The Mercedes-Benz GLA Grows Up

Cars

April 20, 2017 | BY Michael Wan

The just-refreshed Mercedes-Benz GLA is a baby SUV for grown-ups

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Photo: Courtesy of Mercedez-Benz

First released in 2014, The Mercedes-Benz GLA is characterised by its sportily dynamic design and light-footed handling. As the first compact SUV from Mercedes-Benz, it brought a breath of fresh air to the market  and established itself as a major player.

See also: The Rolls-Royce For The Next Generation

It's recently been given a bit of a makeover, so we grabbed the chance to give it a test drive to size up the changes: 

Exterior

The Mercedes-Benz GLA looks more like an elevated A Class hatchback than an SUV. Young and energetic mums will like this car because of its higher driving position and better vision.

Dads will like it even more if they can have the top of the range, Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC. The exterior looks quite similar to the previous model, save for a more powerful design.

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Photo: Courtesy of Mercedez-Benz

Interior

Unless you are very tall, the interior space feels adequately spacious, but the sloping roof does give slightly less rear headroom. There is plenty of storage for the family's bits and bobs. There are new seat covers, trim parts and a chrome control panel.

In the middle of the dashboard is an 8 inch media display, which does look as if it has been bolted on. But that's probably fine for most people, as it is common to install an aftermarket car camera or phone holder against the windscreen nowadays.

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Photo: Courtesy of Mercedez-Benz

Engine

The GLA 200, which is the entry model, is the most frugal in terms of fuel consumption (urban 7.4l per 100km). You also benefit from paying lower vehicle registration tax as the engine size is 1595cc.

On the top end (i.e. Dad's choice) is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC. The 2.0l engine pushes out 381 hp with 475 nm and it can whisk your children to the next weekend activity from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.4 seconds.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission delivers optimised response and shift times during up shifting. 4MATIC transfers the drive power to all wheels. The GLA 250 AMG Edition offers a model in between the two. 

See also: 7 Concept Vehicles That Prove The Future Is Now

Video: Mercedes-Benz

Innovations

The bi-xenon headlights in the previous model are now replaced by new LED headlights. Its daylight effect means less strain on your eyes when driving at night and also less energy consumption. The multi-function rear lights are anti-dazzle.

If the driver is about to fall asleep while driving, Attention Assist will make an audible warning, while Collision Prevention Assist will automatically apply the brakes to avoid a front-end collision. These safety technologies make this car a great choice for the family.

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