GLA is available in 200 petrol (front-wheel drive), 220D diesel (front-wheel drive) and 220D diesel 4M (all-wheel drive) with AMG body kit.
Earlier, this Mercedes SUV looked more like a hatchback on steroids. But with the facelift, it has arrived butch than ever before. GLA has expanded 10 cm in height and 3 cm in width. The length has been pulled back fractionally, the wheelbase spiked by 3 cm and all these dimensional changes have turned the GLA into a much-needed stubbier outfit.
Talking about the outfit, there are plenty of tweaks done to the skin, especially if you’re opting for the 220D 4M (review unit). The grille and headlights are somewhat in sync with GLC and other larger Mercedes-Benz SUVs. The thermo-pressed treatment to the grille is similar to GLC Coupe and AMG cars.
The 5-spoke, gun metal-finished, 19-inch alloy wheels are wrapped with healthier rubbers. Typical chrome slides around the window line. A skirt of black plastic surrounds the lower half of the body – heavier upfront and at the rear, streamlines over the wheel arches and sides. Roof rails and chrome appliqué on the lower third of doors add meat to the stance.
There is a hint of chunkiness to the tail due to the huge chrome garnish around the twin tailpipes. The LED taillights are split, and smartly designed to offer maximum aperture to the boot. The boot, for all purposeful reasons, has grown by 14 litres, allowing up to 435 litres. The spare wheel fastened with knots, however, swallows practical space.
M-BUX (Mercedes-Benz User Interface), much like the other cars in the portfolio, is now supplied to the GLA. Twin 10.25-inch HD screens, inarguably provide are best-in-class in terms of size and feel. The high-grade fabric around the steering wheel and on the electrically adjustable seats exude richness.
The central area between the front passengers is finished with glossy material, unlike the pore wood touch in GLC or other higher SUVs. The AC vents mimic the structure of air turbines and are colour sensitive AC inputs. Wireless charging, sun roof, and 64-point ambient lighting and two-zone climate control are creature comforts you enjoy inside the cabin.
There are areas where the finishing touches aren’t as good as you’d expect from Mercedes. The shoddily-finished plastics, for example, used around the sunglass holder or inside rear view mirror rob the feel of the cabin, which otherwise is neatly tied. Moreover, the colours emanating from the turbine-shaped air vents form a reflection on the outside rear view mirror takes time to get used to.
GLA is strictly meant for smaller families, precisely 2+2. The knee room and headroom in the second row has increased marginally. Dark themes inside, in general, tend to curtail the feeling of airiness. The all-black cabin of 220D 4M AMG line, which accommodates four grown-ups comfortably, seems less roomy than it is, to the eyes.
The 1,951-cc, four-cylinder, in-line diesel engine is a workhorse for Mercedes-Benz, which powers multiple sedans and SUVs. The 190-hp engine has decent highway mannerism. Power delivery is fairly linear and the acceleration is predictable. The company claimed figures of 0-100 kmph is just over 7 seconds.
Low-speed maneuverability has improved leaps and bounds. 400 Nm of peak torque starts kicking in at as low as 1,400-rpm. The 2-litre mill is coupled with an 8-speed G-tronic dual-clutch, which responds and shifts quickly when driven in an unhurried manner. The ARAI tested fuel efficiency of 220D 4M is 18.91 kmpl. Unless you floor the pedal too often, this is one of the most frugal diesel engines in the business.
The drivability has significantly improved. The driver seats slightly higher than before and reworked dimensions have liberated 22 mm of additional headroom for the front row. Mercedes also says in comparison with the previous model, mainly due to an optimised cross-section for the roof pillars, the visibility is better. Thanks to the well-weighed heft, the steering feedback is direct. Unlike the 220D front-wheel-drive version, the 4Matic has greater stability, is better planted and experience negligible torque steer.
The GLA will surely pinch your pocket more than BMW X1 (at least by Rs 1 lakh). The 3-year comprehensive warranty and 8-year warranty on engine and transmission (transferable, in case of sale) is a huge reassurance.
Also justifying the loftier price tag is the addition of a driving assistance package. Active brake assist, which applies autonomous braking to avoid a collision or to reduce its severity, is the biggest takeaway. Features like a pedestrian warning, emergency corridor function and pre-safe can come in handy while taking city congestion.
GLA 200: Rs. 42.10 lakh | GLA 220d: Rs. 43.7 lakh | GLA 220d 4M: Rs. 46.7 lakh | (all prices ex-showroom) – will be revised Rs 1.5 lakh from July 1