Mercedes Benz GLA Class Overview & Test Drive

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Overview

Mercedes-Benz has always been one of the most popular car manufacturer’s in the world and in India along with being popular it has also been an extremely aspirational brand symbolising success and fame. Now all these popular brands have one or more “Heroes” in their line-up which are responsible for making the brand a popular one. Maruti had the 800/Alto, Honda has the City, Toyota has the Innova and so on. But as you go higher in the segments you find that it is not one particular model that leads the brand, rather its the legacy and heritage that ropes in the consumers.

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As a result of which one will always find premium manufacturers taking you back to their roots and showing you how they have always achieved distinction through the years and how the current consumer is getting the best of what the brand has accumulated over the decades. Times though, are changing. With premium manufacturers now trying to percolate into the lower segments, it will require more than just legacy and heritage to rack up those numbers that the lower segments demand and that is where the ‘Hero’ of the brand comes into play. View offers on Mercedes Cars from Mercedes dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Mercedes-Benz announced its intention to make more affordable front-wheel drive cars a while back with their new MFA platform and the new A-Class and the B-class were the first to be spawned on the basis of the new platform however, it was the GLA-Class that had captured the most attention thanks to India being an SUV biased nation. After months of speculation about its arrival and in the midst of Mercedes’ model offensive, the compact SUV is finally here. We took it around some brilliant roads in the hilly regions of Shimla to find out if this car really has what it takes to be the ‘Hero’ of the brand.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Design

The overall design remains the same and you’ll have to squint a little to notice the changes. The front end features a revised bumper and a new grille, which along with the muscular creases on the bonnet makes it look a little more aggressive. I personally like the grille and the big three-pointed star logo it proudly flaunts. It actually gels with the attractive canyon beige colour on our test car.The headlamps are brand new and feature a full-LED set-up, which Mercedes-Benz regards as a high-performance unit. It certainly delivers what it proclaims as illumination at night is indeed bright and has adequate focus and spread.

The side profile remains the same, but it’s not that it needed any touch-ups. The crease line that begins from the headlamps and runs along the length of the GLA to disappear into the rear wheel arch is what catches your eye. This angle also highlights the GLA’s hatchback roots, evident from the short pillars and small glass area. While it’s not a cause for concern, the shape and size of the windows does hamper your view from the cabin. So parking in tight areas or manoeuvring in heavy traffic requires a little more attention. For 2017, the GLA also gets new, 18-inch alloy wheels with a five-spoke design that looks quite appealing.

The rear bumper is tweaked slightly and gets a new faux skid plate along with a set of dazzling full-LED lamps. They look similar to the GLC’s tail lamps, and to my eye, a bit better than the ones on the previous GLA.On the whole, the GLA looks sporty and, as I’ve said before, just as what the crossover rule book states.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Cabin

The interior, shared with the likes of the A-Class and B-Class is typically classy and sporty. The centrally mounted screen combined with the three large air-conditioning vents lends an aeronautic touch to the GLA’s interior. The AC-vents though have been slightly updated with more intrinsic styling elements embedded into them. The GLA also comes standard with a huge panoramic roof and sunroof package that gives the cabin an airy feel. One can opt for three interior color packages. The all-black version with a silver accent piece running from left to right, looks mature and goes well with the silver accent on the steering wheel. On the other hand, the all-beige and the black-beige combination interior options look classy and will surely appeal to the Indian customer.

The GLA-Class comes with electric seats for both the driver and the passenger. While one can choose a black interior package, the more popular beige version makes the car feel airier and larger on the inside. Although there is a decent amount of legroom in the back seats, we found a severe lack of under thigh support. This factor would make the passengers in the back of the GLA feel rather uncomfortable on longer road trips.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class comes loaded with everything you might want from a luxury compact SUV in today’s day and age. The typically Mercedes-Benz centre console with the inbuilt telephone and audio controls does look a little outdated although they do their job well. With additional features like a reverse camera, parking sensors and GPS-navigation, the GLA is right at par with everything else in its segment. The GLA also comes with safety features like tyre pressure monitoring sensors, attention assist and seven airbags.

Mercedes-Benz’s Command system that controls all the function on the main infotainment screen is as good as ever and offers the driver and the passengers an intuitive experience. That said, we did find the infotainment screen to be slightly smaller than what we could have expected and as with the A-Class and B-Class, a slight after though on the part of the designers. Check for Mercedes Benz GLA Class  in iftr2015hyd

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Gearbox

For the Indian market the GLA gets 2 engine options. The GLA 200 which is a 1991 cc turbo-petrol unit pushing out a good 181 PS and the GLA 200 CDI which gets a 2143 cc diesel unit which pumps out a smallish 134 PS. The surprising bit is that both the petrol and the diesel unit put down an identical 300 Nm of torque.We got in the petrol variant first. Its a refined motor and loves to be revved. Putting the car in manual mode and working the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox with those lovely paddles behind the wheel reaps greater rewards and the bonus is a delightful exhaust note from those twin pipes at the back. In regular Eco mode though, the gearbox can be a little slow to respond. Getting in the diesel immediately, you feel a slight buzz through the pedals immediately telling you about the oil burner in front.

With just 134 PS to play with the diesel is more for the average commuter than the enthusiast. Since the torque in the diesel is available much lower in the power-band, the diesel engine has slightly better drivabilty because of which it is easier to coast in higher gears however, when outright performance is called for the diesel motor feels a little lacking. The diesel does promise efficiency though and with the company claiming over 17 kmpl, it does promise to be the most fuel efficient SUV amongst its rivals. A roadtest will determine exact numbers soon.For the wealthy and the power hungry,Mercedes-Benz told us about the arrival of the GLA 45 AMG next month which with its powerful four-cylinder turbocharged engine will blow most sportscars out of the water.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Driving

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.

Mercedes Benz 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 Benz GLA Class Price in Bangalore

Mercedes Benz Gla Class On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 33,81,133 to 40,54,410 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 Bangalore. check for Benz GLA price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Final Word

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is not only the most important car Mercedes-Benz will launch this year, we believe it will be the most important car Mercedes-Benz will launch for a while. With the new C-Class and the stunning CLA-Class on its way to India soon, the only thing Mercedes-Benz will really have to be worried about is the GLA cannibalising traditional sedan customers with the lure and aura of a multipurpose platform like a compact SUV.

Should the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 be worried about the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class wooing audiences in a way they have never had to worry about in the past? Considering the fact that the GLA offers good performance, handing and interior trim while managing to look as good as it does, the answer is a resounding YES! And if that’s not all, Mercedes-Benz India have also announced that they will launch the GLA45 AMG very soon. If that wasn’t enough, it will followed by an all-wheel-drive version of the GLA with an even more powerful diesel engine.

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