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Mercedes-Benz GLA Review: The Swiss Army Knife of SUVs with the Flair of a Bollywood Star

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather ’round as we dive into the marvel that is the Mercedes-Benz GLA, a German SUV that has more features than a Swiss army knife and more flair than a Bollywood dance-off.

Once Upon a Time in Germany

Back in the ancient days of 2013, when dinosaurs roamed the earth (or at least that’s what it feels like), Mercedes-Benz decided to bless us mere mortals with the GLA. Fast forward to 2024, and here we are, gazing upon the second-generation facelift variant, a beauty that makes even the Mona Lisa look like a doodle.

A Price Tag to Make Your Wallet Cry

This fabulous beast comes in both petrol and diesel variants. The journey starts at an ex-showroom price of ₹50.50 lakh, which is roughly equivalent to selling a small island in the Pacific. If you want the top model, the 220d 4Matic AMG Line, you’re looking at ₹57 lakh. Yes, folks, this car is so posh, it probably uses Evian water for windshield wiper fluid.

Warranty Wonderland

Mercedes-Benz knows that buying a car like this is akin to adopting a child, so they throw in an 8-year warranty on the engine and transmission. The rest of the car gets a 3-year warranty, just in case you decide to drive it off a cliff and back.

An SUV with A-Class Sass

For those keeping score at home, the GLA is basically the SUV version of the A-Class. It’s built on the same MFA2 (Modular Front-Drive Architecture) platform, which also supports the B-Class, EQA, EQB, GLB, and CLA. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of platforms, versatile enough to handle anything.

A Symphony of Features

Let’s start with the aesthetics. The AMG front apron with splitter, the diamond grille, and LED high-performance headlamps are the automotive equivalent of a perfectly tailored tuxedo. The car even has adaptive high beam assist, so you can dazzle other drivers just like a Hollywood starlet on the red carpet.

Mirror, Mirror on the Car

Electrically folding, auto-dimming outside mirrors? Check. Wheel arch liners? Check. And those 19-inch, 5-twin spoke design black AMG light-alloy wheels? Pure class. The 235/50 R19 99W Continental Premium Contact 6 SSR radial tubeless tires are like putting on a pair of Gucci sneakers – overkill but oh-so-satisfying.

Colors to Suit Your Mood

The GLA comes in a Spectral Blue that’s so mesmerizing, it might make the sky jealous. But if blue isn’t your jam, there’s white, silver, grey, and black. The plug-in hybrid version isn’t available in India yet, but who cares when you have an AMG rear apron with tailpipe trim?

Drive Like a Boss

The GLA boasts a comfortable chassis, balanced ride, and sporty drive. With five drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport, Individual, and Offroad – you can tailor your driving experience to match your mood. Downhill speed regulation will keep you crawling safely at speeds from 2 to 18 kph, perfect for scaring off pedestrians.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA comes equipped with some truly remarkable features, each with its own flair and personality.

First up is the Dynamic Select, which offers five drive modes. Imagine having the versatility to switch between Comfort (when you want to feel as relaxed as a monk), Eco (for those tree-hugging moments), Sport (to unleash your inner caffeine-fueled cheetah), Individual (because you’re as unique as your fingerprint), and Offroad (channeling your inner Indiana Jones). No matter your mood, the GLA has a mode to match it.

Next, we have Targeted Brake Actuation for those steep downhill adventures. It’s like having a safety net while descending Mount Everest. This feature ensures you maintain control, so you only slightly terrify your passengers instead of sending them into a full-blown panic.

The Active Bonnet is a real game-changer. If you find yourself playing an unintended game of tag with a pedestrian at speeds between 25 to 55 kmph, this feature lifts the bonnet by 80 mm to reduce injury. It’s the car’s way of saying, “Oops, my bad!” with a gentle, yet effective, lift.

For peace of mind, there’s the 3-Year, 24/7 Mobilo Support. This service acts like a personal concierge for your car. Whether you need a tow, a replacement vehicle, or even a hotel room, Mobilo Support has got you covered. It’s like having a butler who knows exactly what you need, whenever you need it.

The Mercedes Me App turns your car into a high-tech marvel. From your smartphone, you can control remote door lock/unlock, locate your car, manage window and sunroof operations, integrate with Alexa and Google Home, track your vehicle, set speed alerts, remotely start the engine, make emergency calls, set up geo-fencing, flash the horn and lights, and much more. This app does everything except make you a sandwich (we’re still waiting for that feature).

Lastly, the GLA offers an accessory wonderland. Whether you need a roof carrier for epic road trips, AMG valve caps to make your tires look like they belong to a superhero, door handle garnish for that extra bling, plush floor mats that feel like walking on clouds, AMG hub caps just because, a spoiler for that extra oomph, or carbon-style side trim to show off your sophisticated taste, the GLA has you covered. It’s like a fashion runway for your car, ensuring it looks as fabulous as you feel.

