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Mercedes-Benz India launched the much-awaited GLA Class compact SUV on 30th September. The vehicle made its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, followed by its Indian unveiling at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. Based on the MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform, the new GLA looks very stunning and fresh. The front-end features a dual slat grille with chrome surrounding, Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED fibre optics drawing a curve through headlamps, front aluminium skid plates and Mercedes' three-pointed star logo. The pronounced side creases and coupe like roof-line highlight the sporty spirit of the car. What attracts the most is a three dimensional effect that emerges when light falls on its sides from different angles. The crossover is assembled with the standard 18-inches, 5-spoke alloy wheels, while the 19-inches alloys are optional. The rear profile sports a skid plate, wide shoulders and a bumper, dual exhausts, LED tail lamps and an electronic panoramic sunroof with bucket-tooth design.
The interior of the new GLA seems to have taken its inspiration from the A-Class. However, the crossover managed to look sportier with all black upholstery and dashboard with a matte grey insert, ambient lighting, dual tone black and beige combination, fronts seats with electronic adjustment with memory functions and adjustable headrests on front seats. The rear seats are quite spacious with generous headroom, knee room and a good back support. But, the offered thigh support could be an issue for tall passengers. The all new GLA comes equipped with several standard features such as Harman Kardon Logic 7 Sound audio system with 12 speakers, woofer and USB connectivity, Attention assist (Mercedes-Benz Exclusive), illuminated door sill, tyre pressure monitoring system and more. It offers a boot space of 421-litres, which can be extended up-to 1235-litres by folding the rear seats. For the first time in this segment, Mercedes brought a multimedia screen that doubles up reverse camera display. Along with this, it displays all the standard features and information. The material, fit and finish are flawless. The SUV gets advanced safety features such as seven airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP), brake assist (BAS), anti clip regulation, hill start assist and dynamic assist.
The all new Mercedes GLA-Class is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol variant is powered with a 1991cc, 1.8-litre turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine that delivers a maximum power of 181bhp at 5500rpm with 300Nm of peak torque between 1200rpm – 4000rpm. It gives a mileage of 10kmpl on urban roads and 13kmpl on freeways. The GLA petrol is more responsive than its diesel version. It accelerates 0-100kmph in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 225kmph.
Powering the GLA diesel is a 2143cc, 2.2-litre, 4 – cylinder engine that churns out a maximum power and torque output of 135bhp at 3400rpm and 300Nm at 1400rpm – 3000rpm, respectively. It is claimed to return a segment-leading fuel economy 17kmpl. The SUV is capable to achieve 0-100kmph in merely 9.9 seconds, while maintaining an electronic limited top-speed of 205kmph. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is the only available option.
Both the engines perform so well. A seven-speed, dual clutch gearbox with diesel engine feels a bit slow, but works brilliantly with the petrol unit. NVH levels are well-controlled. Steering is responsive, but isn’t best in the segment. Ride is balanced and comfortable. High speed stability is impressive. Body roll isn’t an issue. Mercedes’ new GLA-Class competes against the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
The new GLA–Class is based on Mercedes' new design MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform, which was first introduced with the A-Class. The SUV appears very stunning, sporty and outgoing. The front fascia gets a dual slat grille with chrome surrounding, a prominent Mercedes logo, Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, front aluminium skid plates and LED fibre optics drawing a curve through headlamps. On its sides, the SUV features sharp character lines that create a three dimensional effect when light falls on them from different angles. The coupe like roof-line, roof rails, pronounced wheel arches and standard 18-inches, 5-spoke alloy wheels add more to its side profile. Mercedes also offers 19-inches alloys as an optional offering. The wide rear shoulders, a skid plate, a broad bumper, LED tail lamps, dual exhausts and the panoramic sunroof with bucket-tooth design enhance its SUV appeal. Its dimension measures 4,417mm in length, 1,804mm in width and 1,494mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,699mm. It has a ground clearance of 183mm. The GLA –Class is available in four metallic exterior paints – White, Silver, Brown and Red.
From inside, the GLA looks similar to the A-Class. The dual-tone black and beige cabin feels very airy and bright. The SUV borrows most of the interior bits and equipments from the A-Class. But, what marks a difference are the bunch of features including the new all black upholstery and dashboard with a matte grey insert, mood enhancing ambient lighting, fronts seats with electronic adjustment with memory functions and adjustable headrests. The cabin is quite spacious, especially the rear bench. The rear seats offer immense comfort with ample headroom, knee room and a good back support. However, the thigh support isn’t sufficient for tall passengers. Unlike the A-Class, the rear seats of the GLA get central armrest with cup holders. The crossover is loaded with several standard features such as Harman Kardon Logic 7 Sound audio system with 12 speakers, woofer and USB connectivity, Illuminated door sill, Attention assist (Mercedes-Benz Exclusive), advanced infotainment system, GPS navigation system, tyre pressure monitoring system and many more. It gets a multimedia screen that doubles up reverse camera display, which is first in its segment. The build quality is excellent, and fit and finish are flawless. Mercedes also offers customize interior colour scheme options such as Silver body colour with all Black layout and Brown with a Black and a Beige color scheme with Beige seats. The other color scheme variation is variant-wise. The petrol variant comes with an all grey roof lining, while the diesel version gets an all black roof lining. Another customization options include Apple iPad docking system, rear seat entertainment system, bicycle rack and illuminated star. The SUV has a boot space of 421-litres with an option to increase it up-to 1235-litres by folding the rear seats in ratio of 60:40.
