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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA First Drive Review

Introduction

The compact crossover market is sort of robust today, as is the entry-level luxurious market. Increasingly, we’re seeing automobiles priced within the low $30,000 vary from marques well-known for extra stratospheric pricing. With these elements in thoughts it was inevitable we’d ultimately see entry-level compact luxurious crossovers, and they’re right here in an enormous approach.

Audi’s new Q3 and BMW’s X1 are already in vendor showrooms. Whereas a bit smaller than these fashions however competitively configured, Buick’s Encore could possibly be thought-about a contender right here as properly. Although greater priced, Acura’s RDX and Cadillac’s SRX are additionally gamers on this phase. Lexus has an all-new mannequin coming quickly within the type of the Lexus NX 200t. And, in fact, there’s now the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Based mostly on our drive expertise, the Mercedes-Benz appears to be fairly aggressive inside its class. Sleekly curvaceous and definitively attractive, the brand new small Mercedes-Benz crossover SUV is predicated on the corporate’s new CLA line of smaller automobiles launched for 2014. Given Mercedes representatives say gross sales of the mannequin are constricted solely by the corporate’s capability to construct them, we’ve a sense they’re going to have comparable drawback with this new crossover.

Fashions And Pricing

At launch, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is being provided in two trims. When you’ll see a $31,300 base worth touted, that quantity applies to the front-drive GLA 250, which matches on sale within the spring of 2015. In showrooms proper now, the bottom mannequin is the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic, which begins at $33,300. The opposite GLA mannequin provided is the GLA45 AMG, which begins at $48,300. Mercedes-Benz provides $925 for vacation spot and supply costs, so the true base costs are $32,225 for the GLA 250, $34,225 for the GLA 250 4MATIC, and $49,225 for the GLA45 AMG.

Normal options embrace an influence rear liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch on GLA45 AMG), chrome roof rails, energy adjustable entrance seats with reminiscence, a USB interface port, Bluetooth audio and telephony, a multifunction three-spoke leather-based wrapped steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column, a four.5” sprint mounted show monitor, cruise management, one-touch energy home windows, automated headlights, a visit pc, and rain sensing intermittent windshield wipers. Additionally included within the base worth are a four-year/50,000 mile guarantee, 24-hour roadside help, and a raft of superior security options, which we’ll get into within the Security and Crash Check Scores part of this primary drive evaluate.

Design

Small in measurement—however massive in any other case, the design of the Mercedes-Benz GLA blends properly with the curvaceous styling language at present in vogue on the world’s oldest vehicle firm. In accordance with the literature, the GLA’s designers have been going for sensual readability as an expression of recent luxurious; and whereas we discover that phrase to be itself missing in readability, we will say the GLA is even higher wanting in individual than pictures convey.

Additional, it appears costlier than its $30,000 base worth would lead you to anticipate.

A fragile greenhouse drawn with gracefully flowing strains and a low glass to decrease physique ratio properly offsets the rippling musculature of the Mercedes. But, once you’re inside, the view outward is uncompromised in all instructions. The sculptural detailing on the edges of the GLA fashions provides appreciable character to the look of the automotive and additional conveys its elevated place within the general hierarchy of cars.

In different phrases, they are saying, “I may be reasonably priced—however I ain’t low cost.”

The face of the automotive options the three-pointed star mounted inside the grille, as is attribute of all sporting-oriented Mercedes fashions. Nevertheless, as an choice, the star may be ordered with a LED illumination package deal.

Sure, in case you’re into it like that, your star could be all lit up at night time.

Options And Controls

There’s nothing cut-rate concerning the inside remedy both. Seated on the steering wheel, you’re dealing with richly detailed instrumentation. The look of it says you’re driving one thing substantive—one thing very Mercedes-Benz. This can be a key facet of inside design, one many automakers appear to miss.

The three-spoke wheel provides controls for the audio system, phone, and the dash-mounted multifunction journey pc show, in addition to voice activated features. Mounted instantly behind the wheel are paddles for shifting the transmission. Whereas we miss pushbutton begin, (it’s n choice) we do recognize the very fact the important thing solely requires a twist and launch—there’s no want to carry it whereas the engine cranks.

A big trim piece within the middle of the sprint might be ordered in your selection of wooden, aluminum, or carbon fiber (within the AMG mannequin). The video show, and three giant air vents dominate this part, whereas simply beneath them reside the audio and local weather management techniques. We like the very fact the GLA doesn’t make you entry the show to activate the radio, although you do want the show display for tuning stations. One vital plus although, if you realize the frequency of the station, the keypad does allow direct tuning.

Consolation And Cargo

Main the best way on the consolation and comfort entrance is the facility operated rear hatch. A pleasant contact, it provides useful magnificence to the general package deal. The seats come upholstered in MB-Tex “pleather” as commonplace gear, however true leather-based is obtainable as an choice.

Over our day of driving, we discovered the seats to be exceptionally snug and supportive. They’re terrific for lengthy stints behind the wheel, as they induce no fatigue in any way. That stated, the leather-based and alcantara upholstered sport seats featured within the GLA45 AMG fashions we tried won’t endure fats people gracefully. Deeply bolstered, and really restrictive, whereas they do permit for some adjustment, in case you’re within the higher weight percentiles, you’ll need to reduce most fat, salt, and sugar out of your eating regimen earlier than choosing these seats.

Legroom’s aplenty up entrance as you’d anticipate from a Mercedes. The rear seat is pretty beneficiant, 4 adults might experience for some time if the individuals parked within the entrance two are prepared to surrender some slack for the parents within the again. Head and shoulder room are greater than satisfactory all through the GLA.

