Mercedes Benz GLA Class Hatchback Test Drive & Performance

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview

Mercedes Benz is one the most sought-after brands in the automobile world and represents class. One expects nothing less from a Mercedes Benz car and Mercedes Benz GLA Class 2016 certainly matches up to that benchmark. Mercedes Benz GLA Class price in India starts at around Rs.36 lac, as the crossover competes against Audi Q3 and Volvo V40 Cross Country. There are plenty of Mercedes Benz GLA Class variants to choose from for the customers ranging from petrol to diesel ones. Book a test drive for Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class in Tryaldrive

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Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Style

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 Space

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 Engine

Our perception of the GLA was a compact SUV meant to be taken more on soft roads than off-roads. Taking it to GL territories is not much of a good idea. We must say that it was brave of Mercedes Benz to make us drive the GLA from Chandigarh to Shimla as the route had a mix of good wide roads and narrow patchy roads too.Theoretically, it should behave like the A-Class as they both share the same platform. Rewinding a bit to our A-Class drive, it impressed us with its stiff suspensions. Unlike other Benz cars back then, the A felt more responsive. The expectations were similar and more from the GLA as it is a feature rich SUV.

It was the more popular diesel that we chose to drive first. The diesel GLA is powered by a 2143cc engine producing 135.96PS at 3600 to 4400 rpm and a torque of 300Nm at 1600 to 3000 rpm. This unit as officially claimed does a 0 to 100km/h dash in 9.9 seconds. Describing this motor as a joy to drive won’t be right because it is meant for steady driving needs like highway commuting where steady and consistent performance is a priority.At initial speeds, the bigger displacement engine feels a bit lethargic and it is only when the throttle is pressed hard this lag diminishes. Once you have battled traffic and out on the highway, the diesel feels home as it keeps churning power at a constant rate. It does not respond as quickly as the other unit which might be a letdown during overtaking but then we can live with it.

The 7 speed dual clutch transmission lacks the crisp crack of a quick shift and the difference is evident. The same is felt on sports mode while shifting manually wherein the box is not as enthusiastic to upshift and downshift in a jiffy. The stiffer suspensions which are fine for smooth roads act against the ride quality and handling on rough roads.Finally, after going through the diesel in a brief manner, it was time for us to test the petrol. A petrol engine for an SUV might not sound convincing at first hear but then think of it as this, dimensions of a big car and a performance of a quicker engine clubbed together. The GLA petrol is a complete surprise package as firstly it is the only one ion the segment to offer a petrol unit. Secondly and most interestingly, this unit does 0 to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds, which is 2.3seconds quicker than the diesel.

Press the throttle gently and the 2.0L engine is waiting to show off its power delivery. This unit produces 183.54PS of power at 5500rpm and generates similar torque of 300Nm at a lower range of 1200 to 1400rpm. This one too like the diesel comes equipped with a 7 speed dual clutch transmission. The enthusiast in me was not too happy in the diesel cause of its serene delivery but the petrol was completely different.

Zippy!! is how one can describe this 2.0L as all four cylinders get into action mode at lower engine speeds. If you look through these numbers and specs, it would simply mean that one will not be bogged down by stop go traffic. Inside city, the GLA petrol is a total gem. An SUV which handles like a hatchback sounds fantastic and that is the GLA for you. Don’t let the coupeish lines of the GLA suspect its potential to take on hard terrain. It has a ground clearance of 183mm, which is 13mm more than its closest rival.Mercedes has also assured that they will get the 4MATIC very soon. Even though it is not one presently, the ride and handling is decent. While taking corners at high speeds, it does its bit to the fullest but falls short by a small margin to impress one completely. The 235/50 R18 tyres grip the road well and make it a capable vehicle but still it lacks tight cornering capability which the A-Class exhibits. The GLA is more of a urban soft roader than a take anywhere SUV.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Driving

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.

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 Cost in Hyderabad

Mercedes Benz Gla Class Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 30,63,379/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 36,73,437/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Benz GLA Class price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Conclusion

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.

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