Engine and Transmission
The Mercedes GLA-Class is available with two engine options: a 1.8-litre petrol unit and 2.2-litre diesel engine. The 1.8-litre turbocharged, 4-cylinder petrol engine produces a maximum power of 181bhp at 5500rpm and a peak torque of 300Nm between 1200rpm – 4000rpm. It offers a displacement of 1991cc. It delivers a mileage of 10kmpl in city and 13kmpl on highways. It can achieve 0-100kmph in 7.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 225kmph.
On the other side, the 2.2-litre, four–cylinder diesel engine pumps out a maximum power 135bhp at 3400rpm and a peak torque of 300Nm at 1400rpm–3000rpm. It has a displacement of 2143cc. It offers an impressive fuel efficiency of 14-15kmpl in city and 17kmpl on highways. The GLA diesel touches 0-100kmph in 9.9 seconds with a top speed of 205kmph. Both the powertrains are combined with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Performance and Handling
The new Mercedes GLA–Class is available in both diesel and petrol engines. The 134bhp, 2.2-litre diesel engine is a decent performer with segment leading fuel efficiency. It can achieve 0-100kmph in 9.9 seconds with a top speed of 205kmph. The mid-range power delivery is quite linear. The engine gives it best performance in the mid-range
The 1991cc, 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine churns out a maximum power of 181bhp with 300Nm of torque. Power distribution is very quick throughout the drive. Turbo lag is negligible. In terms of high-speed performance and drivability, the GLA petrol is punchier than the diesel variant. It reaches 0-100kmph in 7.6 seconds only. It offers a fuel efficiency of 10kmpl in city and 13kmpl on highways. Coupled to both the power-units is a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which performs comparatively better with petrol engine.
Insulation system is pretty impressive. You barely hear any sound inside the cabin. However, the wind noise gets audible at high speeds. The car runs in three modes – Economy, Sports and Manual, which are best for urban driving conditions, sporty drive and maximum performance, respectively. A start/stop button enables you to save fuel up-to 6%, and get maximum fuel efficiency. The mature suspension system absorbs most of the potholes and jerks. Ride quality is good even at high speeds. Steering is reasonably responsive. The 18-inches, 235/55 Continental tyres provide good grip and friction on the roads. Body roll is negligible.
Brakes are robust and very responsive. The good stopping power of the car provides a sense of confidence and safety while driving. It comes equipped with the advanced Anti lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Brake Assist (BAS), Anti Clip Regulation, Hill Start Assist, Dynamic Assist, Acceleration Sid Control (ASR) and standard four disc brakes.
Available in both petrol and diesel engine options, the new GLA–Class offers a decent fuel economy. Powered with a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine, it delivers a mileage of 10kmpl in city and 13kmpl on highways. Whereas, the 2.2-litre, 4 – cylinder diesel engine returns a fuel economy of 14-15kmpl in city and 17kmpl on highways.
The safety features of the GLA-Class SUV are rated five-star by EuroNCAP. It comes equipped with a plenty of safety features such as seven airbags, Anti lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Brake Assist (BAS), Anti Clip Regulation, Hill Start Assist, Dynamic Assist, four disc brakes, tyre pressure monitoring system and Acceleration Sid Control (ASR).
The new Mercedes GLA–Class is an absolutely stunning SUV with a perfect balance of performance, ride quality and handling. Loaded with a plenty of standard equipments and features, it’s very comfortable and rich from inside. Drivability is good. Both the petrol and diesel engines are fuel efficient. The new GLA - Class is one of the most practical cars in its segment, and can be a perfect pick for the urban SUV buyers.
Mercedes GLA–Class Vs Audi Q3
Aiming to increase its market share, Mercedes-Benz launched the GLA–Class in India. The new GLA is a bit late to enter in the crossover segment, which is already dominated by the Audi Q3, but isn’t an easy contender to deal with.
Mercedes’ new SUV is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.8-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engine produce a peak power of 181bhp and 134bhp, respectively. On the other side, the Audi Q3 is available in diesel engine option only. The 1968cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine is tuned to deliver two power outputs, 138bhp with a six-speed manual transmission, and 174bhp with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The GLA is shorter, narrower and longer than the Audi Q3. The GLA measures 4,417mm in length, 1,804mm in width and 1,494mm in height, while the Q3's has 4,385mm length, 1,831mm width and 1, 608mm height.
The new Mercedes GLA–Class is the only option for the buyers who are looking for the petrol-powered luxury crossover. When it comes to diesel variants, the GLA gets relatively bigger engine, but least power and torque.
Pros & Cons
· Stunning design
· Rich and comfortable interior
· Plenty of standard features
· Customization options
· Segment-leading fuel efficient diesel engine
· Punchy and rev-happy petrol engine
· Drivability (especially, the petrol engine)
· Comfortable ride quality
· High speed performance and stability
· Sluggish gearbox (with diesel engine)
· No 4Matic version
· Maintenance and initial cost of ownership
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27 October 2014, 13:00 IST by Aditya Chatterjee
Today on 27th October, Mercedes Benz India has finally pulled the wraps off its most powerful compact SUV, the GLA45 AMG. The German premium car maker launched the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG at Rs.
Under: Mercedes Benz
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