Mercedes GLA

Mercedes seem to be alone in calling the GLA an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) it’s actually more of a tallish hatchback with decent ground clearance and soft suspension but if you are looking for an Audi Q3 alternative with head turning looks from all angles and you are prepared to forgo a lofty driving position and are ok with small windows then the GLA is the car for you. Based on the Platform from the A-Class the GLA has a bigger body, raised by 5cm, which means improved interior and boot space (471 litres compared to 341) while fatter tyres and softer suspension makes for a more comfortable ride.

 

The Mercedes GLA, to mobility customers, comes in two trims, SE and Sport, The SE has 17 inch alloy wheels, powered tailgate, front fog lights, privacy glass, Audio20 CD multimedia system with a 7 inch screen, comfort seats upholstered in fake leather, KEYLESS-GO starting function, reversing camera, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and air conditioning. Sport trim increases the alloys to 18 inches and the media screen to 8 inches,  you also get climate control, twin exhaust pipes,  aluminium roof rails and a several driving modes; ECO, Comfort, Sport and Individual. The ‘Executive’ pack is avaialble to both trims (but not with all engines – bizarrely) which adds Garmin SD card navigation system, heated front seats and parking pilot.

 

 

There are three engines, a 1.6 litre petrol (badged as 200) which has 154 bhp and can reach 62mph in 8.4 seconds and return a claimed 48.7 miles per gallon, avaialble as a six speed manual or 7 speed dual clutch automatic. The a 2.1 litre diesel (badged 200d) offering 134 bhp is the better choice, again – 6 speed manual or 7 speed dual clutch automatic, has a top speed is 127 miles per hour and 62 mph can be reached in a respectable 9.5 seconds in. Economy with either gearbox is an excellent 67.3 miles per gallon. This engine is avaialble with all wheel drive (4-Matic) as an automatic only. The same engine has been beefed up to offer 175bhp which is badged as 220d, this is all wheel drive (4-Matic) and only avaialble with a a seven speed dual clutch Automatic (7.7 seconds 0-62, 58.9 mpg).

The Mercedes GLA is a car to put on your shortlist if you can meet the Advance Payment, it is well made and pleasing on the eye, the only problem we have is it can feel a little claustrophobic, it’s a shame the £995 Panoramic glass roof is not a standard feature.

The new GLA is due in 2019 and as a passing shot Mercedes have been through the parts bin and cobbled together the GLA180 Urban Edition, and it is superb value. Powered by the 1.6 litre 120 bhp petrol engine from the B-Class and with a host of standard equipment it is well worth a look. The 0-62 time of 9 seconds time is excellent and the option of a 6 speed manual or 7 speed Auto make for comfortable progress, it’s not quick and if you push it the claimed mpg of 51.4 will quickly head towards the low 30’s. You do get 18 inch alloy wheels, roof rails, front fog lights, LED head and tail lights, privacy glass, auto wipers, off road comfort suspension (raised by 30mm), keyless go, air conditioning, reversing camera, fake leather seats, cruise control, driving mode selector, electrically adjustable and heated mirrors, twin chrome exhaust and an eight inch media display with Apple Carplay and Android auto.

Autumn Best Buy –  Mercedes GLA 180 1.6 petrol Manual ‘Urban Edition’ –  Nil Advance Payment (£61.06 wpms) or £499 (£64.38 wpms) as an Automatic

 Autumn Best Buy –  Mercedes GLA 220d (4-Matic) 2.1 diesel 175bhp Automatic ‘Sport’ –  £2599 Advance Payment (£1514 wpms)