Mercedes Benz GLA review and specifications

Mercedes Benz GLA review and specifications

Photo credits : Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd.


Merecedes Benz's history with India dates back to 1994 when it was started as a subsidiary of Diamler AG, with plant at Chakan. It has come a long way since and here we present an ultra-modern Crossover from the automotive manufacturer known for quality. It comes in 3 flavors:

GLA 200         -184bhp
GLA 200 CDI   -134bhp
GLA 45 AMG   - 355bhp

Price Rs 33Lakhs-Rs72Lakhs (ex showroom, Pune)

4.5 

Unique selling proposition Safety and style

Final verdict : recommended

Design and build quality


While Mercedes stands a tough stance when it comes to quality and has been known to make luxurious cars which are epitome of quality, we can feel that position undiluted even while perceiving the GLA class. After the introduction of the MFA platform, we saw a whole new breed of small sized Merces. The A-class which represents the best of the hatchback that the automotive world can offer and CLA, which is the contemporary entry point into the tri-starred exuberance. No need to state the obvious that the parts feel rock solid with hint of quality at every inch of the car, both interior and exterior.





Mercedes GLA 200 India
Mercedes Benz GLA 200 CDI India


In spite of semblance to A-class, GLA manages to look muscular with a pronounced front grill, contoured large bonnet and brushed metal roof rails. The body panels look well-crafted and are complimented with a matte plastic cladding that encircles the car giving it a serious softroader look. We can see that there is a large, clean horizontal grill upfront with the tristar seated in the middle. The chatoyant headlamps look aggressive and young too with daytime running lights coming as standard. It look beautiful day and night. Even the real tail lamps get an LED treatment and are a treat to the eyes. Separated by a shiny chrome detail between them. While the exterior looks large due to the design cues, the interior gets help from the extra width when compared to the A-class. This car feels more spacious both in the front as well as back. The twin sunroofs also aid in the airiness of the design.



The wheels are spot on with a class leading size of 18” and sporty look with five spokes alloy construction. We shall come to the details of the wheel later in the handling part. 


Mercedes Benz GLA design
Photo credits : Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd


Mercedes Benz GLA 200 specifications


The wheelbase is similar to the A-class at 2699mm though overall length is more at 4417mm. In terms of height, this car features a loftier stance too but still no close to the SUVs. The ground clearance has been made as 183mm for our roads, up from the international GC of 153mm. The company states the official water-wading depth as 250mm.

Performance

Many people make mistake on basing their judgment on numbers alone(more commonly) BHP. This thinking is somewhat flawed. A real world test reveals much more about a car than numbers alone and I can say the same for Mercedes GLA 200 CDI as well as GLA 200. The cars feel peppy with right dose of lower end torque which extends seamlessly into the midrange then rolls off. Both the cars have same peak torque but different characteristics. While petrol feels energetic from start and feels good at higher speeds too, diesel is not too far behind, thanks to the refined turbo.
Let me put two things straight: this car is not an SUV & this car is not a sports sedan. This is a crossover meant for city roads with soft offroading. Another thing is that this car’s engine is detuned for Indian market so it features a 134bhp diesel (and 181 bhp petrol) engine. Just as a reference, the Audi Q3 has 138bhp & BMW X1 has 184bhp. On the plus side, the mileage is good at 17kmpl ( 13.7 for petrol). 
Mercedes Benz GLA 45 AMG



The GLA 45 AMG 4MATIC is a different species all together. Same outer structure but a different beast. This model is a twin-turbo charged and power-tuned version which is sportier. We could not lay our hands on this model so can't comment anything much. The interior and the bucket seats give it a racecar type look.

There are different modes of driving this car like the ECO mode, normal mode and SPORTS mode. There is sufficient bandwidth between the three to warrant the change of power strategy. All of this comes not just from the engine control but also from the 7G-DCT which stands for 7 gear-Dual clutch transmission. While the ECO modes and Normal driving modes are fully automatic, the sports mode lets the driver use the car as a semi-automatic one with paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel just like the racecars.

Handling and comfort


The car feels grounded all the time. We did not have much time to review it under all the conditions but in the short duration, we were amazed by the level of suspension authority. This car has been specially modified for the Indian roads and it is evident the moment you take it out on our pot-holed roads. It gobbles up the potholes like Missal Pao(Pune’s local snack). Body roll was controlled and it build a good amount of confidence at higher speeds.

In terms of cabin noise, it is not as silent at E-class or S-class but still sounds refined. 




The high riding position helps in driving as does the features like the electronically adjustable driver seat positions. The car has 235 section tires and they too help in the driving and steering, which makes driving this car easy.

Interiors and electronics


You can see and feel the German build quality even in the interiors. The front dashboard has rotary AC vents which are propeller inspired. The Instrument cluster is neat and sporty. While the car gets a tablet sized LED screen for infotainment and navigation, it is controlled by smartphone as well as the array of buttons or by the remote. The details in design all hint towards the car’s lineage. You can see twin sunroof with a large, panoramic sunroof that shuts off automatically when it senses rain. 



















We also got time time to check out the speaker system in the car. The car boasts of 12 Harmon-Kardon speakers. It is well integrated and needless to mention that it sounds good.

Safety features

We are not talking of the Volvo’s obsession with safety here but most modern cars have employed significant effort in passenger safety. Mercedes has upped the ante this time with a class leading safety standard. GLA class too gets many safety features which are not just to fill specs but seems like intelligent safety. Another car that comes to the mind here is the Volvo V40. Coming back the LED display that we talked about, it also acts a reversing camera and one can see an overlay of the path that car shall take as per the steering and the driver can plan accordingly.


There are a total of 7 airbags installed in this car and these are the breed of third generation air-bags which are intelligent too, meaning that they are deployed as per conditions and in stages according to the severity of the impact.
Another great safety feature is the ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects a sleepy driver and alerts in visual and audible cues, suggesting a coffee break.
QR code stickers are provided for rescue in case of an accident. These are located on the fuel tank cap as well as the B-pillar. 





In addition to this even the features like ABS and ESP are more sophisticated and more intelligent. In fact to summarize this section, I would say that Mercedes safety features are better than what you can expect in this class when compared to the competition(read Q3 and X1).

Model comparisons:
EngineModelFuelPowerTorqueTop speed0-100kmphTyresMileage

Engine
GLA 200Petrol181bhp300Nm225kmph7.6s235/50 R1813
GLA 200 CDIDiesel134bhp300Nm205kmph9.9s235/50 R1817
GLA 45AMGPetrol355bhp450Nm250kmph4.8s235/45 R19-

Common parameters:

Dimensions
Length4414
Width1804
Height1494

Ground clearance183

Capacity
Seating5
Fuel tank50L

Cargo space421L
Pollution controlEuro VI
Warranty2+1 yearsunlimited kilometers
Turning radius11.84m


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