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Mercedes Benz GLA Class Test Drive Review

Mercedes Benz GLA Class  Test Drive

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Overview

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a striking looking vehicle from every angle. Based on the platform of the A-Class and B-Class hatchbacks, there is no getting away from the sleek design nature of the GLA. Mercedes has done a great job of making the GLA-Class suit it’s SUV nature by making it look more butch than it’s hatchback siblings. That bold front grille with the large three pointed star, large central air dam and flared wheel archs.

The side profile has steeply raked A-Pillars and rear flowing design elements that do make it look sleek indeed. The large wheels, high ground clearance and black plastic cladding give it a rugged look.From the back, the GLA-Class has a squat down stance that makes the vehicle look very sporty indeed, with those dual chrome tipped exhausts and silver air diffuser only adding to the appeal. The large and wide rear bumper and narrow glass house give it an aggressive stance as well. Check for HDFC car loan.

Inside, the Mercedes GLA-Class does feel special indeed with good quality materials used. Fit and finish and ergonomics of the car are good too. Being a compact SUV, leg room and head room is tight for tall passengers. The GLA has a boot space of 421 litres, but some of it is also accounted for by the space saver spare wheel.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is powered by a potent range of petrol and diesel engines. The diesel model is tuned more towards efficiency and it shows in it’s commendable ARAI rating of 17.9 km/l. The petrol engine is a responsive unit and has a very sporty sound track too. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Style

Yes, the GLA is an SUV but that does not mean you start vacating your parking space or think of getting more area to keep this one as it is very compact in dimensions. Unlike traditional SUVs, this one chooses to look more crisp than brawny.It might remind you of the A-Class but see it in real and the bigger car gets elevated. A pronounced radiator grille with twin slats and a handsome Mercedes Benz logo is the new face of all portfolio cars. It gives a familiar look to all models without making them look like twins. On the hood of the GLA are parallel running power bulges.

There is a large air intake on the front bumper which has been treated in a glossy aluminium finish. The air pockets on both corners of the bumper look smart too. Adding to the front face are the newly designed Bi-Xenon headlights with LED day time lights. The LED curve which is now seen on all cars including the newly revealed AMG GT looks extremely stylish.The side profile gets flared wheel arches. These arches and the lower running board area have plastic cladding making it look tough. We liked the 18inch alloys which Mercedes offers as standard equipment. While we say it is part of the standard list, these models cannot be termed as ‘reasonably’ priced because of the complicated designs and list of additions it gets over the A-Class.

It shares its wheelbase with the premium hatch and that’s the only similarity in dimensions as the GLA is a longer vehicle. Visually, it looks bigger. This one has a ground clearance of 183mm meaning it is more capable to take soft roads in addition to tight manoeuvring on normal tarmac. The same can be vindicated with the fact of 235/50 R18 tyres being offered as standard.

What we loved about the styling are the design lines flowing in tandem. It is a SUV, which has been styled like a coupe especially the rhythmically flowing window section along with the character lines on the side profile. The C-Pillar flows smoothly on the waist line carrying the dynamic stance to the wide tail gate.Many would agree that the rear profile of the GLA leaves a better impact than the front and side combined together. It is simply the attention to detailing like the split tail lights which are connected with a chrome lining or the lower exhaust surround which gets a brushed glossy finish with twin sporty exhausts.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Space

You will instantly appreciate the lay-out of the GLA’s dash. The well-spaced out controls on the centre console, attractive propeller-style air-vents, the silver knitted pattern that runs across, and the new instrument panel are all attractive. So is the build quality, which is what you’d expect from this brand. It would have been nice if the soft touch points were extended to the lower sections of the cabin too, like the lower dash, door panels and center console that use hard plastic instead.

We especially liked the electric front seats which offer firm support and hold you in place thanks to the lateral support. This is further complimented by an electric lumbar adjustment, manually retractable thigh support, and lots of legroom. However, the raked A-pillar combined with a compact front windscreen and a high window line needs some getting used to. The firm rear seats are contoured for comfort and also have the right backrest angle with lots of headroom. For more info on Mercedes Benz GLA Class check Painpeters

Since the seats are also 60:40 foldable, passengers can flip them from within to access the boot on the go. However, knee-room will be tight for tall passengers, and the experience gets dampened even further due to the tall and raked window-line, the huge front seats, and the low-set bench with very little thigh support (no air-con vents either). But it surprisingly feels airy thanks to the panorama sunroof. On the paper, this car has 481-litres of boot space, but the spare wheel eats up into the useable area.

Some of the features listed on the GLA 220d are push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting (with 12 colours), electric front seats, a manual air-con, and an eight-inch display linked to an infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto). Safety functions include six airbags, Attention Assist, ABS, ESP, hill start assist and downhill speed regulation.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Performance

We got behind the wheel of the GLA 220d that’s powered by the 2.2-litre diesel motor with 170bhp and 350Nm of torque. Off the mark, power delivery is linear all the way to the 4800rpm rev limit and the seven speed dual-clutch transmission (with paddles) handles the power band effectively for a brisk drive. However, the engine gets loud especially when revved hard, and I had to repeatedly switch from Sport to Comfort mode just to avoid it.

The modes on offer are Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual and off-road.‘Eco’ is the mode that gives best efficiency and the system quickly upshifts to keep the revs low. Now, ‘Comfort’ offers perceivably more response than Eco. But in both, the same gear is mostly retained even when more performance is asked of it (unless the pedal is floored). Sport mode makes for some spirited performance since a lower gear is always held in anticipation, but the power delivery does tend to feel jerky at lower speeds.

‘Individual’ mode allows preferences to be configured, or the system adapts to the driving style. Which finally brings us to the Off-Road mode that enhances traction on loose surfaces thanks to the AWD set-up and the optimised torque delivery. Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) controls downhill descents and can be set for speeds between 4kmph and 18kmph.

The damping characteristics of the GLA 220d’s suspension is firm, and at lower speeds you will even feel the minor road irregularities within the cabin. The ride gets flatter as the car picks up speed. However, harsh bumps can be felt more prominently than desired. That said, there is no suspension noise whatsoever and not once did we scrape the underbelly thanks to the 171mm clearance.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Driving

The SUV can crack a top speed of 205 kmph, which is again remarkable and with a strong suspension system, the vehicle is able to sustain all the difficulties of Indian roads with ease.With each of the modes, the steering response is also altered. It is similar In Eco and Comfort modes, but ‘Sport’ mode made the steering heavier (not by a huge margin though). The steering isn’t particularly quick to respond and some more feedback of what’s happening at the wheels would have been appreciated since it holds the intended line even when pushed.

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 Cost in Pune

Mercedes Benz Gla Class On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 36,41,174 to 45,82,845 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 Benz GLA Class price in Pune at Autozhop.

Mercedes Benz GLA Class Conclusion

What goes in favour of the GLA is the sweeping looks, brisk performance and the tall clearance that gives it an SUV like stance. It also gets attractive interiors with lots of features (barring auto air-con), supportive front seats, and the 60:40 folding seats liberate more boot space when needed. Then there’s the light off-roading capabilities, good road grip, and the ground clearance to tackle tall speed breakers too. It goes without saying that the styling allows it to stand out in its segment.

On the flip side, the sloping A-pillar makes the interiors feel tight despite the panorama sunroof liberating some air. Plus, it feels claustrophobic in the rear seat and the thigh support isn’t great either. Other things that go against it is the loud engine, lack of soft touch points lower down in the cabin, a spare wheel that intrudes into the boot space and the firm ride quality. Some more steering feedback could have also made the driving experience more involving.

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