The rear set folds for added cargo capability. With it in place, the GLA Mercedes presents 31.eight inches of cargo flooring; with the seat folded, that quantity expands to 54.9 inches.

Security And Crash Scores

Normal security options embrace; 24-hour roadside help, twin stage drive limiters and pretensioners for the seat belts, collision prevention with autonomous braking, twin stage entrance airbags, entrance aspect airbags, entrance window airbags, knee airbags for the driving force and entrance passenger, 4 disc brakes, ABS, brake help, stability management, traction management, a driver drowsiness monitor, an anti theft alarm with an engine immobilizer, tire strain monitoring, run-flat tires, and a sensible key with a panic button.

Elective security options embrace; blind spot help, sensible cruise management, lane retaining help, lively parking help (it’ll park itself—each parallel and perpendicularly), rear aspect airbags, keyless begin, and wheel locks.

Neither NHTSA nor the Insurance coverage Institute of Freeway Security has crash examined the GLA as of this writing (September, 2014).

Engines And Gasoline Financial system

Energy for each the GLA 250 and the GLA45 AMG come from a 2.Zero-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder aluminum engine with direct gasoline injection (and variable valve timing for the GLA45 AMG). It additionally incorporates an Eco mode that includes a begin/cease perform.

Configured for the GLA 250, the engine delivers 208 horsepower, 258 ft-lbs of torque, and a 6,500-rpm redline. It’s paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission feeding the entrance wheels in the usual GLA fashions, and all 4 wheels with the GLA 4MATIC powertrain. The multimode transmission options financial system, sport, and guide shift algorithms.

Gasoline financial system is rated at 24 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 32 on the freeway, and 27 mixed—for the all-wheel drive powertrain. Numbers for the front-drive powertrain have but to be quoted as of this writing.

The GLA45 AMG will get 355 horsepower out of a twin-cam model of this engine, which is assembled by hand for this software. It’s able to producing 332 ft-lbs of torque between 2,250 rpm and 5,000. Redline is about at 6,700 for this model of the engine. The seven-speed twin clutch transmission is employed right here as nicely, however all GLA45 AMG fashions use all-wheel drive.

Gasoline financial system is rated at 23 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 29 on the freeway, and 25 mixed.

Please notice the gasoline financial system numbers quoted listed here are MBZ’s preliminary estimates, the EPA’s numbers had but to be launched as of this writing.

Driving Impressions

Quiet and clean, with big lungs and really lengthy legs, this compact Benz loves the freeway—massive time. Delivering distinctive consolation in addition, you’ll take pleasure in lengthy distance journey, in both the usual or AMG configurations. The steering is good and exact, and grip is exceptional, although there’s a little bit of physique roll owed to the elevated experience peak of the GLA 250.

You’ll like driving the GLA Benzes a fantastic deal.

With the 250, throttle tip-in is a bit subdued, notably when the transmission is within the Eco mode. Push the pedal, the automotive responds steadily, as the varied computer systems do all they will to ship the strongest MPG quantity attainable. In fact, once you change to the Sport mode or the Guide mode it modifications for the higher, although immediacy continues to be a bit missing.

Whereas we’re on the Eco topic, the beginning/cease function is a bit jarring on the restart, exhibiting a roughness we discover uncharacteristic of Mercedes-Benz product. It’s not horribly so, we simply anticipate extra sophistication from Mercedes.

For driving lovers, the one to get right here is the GLA45 AMG. We truly loved driving it greater than the CLA45 AMG, with which its mechanicals are shared. You barely need to sluggish for corners, because the GLA45 boasts super grip. Fast off the road, with plentiful pull, this can be a automotive from which you get a extremely visceral response.

Run the engine to redline, reveling within the scrumptious engine observe, flick the paddle behind the steering wheel for an upshift, and also you get a pleasant POOFT from the engine because the gasoline cutoff prompts to accommodate the gear change. It’s value operating the engine exhausting simply to listen to it. The driving a part of this automotive they acquired very proper.

Last Ideas

Whereas the GLA 250 is configured for delicate off roading, we’re prepared to guess most people shopping for it’s going to by no means stray from the paved community of roadways. Because of this, we marvel why the Mercedes-Benz product planning workforce noticed match to extend the journey peak of the GLA 250 by 1.2 inches for the U.S. market.

One take a look at the automotive and you may instantly inform it was an afterthought, even when the 19-inch wheel and tire package deal is fitted. The automotive seems prefer it’s perched on 4 stilts. If we purchased a GLA 250, the very first thing we’d do is restore it to its European experience peak. Which, in flip would get rid of the slight physique roll we spoke of earlier and enhance the dealing with of the automotive much more.

Whereas we’re as regards to issues we’d change, pricing of the AMG mannequin, beginning at slightly below $50,000, we really feel is a bit on the stiff aspect. Notably once you configure it with choices. Our check automotive got here in at slightly below $65,000. That places it in territory with numerous automobiles boasting significantly extra horsepower for a similar cash.

Another factor, despite the fact that the GLA 250 has a low $30,000 base worth, if you take it in for servicing, you’ll be anticipated to pay just like the well-heeled individuals who purchased costlier fashions. You’d greatest be able to pay if you wish to play, as a result of they ain’t giving nothing away.

Execs And Cons

Execs

Good-looking styling

Properly-appointed inside

All-day consolation

Affordable gasoline financial system

Cons

Exaggerated journey peak seems to be kinda goofy

Excessive worth of AMG mannequin

Premium gasoline required

Service prices costly too — it is a Mercedes-Benz, OK?

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