Test drive Mercedes-Benz GLA: a small review of a large crossover

Yes, yes, you read it right – I wrote a “big crossover”. Because the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA has become much larger, more spacious, more massive than before. And this is the first point that I want to talk about. Even if in the format of a small review – so to speak, “on key points.” And the basis for this material will be the last big review of the Mercedes EQA electric car. What is symbolic: the choice and purchase of this Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover (this is a private car) began with a consideration of the Mercedes EQA, but for a number of reasons, it was the ICE car that was purchased in the end. So, what is the Mercedes-Benz GLA?


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Crossover Mercedes-Benz GLA: but the baby has grown!

Perhaps it is this phrase that I want to exclaim at the first glance at a new car. And after all, the phrase is not far from the truth: the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover (body code H247) has become noticeably higher than its predecessor. Keeping the compact dimensions along the length/width of the body, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover “waved” up immediately by 10 cm – its height now exceeds the 1.6-meter mark!

Unfortunately, in the past, I did not have a full review of the first generation Mercedes-Benz GLA, but we can take its sister car, the Infiniti QX30, as an example. So: if earlier the general impression was in the style of a “cross-hatchback”, now the new Mercedes-Benz GLA is unconditionally a “crossover”. What he is trying to further emphasize in the design elements. For example, in massive bumpers with chrome lining. Or in silver roof rails. Or in plastic protective moldings around the perimeter of the body …


Frontend distribution

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The new Mercedes-Benz GLA retained a short length (4.41 m) and an average body width (1.83 m), but significantly increased in height (1.61 m) – this had a positive impact not only on the visual perception of the model, but also on interior space in the cabin. Speaking of the salon…

Inside: a real Mercedes-Benz!

And this is the second phrase that you want to say when meeting with the car. The complex front panel is made of high-quality materials, there is a minimal black glossy decor and silver-gray inserts, a block with climate control buttons and a touchpad of the multimedia system protrudes separately. But after meeting “in general”, you begin to pay attention to “particulars”. For example, for a careful adjustment of diversified elements. Or on seats with a beautiful combined upholstery: just eco-leather and fabric – but a pleasant combination of colors makes them visually more expensive. By the way, in the tradition of Mercedes-Benz, the seat controls are assembled on the door panel. Plus, in front of the Mercedes-Benz GLA cabin, round ventilation vents and a solid panel that connected two displays – MBUX instruments and multimedia are remembered.

But what is remembered from behind is legroom. The most important positive difference between the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Mercedes EQA electric car is that the floor is lower, there is more space for the feet, you can position your legs more comfortably (lower them down). As a result, with a similar wheelbase of 2.73 meters and a common similar platform, the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover is perceived as the expanse of its electric counterpart. Otherwise, everything is just at a “sufficient” level: the width of the cabin at the back, headroom, a bonus in the form of ventilation deflectors. The same “sufficient” and trunk: 435 liters, a large opening, a pair of hooks, an underground for travel stuff.

The beautiful interior is made of high-quality materials, and also attracts attention with skillful decor – some “turbines” – ventilation deflectors are worth something. The combination seats deserve special praise: the combination of brown eco-leather and dark fabric makes them visually more expensive. Behind the main thing – good legroom. And the trunk is not bad, as for a car of this size.

How the Mercedes-Benz GLA works and how it rides

Let’s remember the Mercedes EQA again – although, in fact, it should be the other way around. After all, the MFA2 platform initially serves as the basis for a huge number of internal combustion engines with a similar design: a transverse engine, front or all-wheel drive, independent suspension. At the same time, the basis in the form of MFA2 allows you to create a lot of varieties of equipment: rechargeable hybrids or electric vehicles, traditional gasoline or diesel cars. It is the latter that is presented in our particular case – the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 d crossover is equipped with a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel of the OM654 series (150 hp and 320 Nm), which in the past was familiar from the Mercedes-Benz E 300 de: aluminum block, Nanoslide coating on the cylinder walls, turbine and direct fuel injection into the cylinders. And yet, in our particular case, this motor is paired with a branded “automatic” 8G-DCT (robot-preselective with two clutches) and front-wheel drive. How does it all ride?

