The Mercedes GLA SUV looks spectacular from every angle and commands a second glance even though it is one of the cheapest cars with the three-pointed star badge available in India.
MotorBeam.com has been driving this car every day to see what's underneath all that beautiful exterior.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA baby SUV is a striking looking vehicle, which perfectly defines how a small urban SUV should look and feel.
The SUV fad of the 21st century is not unknown and every ordinary automaker has some kind of rough and tough looking vehicle in its portfolio.
But Mercedes being Mercedes, always ensures that its vehicles are the benchmark for the segment in luxury and refinement levels, for which the German company is famous since its inception.
This compact SUV sits below the GLC globally and is based on the MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform, which it shares with the A-Class, B-Class and CLA.
Pictures don't really do justice to the beauty of the design of the vehicle and the car looks futuristic and breathtaking from all fronts.
The front profile is highlighted by the dual slat grille which gets touches of chrome on which the ‘Three Pointed Star’ sits with supremacy, along with the Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights and an aluminium skid-plate.
Strong character lines on the sides play beautifully with the lighting and make the car look dynamic and awesome.
Coupe like roof-line, silver roof rails, 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and huge wheel arches accentuate the SUV type look of the vehicle.
Behind the doors, the GLA is a clear cut copy of the A-class cabin albeit with a few changes.
The GLA gets an all black dashboard and upholstery as well as a black and beige combination with matte grey inserts on the dashboard.
The rear bench is more roomy than it appears from outside with adjustable headrests; integrated armrests along with good back support, headroom and knee room but the under thigh support is lacking for tall passengers.
Feature wise, the GLA is loaded to the brim with a lot of powerful standard equipment such as a huge panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound unit, 12-speaker infotainment system with reversing camera and navigation and Attention Assist (Mercedes Exclusive).
All of this is packed in the typical Mercedes build quality with top notch fit and finish radiating all the luxurious and opulant feel one can live with.
On the business end of things, the Mercedes Benz GLA is powered by either a diesel or a petrol engine.
The diesel engine offered is the same 2.0-litre work-horse from the Mercedes stable which does duty on many cars from its stable while producing 134 BHP of power and 300 NM of torque.
The GLA 200 CDI's power delivery is pretty linear with a strong mid-range, and a 0-100 km/hr time of 9.9 seconds.
On our long drives, we noticed a good mileage of 15 km/l from the GLA while the highway performance is ample enough to cruise on the NH4 without any issues.
The Indian spec GLA has a raised ground clearance of 183 mm which came in handy when we went to shoot an off-road bike.
Ride quality feels a tad on the stiffer side but inspite of that, this SUV absorbs most of the potholes with ease over bad roads.
Even though the car is called an SUV, Mercedes has not offered the 4Matic four-wheel drive system in the vehicle.
The GLA’s steering is reasonably sharp and direct but it isn’t the sharpest one in its segment, though it beautifully weighs just about right at highway speeds, making twisty roads a whole lot of fun.
Being a luxury vehicle, Mercedes has kitted the car with all the anagrams of alphabets it can find to make up its list of safety features, such as four disc brakes with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Hill Start Assist, Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and Brake Assist (BA) systems.
All in all, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is a splendid way to arrive in style for those who like to do their own driving.