New Mercedes SUV has got all grown up!

Hugh Maguire takes a new GLA for a spin

Hugh Maguire

Reporter:

Hugh Maguire

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

New Mercedes SUV has got all grown up!

The Mercedes GLA is based on the underpinnings of the A-Class and B-Class.

While the previous model looked simply like an A-Class with a higher ride height this new GLA has matured into what looks more like a scaled down version of their excellent GLC SUV.

Its a five door five seat SUV with a choice of petrol or diesel power plants and either two wheel drive or four wheel drive options. Two trim levels are available “Progressive” and “AMG-Line”

This week I am road testing the 200d AMG line version with the 8-speed auto gearbox.

So has it any street cred?

Take a look at a GLC, shrink it slightly and you have the new GLA. Its a very smart looking SUV and its compact dimensions belie its roomy interior. I like the style and the neat AMG line additions such as those lovely alloys add a touch of sportiness to the look. Its a much better looking car than its predecessor!

What is it like inside?

Slip inside the new GLA and the family resemblance continues. The dashboard is a model of ergonomic excellence with each switch and button placed well for both safety and ease of use. I found the elevated driving position to be just right and I like the fact that it gives such a commanding view of the road ahead.

The now familiar fully digital dashboard looks and functions well and of course the Mercedes MBUX multimedia system with always live voice activation is just excellent in its functionality.

Standard kit from the entry level “Progressive” model is very good and includes items such as LED lights, 18” alloys, Keyless start, reversing Camera, and electric tailgate and Artico seat trim. (man made leather look upholstery).

Accommodation is really very good with lots of legroom both front and rear and a decent load area (435 litres seats up) with split fold rear seats.

What’s under the bonnet?

My test car was powered by the 2.0 turbo diesel producing 150 bhp and mated to an 8-speed sequential auto gearbox with power going to the front wheels.

Overall performance is good and its frugal too burning just 6.7 litres of diesel per 100km during my tenure. The ratios of the 8-speed auto are well suited to the GLA and offer plenty of mid range power for safe overtaking.

A drive mode switch allows you to choose between Normal, ECO, Comfort and Sport modes.

Road tax is currently €270.00 for the year.

What is it like to drive?

Mercedes have made the new GLA a more interesting car to drive than its predecessor. It handles well whether on wet or dry roads and cruises happily all day at motorway speeds.

It's reasonably quiet and refined too despite a bit of diesel growl on a cold start.

Overall then I found the new GLA to be quite an enjoyable car to drive. It really feels much more grown up than the past model and will appeal to both driver and passengers alike.

Verdict

What's not to like here! A premium brand compact SUV thats ideal for a young family or maybe those who once drove a larger SUV but now want something more compact but still good to drive.

Prices start at €39,667 for the GLA 200 A/T Progressive 1332 cc petrol model. The diesel range kicks off at €40,202 while the AMG-Line version tested here costs €45,101.