First seen at the Auto Expo this year, Mercedes-Benz is a late entrant of the compact SUV club, but is all geared up to make the GLA compact SUV a high selling product by offering attractive packages. The German carmaker has launched 7 products in the first half of 2014 and there are more exciting products to follow in the second half. With autos like the classy CLA sedan and the upcoming GLA crossover, Mercedes Benz is hoping to regain its peak position in the Indian market.
The GLA Class will be the smallest and the most economical SUV offering till date by MB. The GLA is based on the modular front wheel drive architecture, similar to the A-Class but it being a crossover, the GLA will be sturdier and will adorn Merc's 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The platform uses a strut-type front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. The inputs to steering are directed to standard 18-inch wheels, while there is an option of 19-inches.
Mercedes Benzs GLA Class is a compact city SUV, measuring 173.9 inches long, 71.0 inches wide, and 58.8 inches tall in dimensions. Even then there is no compromise with rear-passenger room and the cargo space can be increased by folding the rear seats. The interiors show resemblance to the GLA's compact sister models, but it features a distinct color combination and accessories. The dashboard gets a beige and black color scheme while the dash panel can be specified in aluminum, or a choice in wood finishes, such as high-gloss or matte. There is ample galvanized switchgear creating a more premium look that reminds of more upmarket cars. The company's MB-Tex synthetic leather remains the standard upholstery, while the genuine article is available as an option. The chrome finish is well sprayed on the AC vents, console outline, door handles, instrument panel and on the steering wheel. The front seats have a special design along with an integrated headrest. Of-course, the company has fitted all major advanced equipment to the dashboard such as an advanced climate control unit, an advanced touchscreen with integrated GPS navigation system and many other such features. The blind-spot detection, lane-keeping, park assist, and adaptive cruise control are plugged-in as well.
Mercedes Benz GLA Class will be available with both petrol and diesel engine options, as available in other countries. The petrol variants gets a 1.6-litre four-pot engine same as the A class that produces 156bhp of power along with a peak torque of 250Nm. Whereas, the diesel line-up comes equipped with a 2.2-litre powertrain, that churns out 135bhp and 300Nm of max torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but all-wheel drive is an option. Optimistically expected maximum mileage will be about 15.5 to 20.5Km/l petrol or diesel variant respectively. Although the engine is relatively small, the performance is deadly. Mercedes claims that the all-wheel-drive GLA can reach 100km/h in just 6.4 seconds, and the top speed can reach out to eminent 250km/h.
There is a class of typical crossover customer, for them style is a major concern. The GLA Class leave no stone unturned with its design, which is youthful, sculptural, and full of drama. The curvaceous body, spot-lit with multifarious decorative accents, slightly distinct to those Mercedes loyals who are still addicted to nostalgic soberness. Front fascia of this compact luxury SUV comes with a signature diamond radiator grille with two horizontally positioned louvers and with the chrome plated company logo. The side profile of this SUV is quite attractive with low posture and scintillating body finish. The wheel arches have been fitted with black colored fenders.
On the whole, this upcoming Mercedes Benz GLA Class is a unique SUV that will strongly compete against the likes of Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the Volvo V40.