That’s just the motor and gearbox no complaints. Let them drive without revelations, but they honestly do their job: the motor leaves no doubt about the absence of at least one of the promised 150 “horses”, and the box usually switches imperceptibly and on time. The turbodiesel provides good traction at low and medium speeds, it does not need to be “twisted” and squeezed out the last juices to get enough acceleration for a compact crossover. After all, this motor carries cars and much larger ones! Which indirectly promises us a good resource. At the same time, the economy is good: in the city 6.5-7 liters, on the highway “hundred” – about 5 liters.

Are there any claims to the suspension? If you like to constantly drive on the edge of the possible, then you will say that the suspension allows for noticeable body roll in corners and body vibration during heavy braking. At the same time, it is not necessary to talk about the total “softness-feather bed” of springs and shock absorbers. Rather, the chassis is remembered for its restrained-elastic character, but without kinks in any direction – either soft or hard. At the same time, the chassis has a good energy intensity, so it successfully absorbs large irregularities. Therefore (and this is the second “if”), if you moderate your ardor and drive in a normal daily mode, then the car will “bloom”: a good-pulling engine, a successfully-average suspension, an easy steering wheel.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is based on the MFA2 platform, the hero car of the article was presented with a 2-liter turbodiesel and front-wheel drive (150 hp, 0-100 km/h in 8.6 s, maximum 208 km/h). The crossover offers a choice of several driving modes, but in the case of a specific Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 d, the car performs best in Comfort – because the Sport mode makes it too “sharp”: the engine spins to higher revs, the “automatic” delays with shifting up at the same time, trying to change gears faster. But it turns out that the driver’s ambitions are ahead of the real capabilities of the car, and the driver’s fuse cannot be supported by the suspension. The element of the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200d is comfort and measured movement. For “racers” there is a Mercedes GLA in AMG versions. That’s just the price…

Mercedes-Benz GLA car price

The price list of the model from official dealers includes 14 (!) variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover – but, whatever one may say, the price tags only start at about 38-40 thousand euros and then only go up. For example, the minimum price is about 38 thousand euros for the Mercedes-Benz GLA 180 version (1.33 liter turbo gasoline with a capacity of 136 hp); for the version of the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 d, they will ask for a minimum of 40.8 thousand euros; and a rechargeable hybrid Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 e will cost at least 42.5 thousand euros. Powerful versions, and even with all-wheel drive – for example, GLA 250 4MATIC or GLA 220d 4MATIC – will be pulled by about 45 thousand euros. Finally, at the top of the model range are the AMG versions (35, 45, 45S) with starting price tags of 53-63 thousand euros. But more options…

Although you don’t need so many options: the status of Mercedes-Benz obliges you to initially provide a good package. For example, the car Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 d, which became the hero of the article, cost 44.3 thousand euros – the surcharge for options was about 3.5 thousand euros. At the same time, this car has: MBUX multimedia system with a 10.25-inch touch screen and a 7-inch driver display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, driver and passenger seats with electrical adjustment wire and settings memory, 18-inch alloy wheels , heated seats and steering wheel, THERMOTRONIC climate control, rear view camera, etc.

The MBUX 10.25-inch Multimedia and 7-inch Driver Display offer a wide range of customization options while still delivering picture quality without a hitch. Here’s another example: LEYLESS-GO keyless entry is available on all doors (for example, mass-market brands often get by with sensors only on the front). Beautiful 18-inch silver-black wheels complement the exterior chrome trim. The all-LED High Performance headlights feature Adaptive High Beam Control. And the seat adjustment memory is provided not only for the driver, but also for the passenger (I remember that this was very important for someone in the comments). Here are examples of what the “premium” status simply obliges: maximum attention to detail.

In summary: what is the Mercedes-Benz GLA?

This is a relatively small, but “adult” crossover. First of all, he is “adult” with his spaciousness – increasing the height of the body has led to a good supply of space inside. And he is an adult “adult” in his interior – design, finish, perception of quality. Here you can see and feel what the money is paid for. At the same time, the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover rides in such a way as not to lose face in front of similar mass-market models, but also to keep a distance from Mercedes-Benz models on a classic rear-wheel drive chassis. After all, having once joined the Mercedes-Benz brand on the example of GLA, the client must grow further – to bigger and more expensive models. Although, to the credit of the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover, it turns out to be a good option for getting to know the brand: the baby has grown!

Test drive Mercedes-Benz GLA: a small review of a large crossover

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