Mercedes Benz GLA Class Facelift Review & Test Drive

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Overview

SUV craze is at its peak and the fixation to this body type is seen across all segments. While most manufacturers already have a SUV in their portfolio, others are scurrying to develop one at the earliest. Blame it on our roads or the fact that sitting higher up gives you the kick, whatever the case, this body type is seeing far more success than anyone had imagined. Coming to the luxury segment, SUV sales have seen a sharp rise during the recent past. The Mercedes-Benz’ SUV lineup comprising of the GL and ML contributes to nearly 25% of the company’s total sales in India. With this backdrop Mercedes-Benz is all set to launch the all new GLA-Class, which will not only be the starting point in the Stuttgart based manufacturer’s SUV ranks but will also give much needed competition to Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1.

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It was Mercedes-Benz who introduced the concept of ‘Compact Luxury’ to India with the A-Class at a time when many pundits believed India was not ready for this segment. The success of the A-Class encouraged others to follow suit and BMW came up with the 1-Series while folks from Ingolstadt recently launched the A3. The GLA is based on the same platform as the A-Class (MFA Platform) and is a front-wheel drive vehicle. We drive the GLA around the picturesque roads of Himachal and find out if it cuts the mustard.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Design

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.

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.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Cabin

From the outside, it looks like a compact vehicle, but step inside, the cabin design will tell you a different tale with its huge space. With this SUV, customers will get an option to customized its interiors with three different color schemes. edes Benz GLA Class CabinFurthermore, they can be highlighted by either metallic or wooden veneers. Its interiors are done up with extensive use of ARTICO leather upholstery and highlighted with chrome accents. Its dashboard has star-shaped AC vents garnished with silver accents. The dashboard in the cockpit looks quite sleeker than other company models and is equipped with an array of features. Some of those include a music system, an AC unit along with an instrument cluster and a multi-information display. Also, there is an attractive 3-spoke steering wheel with leather cover and is mounted with multi-functional switches. But the most important factor of the cabin is that it is furnished with comfortable seats, which redefines the ergonomics. The rear cabin seat has a split folding facility in 60:40 ratio, which is helpful for extending the boot volume. Its internal cabin is fitted with an array of utility features including storage boxes, drink holders, sun visors, accessory power sockets and digital clock.

This model series is packed with a range of sophisticated features that eventually offers an unmatched driving experience. Currently, it is available in two trim levels like Style and Sport. Among these, ‘Style’ is the base trim, which has all the standard features including an automatic air conditioning system, rear adjustable AC vents, dust along with pollen filter. This trim also comprises of information based features like a speedometer, fuel gauge, tachometer, outside temperature, digital clock, and gearshift position notifier. Beside these, it also has ECO start/stop function, 4-way lumber support for front seats, large glove box unit, adjustable power steering column, memory function for driver’s seat, power windows with one touch operation, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, multi-functional steering wheel and remote operation for boot opening center armrest for front and rear. On the other hand, its high end ‘Sport’ variant has features like panoramic sliding sunroof with automatic rain sensing function, adjustable armrest, trip computer in multi-functional display and illuminated glove compartment. The manufacturer has also blessed this variant with a sophisticated PARKTRONIC parking assist function featuring rear sensors and camera, which offers acoustic and visual parking aid on infotainment screen.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Transmission

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 Class Ride & 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

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Safety & Security

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes with automatic drying, front knee airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags (rear side airbags are optional). Standard technology features include Active Brake Assist, which uses radar to identify potential front-collision situations and intervenes with braking as necessary, and Attention Assist, which monitors the driver for signs of drowsiness or inattention. Mercedes’ Mbrace2 telematics system is also standard and includes automatic collision notification, an emergency response button, stolen vehicle location, remote car alarm notification to your phone and remote door lock/unlock.

Other safety-oriented options include a rearview camera, parking sensors bundled with an automated parking system, blind-spot monitoring and the Driver Assistance package, which adds adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Price

Mercedes Benz Gla Class Ex-Showroom Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 30,63,242/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 36,73,771/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Ahmedabad. Check Price of GLA in Ahmedabad

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Conclussion

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA is a worthy buy if you’re looking for a reliable, entry-level luxury subcompact SUV. While its interior is relatively upscale and attractive, don’t expect it to be as luxurious as more-expensive Mercedes-Benz models. It’s an entry-level SUV, after all, and like many in the class, the cabin materials reflect its base price ($32,850). Still, you can find a few competitors, like the less-expensive Audi Q3 ($31,800), that don’t compromise on interior material quality.

As for space, the GLA is one of the smallest vehicles in the class. It has cramped back seats and a low cargo capacity. The Q3’s cabin is fairly cramped too, but rivals like the BMW X1($33,100) have plenty of space in both rows. If you’re concerned about the GLA’s lack of space, a larger compact SUV like the BMW X3 ($39,250) may be a better choice, if it fits your budget.

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