Safety First, Second, and Third

This SUV is so safe, it should come with a halo. There are 7 airbags, ABS, hill descent control, active parking assist, and active brake assist. Plus, it has a digital key handover feature, so you can share your car via the Mercedes Me app without ever leaving your couch.

Tech Galore

The 10.25-inch touchscreen MBUX infotainment system supports everything from LTE and WiFi hotspots to voice commands and mini-games. Yes, you heard right – mini-games. Because why focus on the road when you can beat your high score?

Interior Extravaganza

Inside, you’ll find 64-color ambient lighting, a panoramic sliding sunroof, and sports seats that offer optimized lateral support. The wireless charging system ensures your phone stays juiced up, while the 2-zone Thermotronic automatic climate control keeps you cool.

Starting with the microcut black microfiber Artico man-made leather upholstery, this is no ordinary seat covering. It’s like sitting on a throne made of the finest faux materials known to mankind. And if black isn’t your thing, there’s a beige option too, for those who want to keep things light and airy.

The dashboard sports a carbon structure trim that screams “I’m sophisticated and I know it.” If you want to go the extra mile, there’s an illuminated star pattern trim option that turns your dashboard into a celestial delight, making every night drive feel like a journey through the galaxy.

The AMG floor mats are there to ensure that even the dirt you bring into the car has a touch of class. These mats are so posh, they probably clean themselves when you’re not looking.

The front seats are electrically adjustable and come with a 3-memory function. So, whether you’re feeling like a lazy Sunday driver or a race car driver, your seat will remember your preferences better than your significant other. And let’s not forget the energizing seat kinetics – because who doesn’t want a mini workout while driving?

Holding onto the Nappa leather, 3 double-spoke design multifunction sports steering wheel is like gripping the helm of a luxury yacht. It’s sleek, it’s comfortable, and it probably whispers encouraging words as you navigate through traffic.

Under the hood, the GLA boasts an 8-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic transmission, with the petrol variant offering a 7-speed DCT automatic. Shifting gears in this car is so smooth, you might forget you’re driving and think you’re gliding through the air.

Finally, the pièce de résistance: a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster. This display is so crisp and clear, you might find yourself staring at it in awe, forgetting you’re supposed to be watching the road. It’s like having a mini IMAX screen right in front of you, showing you all the vital stats with the grandeur they deserve.

Heart of the Beast

The Mercedes-Benz GLA comes packed with engines that are as powerful as they are sophisticated, each one boasting features that would make even the most seasoned gearhead grin with delight.

First up is the diesel variant. Under the hood, you’ll find a 1950 cc, inline 4-cylinder, 4th generation Common Rail Direct Injection Mercedes-Benz OM654 diesel engine. This baby comes with a turbocharger and Nanoslide technology, plus plastic engine mounts – because even engines need to keep their weight down. With 190 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, it can rocket from 0 to 100 kmph in just 7.5 seconds. Top speed? A cool 219 kmph. It’s so efficient, it drinks just 1 liter of fuel to go 1 km – that’s right, you might want to tow a fuel truck behind you for long trips.

Switching over to petrol, the GLA offers a 1332 cc, inline 4-cylinder Mercedes-Benz M282 engine, also featuring a turbocharger and Nanoslide technology. This one delivers 163 horsepower and 270 Nm of torque, taking you from 0 to 100 kmph in 8.9 seconds. With a top speed of 210 kmph and the same impressive 1 km per liter fuel efficiency, it’s like having a Formula 1 car with a slight case of amnesia about fuel economy.

Both engines are designed with optimized airflow for low noise generation – because nobody wants their luxury SUV sounding like a lawnmower. The all-aluminium construction with low cylinder spacing makes for a lightweight and efficient design, while the Lanchester balancer shafts keep things smooth and compact. High-tech steel pistons ensure durability and performance, so you can rest assured that these engines are built to last.

Oh, and did we mention? This diesel engine isn’t just a one-trick pony. It’s also found in the A-Class, B-Class, CLA, CLS, C-Class, E-Class, GLB, GLC, GLE, V-Class, and even the Sprinter. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of engines, versatile enough to power half the Mercedes lineup. So, whether you’re cruising in a luxury sedan or delivering packages in a Sprinter, you’re benefiting from the same top-notch engineering.

The Final Verdict

So, there you have it. The Mercedes-Benz GLA is not just a car; it’s an experience. It’s the kind of SUV that makes you want to drive to the corner store and back just to enjoy the ride. Sure, it costs more than some houses, but can you really put a price on automotive perfection?

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