The earlier iteration of the Mercedes-Benz GLA was a little bit of an odd duck.
Though many small SUVs are merely mild hatches with a barely increased seating place, the GLA blurred the traces between the 2 like no different competitor; within the metallic, it actually wasn’t high-riding in any respect, even by small SUV requirements.
Not that it mattered a lot. The GLA has been one of many bestselling premium small SUVs in Australia because it arrived on our shores in 2014 however Mercedes has nonetheless given it an intensive refresh to make it look a bit extra SUV-like.
It’s now 1616mm tall — a hefty 122mm greater than its predecessor — permitting it to supply the upper seating place and headroom anticipated of an SUV.
From the entrance, it’s far much less claustrophobic than earlier than.
Regardless of being taller, the brand new GLA is 14mm shorter in size — however rear legroom has nonetheless been improved.
At 185cm, I may sit behind my very own driving place simply, although foot room was tight.
The physique adjustments have seen the boot achieve 14 litres of area, however the 435 litres on supply is behind rivals such because the Audi Q3 and BMW X2.
Nevertheless, Mercedes now gives the GLB to deal with extra sensible SUV duties, leaving the GLA as a extra type and efficiency centered choice.
And it largely succeeds.
Quick entrance and rear overhangs add a sporty character, as do eye-catching 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels.
We had the mid-spec GLA 250 trim, which has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine providing 165kW and 350Nm.
It proved a high quality unit on a highway journey to Dunsborough, the place it supplied brisk response when overtaking and a frugal sufficient 7.2L/100km gasoline financial system on the return leg.
The massive wheels did deliver some undesirable noise and shuddering into the cabin on the extra coarse surfaces although.
It’s dynamically sound for its phase, with the all-wheel-drive and perky engine providing some enjoyable on the twistier sections of Caves Street.
Considerably confusingly, Benz has additionally included the Off-Street Engineering Bundle on each all-wheel-drive GLA variant, which provides a further Off-Street driving program, downhill help, off-road animation with incline angles within the media show, a particular mild operate which widens the unfold of the beam for higher illumination when off-roading.
Good to have, positive — but it surely appears unlikely house owners could be taking their GLA too far off the crushed monitor and we suspect most would like a decrease buy value contemplating the GLA 250’s listing value has risen by $3500.
Different GLA 250 options will possible be extra appreciated although, such because the panoramic electrical sunroof, heated electrical entrance seats with reminiscence operate, lowered consolation suspension and sports-direct steering.
The inside advantages from Merc’s twin 10.25-inch shows sitting facet by facet, that are pretty intuitive to make use of regardless of the quantity of options they management.
Sadly, the model has opted for a Lexus-style contact pad to manage the infotainment system, however fortunately it may be ignored: drivers can use the steering wheel controls, whereas passengers can use the show as a contact display.
The check automobile additionally had Mountain Gray metallic paint ($1146) and the Imaginative and prescient Bundle, which added adaptive excessive beam help, Benz’s multi-beam LED headlamps and a 360-degree digital camera.
At $915, it’s in all probability price it, although we felt a head-up show ought to in all probability be commonplace in a $66ok car — and adaptive cruise management undoubtedly ought to.
Disappointingly, you’ll have to shell out $1990 for the Driving Help Bundle to get it, together with lively lane change help, prolonged semi-autonomous driver help in site visitors jams and route-based velocity adaptation.
Elsewhere, the security gear is essentially as anticipated, although there are some good commonplace options similar to an lively bonnet to raised shield pedestrians, cross-wind help and blind-spot help with exit-warning assistant, which alerts the driving force to approaching cyclists or automobiles if the door begins to open into their path.
As with many security programs, some we felt had been overly intrusive from time to time.
Like an automotive Pinocchio, the GLA is now an actual SUV. It’s nonetheless not probably the most sensible, however with the GLB’s addition, it may possibly now give attention to efficiency and styling — which the GLA 250 does with aplomb. Unsure the off-road gear will get a lot of a look-in, thoughts.
2021 MERCEDES-BENZ GLA 250 4MATIC SPECIFICATIONS
- Value $66,500 (as examined $68,561)
- Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
- Outputs 165kW/350Nm
- Transmission Eight-speed computerized, AWD
- Gasoline financial system 7.5L/100km