of dynamic character lines, accentuated wheel arches and that high India specific stance make it quite a looker. If you have only seen it in pictures, you might find the car a size smaller in metal compared to the pictures.
In the front, you get a large twin-slatted grille with the familiar look bi-xenon headlights. The chunky front bumper has a matte cladding at the bottom which goes around the entire car just like in the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross which gives it that beefy SUV look.The GLA definitely has the ground clearance but it does not have the tall proportions of a regular SUV which makes it look like a proper cross-over that it is. A low roof line, masculine design and those big 18-inch tyres make it quite a stunner. In fact all the cars from the MFA family have inherited good looks and the GLA is no different.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Cabin & Comfort
Stepping into the GLA will remind you immediately of the A and the B-Class. Being from the same family, the GLA boasts the same interiors with some minor changes.The cabin feels quite roomy and this also thanks to the Panoramic glass roof which further accentuates the roomy feeling. The dashboard is a blend of black and a carbon-fibre finish which looks quite sporty and feels well made too.The air-con vents sport a bezel finish which is unique to the GLA and they look great. The only thing that looks a little out of place on the dash is the infotainment screen which feels like its jutting out of nowhere. Popping out from a flush fitting space and a slightly larger screen would have made it much better. The aircon again misses out on climate control despite the GLA being an otherwise very well equipped car.
Getting the right driving position is easy with the electrically adjustable drivers seat with memory and its just as easy for the co-passenger too with the seats getting the same features as the driver.At the rear, the GLA may not be the most spacious car but its not cramped either and long drives pose no problems as long as there are just 2 passengers at the back. The boot has a good 421 litres of luggage space however, part of that space is partly swallowed by the space-saver just like in the A and B-Class. Still there is plenty of space for those weekend trips or more and the easy loading area is a plus as well.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Engine & Gearbox
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA will continue to offer the same powertrains. However there will be slight performance updates to them. The petrol version will have a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. This will make a healthy 185bhp of power and 300Nm of torque. The diesel will come with a 2.1-litre unit that will have 140bhp of power and 310Nm of torque.
The 2017 GLA 45 AMG will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This will produce 340bhp of power and 480Nm of torque. This high-powered version will continue to be a thrill to drive and also will be offered with an AMG spec body kit and larger alloy wheels.The transmission option will be the 7G, seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
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. They 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 Class Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 31,70,935/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 38,01,700/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Bangalore. Check for Benz GLA price in Bangalore at Carzprice
Mercedes-Benz GLA Verdict
Well it certainly has all the makings of one. Mercedes-Benz told us that both the variants will come in top trim only since that’s what the customers demand. As a result the GLA gets a long list of features which includes a panoramic sunroof which closes automatically when raining, electrically adjustable seats for driver and passenger, reversing camera, a brilliant Harmon Kardon music system, 7 airbags, Attention assist, tyre monitoring system and then some.That it looks good is an added bonus and the three pointed star on the grille means it has plenty of star value as well. What will finally decide if the GLA will be a Hero or not is the price. We think if Mercedes manages to keep it under 30 Lakh, there will be no stopping the GLA and this will pretty much be the car that will take Mercedes-Benz back to top spot. Watch this space for the launch of the GLA on 30th Sept and an exhaustive road test coming up soon.