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Mercedes Benz GLA Class Engine & First Drive

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview

There is always a feeling of excitement whenever I drive a completely new car as there are so many questions, expectations and wishes that I have from it especially if the car is from a brand like Mercedes Benz.It is no longer a flash update that Mercedes Benz India has had a great year with a slew of launches. Their new design language has got them back in the game. Cars like A-Class and B-Class have really worked well in its favour as they have got new set of clients in addition to the existing ones. They have also reported positive growth and faced strong demand in the SUV segment with the GL-Class and ML-Class. For information on contact details of Mercedes-Benz car dealers in Gurgaon

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The GLA, which also happens to be the newest and smallest SUV by Mercedes Benz, is based on the same platform as that of A-Class with added benefits of a compact SUV. Good news is that they have styled this one close to the concept and it looks as ravishing. We flew down to Chandigarh for a first drive experience of this brand new car.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Design

As far as facelifts go, the GLA update can best be described as mild. Mercedes has not altered any sheet metal and perhaps the biggest change to the exterior could be the addition of LED headlamps. The front also gets a new grille with perforated twin-blade design and the lower edge sees a new bumper cladding. On the sides, the car wears new five-spoke alloys and the rear gets redesigned crystal-effect LED tail lamps. That’s it as far as the exterior changes go. The rest is familiar territory, meaning you still get the small hatch styling similar to the A-class on which it is based. On the whole, the GLA does not have the stance of a traditional SUV but it does look appealing with its swoopy lines; it turned a few heads on our drive.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Cabin

If you happened to be seated inside the A-Class, chances are you would feel familiar in the GLA as well. The interiors have been carried from the swanky hatch into this compact machine. Why did they do it? Well, it is simple because the GLA is based on the A Class.When it comes to stylish interiors which make you feel spoilt, there is no second opinion that Mercedes knows it all. Take the S Class for an instance, which has interiors rivalling cars like the Bentley and Rolls Royce and this is true without any exaggeration. In the GLA too, the trims and lines feel utterly premium. There are so many good aspects inside but they still don’t overshadow the not so good ones.

The steering wheel feels great to grip and it gets all the necessary controls mounted on it to control the cluster and well as the entertainment system. Instrumental cluster gets its share of white and grey display with analog needles. The infotainment screen which is placed on the dashboard does not sync with the design and appears to stand out. It doesn’t score in terms of design but is as its useful best when it comes to functionality as it offers reverse parking camera, navigation, Bluetooth pairing and other entertainment options to juggle around.The turbine resembling air con vents are a stylish addition. The interior trims are offered in two shades with the one being that of beige and grey white the other is an all black option. The all black looks young while the beige and grey gives a roomier feel to the cabin and also feels more plush and premium. There is no compromise in equipment and feature list as the GLA boasts of many features seen on more premium models.

While the above are all good aspects of the GLA, there are some non good ones too. Inside the GLA, one does feel more premium than competition cars but it does not feel spacious. Both row passengers will end up complaining about it. Headroom is low but the panoramic sunroof and its wide pocket makes up for it giving it an airy feel. Taller passengers would happily skip the rear passenger section. They have made smart usage by plonking the gear selector behind the steering wheel and also the emergency brake is right beneath still it does not feel spacious for front passengers.The boot space is a highly practical 421litres which can be further increased to 836litres by collapsing the rear seats. There is a spare wheel present in the boot. One might argue that the spare wheel takes up space in the boot but it is a safer option. I would not want to be stranded in a GLA on a road with a flat tyre. There is enough space above it for luggage storage. Also, by collapsing the rear seats the luggage area goes up substantially so no complaining from my side.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Gearbox

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.

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-Benz GLA-Class Driving

The steering is nice with a decent amount of feel but it isn’t consistent all through the turn. On our earlier testing, we weren’t impressed with the ride, finding it quite firm and crashy. On the facelifted car, there seems to be a small improvement. Mercedes says there hasn’t been any suspension change and this ride difference could be down to a different make of tyres. 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.

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 Hyderabad

Mercedes Benz Gla Class Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 30,63,762/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 36,73,533/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for GLA Class price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Verdict

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.

Author Since: Aug 04, 2018

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