Mercedes Benz GLA Class Review & Test Drive
Mercedes GLA Class Overview
The Mercedes GLA has been on sale in India since 2014 and while it received criticism for looking more hatch than SUV, the little crossover managed to sustain itself over time. Launched with two-wheel drive only, Mercedes later added more versions like the performance-oriented GLA 45 AMG with all-wheel drive and then in 2016 offered the all-wheel-drive system on the GLA 220d with an off-road mode as well. Now about three years on since the first launch, Mercedes has given the car a facelift. Test drive for Mercedes GLA Class .
Mercedes GLA Class Exterior
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.
On the inside, there will not be major changes. The basic layout, instrumentation and gadgetry will more or less be the same. Where the 2017 version will see a change is in the upholstery and colour combinations. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA will get new leather uplholstery with unique colours and customization options. The infotainment system with an eight-inch screen will continue. It will also have Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Other features like electrically adjustable front seats with memory, navigation, start/stop function, seven airbags, panoramic sunroof and ambient lighting will continue to be offered. The AMG version will have an even more sportier cabin .
Seating is comfortable and what’s nice is the small extendable underthigh support on both front seats. Space, on the whole, isn’t very large by the standards of its competitors, headroom and rear legroom is just sufficient for my five-foot-eight frame and what adds to the hemmed-in feeling is the narrow all-round glass house. In fact, you will notice the slightly restricted view out at the front thanks to the short height of the windshield. Beige interiors and a large sunroof on our car did alleviate this to an extent.
Mercedes GLA Class Performance
Mercedes has a newer 2-litre diesel that’s under the hood of the new E-class but this will feature only on the next-generation GLA platform. Thus, powertrain choices, for now, include a 1,991cc petrol engine and a 2,143cc diesel in two states of tune. We are driving the 220d with the higher powered output that puts out 170hp and 350Nm of torque compared to the 200d’s 136hp and 300Nm of torque. The 2.1-litre diesel has been the mainstay of the Mercedes fleet powering everything from A- to E-class and on the GLA it does a decent job. Acceleration is brisk and power comes in from low revs. There is a small spike in power around the 1700rpm mark post which power delivery is linear all the way to the redline. The downside is the sound level that is higher than you would expect on a Rs 30 lakh car. The engine is quite audible at low revs and gets quite loud as the speed builds. Check for GLA Class in kmindia.in
One big improvement the GLA got in 2016 was a change in the driving modes which brought in an off-road and individual (customisable) mode. These remain on the current car and alter the powertrain and steering only, with no further changes to the suspension or other dynamic components of the car. In our earlier testing, we found the GLA to be no SUV but it can easily indulge in some light off-roading with the four-wheel drive and sufficient clearance. There is also a hill descent mode to bring the GLA down slopes in a controlled manner.
Mercedes GLA Class Driving
The Indian variant comes with increased ground clearance and rightly so. All throughout our journey the GLA sailed over the worst roads and the biggest speed breakers without any problems. Ride quality is quite supple over most surfaces however sharp bumps tend to upset it and this was experienced more so in the diesel variant. The heavier diesel engine could mean a slightly different suspension setting and we think this might be the cause of the diesel variant feeling stiffer. The GLA comes with 18-inch wheels with a 50 profile tyre. We feel a 17-inch rim with a slightly higher profile could have definitely added more cushion to the ride quality.
Handling was quite predictable and the GLA went around corners quite happily. The increased ground clearance means there is some roll, but its always controlled. Front wheel drive meant the GLA does understeer when pushed hard, but with 235 section tyres you really have to drive like a hooligan to reach the tyres limits.
Mercedes GLA Class Safety
Mercedes Benz GLA Class has a strong safety system with the presence of adaptive brake lights flashing, attention assist, LED headlamps, hill start assist and many other features. Mercedes Benz GLA Class comes with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as well that reduces the chances to over steer and over turn
Mercedes GLA Class Cost in Pune
Mercedes Benz Gla Class On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 36,11,835 to 45,80,542 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 Pune. Check for GLA Class price in Pune at Carzprice.
Mercedes GLA Class Final Word
Mercedes should have done a bit more with the facelift. The GLA isn’t the largest or best-driving SUV and needs a change soon. However, it does deliver a stylish car that can manage some light off-roading and is well equipped too. Besides, it will appeal to those looking to stand apart from the typical SUV brigade. The GLA is priced from Rs 30.65 lakh to Rs 36.75 lakh for the 220d 4matic that we are driving and interestingly that means, thanks to GST, you now pay around Rs 3 lakh less for a facelifted car.Tags: Mercedes Benz