The GLA Mercedes Benz

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The GLA Mercedes Benz

Refined and Swift

The GLA Mercedes Benz offers the best of the hatch; family sedan and the SUV, neatly swirled together as if to deliver a banana, strawberry and chocolate smoothie hybrid. The GLA Mercedes Benz most certainly beats the competition hands down. As a relatively new sector of the market, the crossover is quickly becoming a consumer favourite. The GLA Mercedes Benz finds competition in the Audi Q3, the BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque. Whilst unfortunately the GLA AMG is only set to arrive in 2015, the rest of the range is ready for commentary, praise and criticism (if you can find anything to criticise).

Admittedly Mercedes Benz were a little slow with the release of this car, the only similar car in their range was the GLK which was only released and sold briefly in continental Europe. The GLA Mercedes Benz is a bit smaller and absolutely worth the wait.

Inside and Outside

The architecture is based on the A Class hatch and the CLA saloon. The GLA cleverly avoids the full size SUV niche which is steadily losing favour amongst the more environmentally conscious drivers. With the body bigger than the A Class, the interior of the GLA is improved and the boot space is even spacious than that of the Q3. The large rear window and elevated driving position improve the visibility and limit the blind spots somewhat.

Whilst some critics have mentioned the limited leg room, this difference in space is to be expected for this class of car and in comparison to its rivals the car is still roomy. The rest of the interior is complemented by neat little

The GLA Mercedes Benz - Specs

pockets to aid in the storage of the clutter often accompanied by passengers.

The front dashboard is comprised of solid, high-grade materials and an attractive design, although it must be mentioned that the infotainment screen appears as something of an afterthought.

The All-important Specs

Standard across the board are; air conditioning, automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers, the reversing camera to assist in parking, digital radio and a Bluetooth hands free phone connection. Add to that list; anti-skid, anti-brake-locking, 9 airbags and even warnings - should the driver become drowsy, and you have the attention to detail one has come to expect from the longstanding luxury brand. Of course the GLA¿s boasts an NCAP rating of 5, as per usual.

As far as fuel economy goes, you can expect the diesel models to typically run on an impressive 3.9 litres per 100km on open roads, with roughly 5.5 litres in and around town.

The 4Matic all-wheel drive is unfortunately not available on the GLA 200 CDI, however on the other models it¿s a welcome addition to the spec list. It is connected to a 7 speed duel clutch automatic gear box which not only has an off-road mode with hill descent control, but can also send up to 50% of the engine power to the rear wheels in order to improve the traction while exiting corners.

The Handling

For the most part the GLA offers a safe and predictable ride, which isn¿t altogether a bad thing. The steering is responsive and naturally weighted. There is plenty of grip on the bends, even without the 4Matic all-wheel drive. This is the car you want to drive your family to your holiday destination in.

By comparison the A Class, the GLA has a softer suspension, this coupled with the wider tyres, provides a more comfortable ride.

Even the entry level GLA 200 CDI model has been referred to refined and swift; it holds the best safety ratings, displays incredible fuel economy and smooth handling. The only question that¿s left to ask is; ¿Night Black or Jupiter Red?¿.

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