Mercedes GLA first look review
The hotly anticipated, Mercedes-Benz GLA mini SUV has recently been unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor show in September. As Mercedes brings out the goods it’s already been compared to other cars within the same category such as the Audi Q3, the recently released, BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque.
Despite a whole host of competition and not going on sale until November, it’s already been dubbed the ‘baby Bentleys’ by Forbes magazine, so will it be as good as they say? The GLA is the fourth car released in the Mercedes ‘compact’ line following the release of the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class. As expected, the GLA has retained some of the previous model’s features. Firstly, the interior of the car remains extremely similar – the dashboard, when made available in the UK, will come in Piano black, carbon fibre effect or metal. The dashboard will retain the same layout as previous models and have the central large screen amongst other mod-cons.
For a small car Mercedes promise ‘an athletic look with off-road driving ability’. By the sounds of the engine types on offer it certainly looks like this car will pack a punch. There will be four engines available; the GLA 200 has a 154bhp 1.6-litre petrol, the GLA 250 which will have a 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The GLA 200 CDI and 220 CDI have 2.1-litre diesel units with 134bhp and 168bhp respectively. Like all compact SUVs it is expected that although the Mercedes promises this car to be an ‘off-roader’ the likelihood of using the car for non-tarmac purposes are slim.
On pricing, the GLA is expected to undercut its rivals with experts guessing that pricing will start at around £25,000, a whole £5000 less than the cheapest Ranger Rover Evoque. However, despite being one of Mercedes more affordable models, it doesn’t mean that the GLA will miss out on any of the make’s forward-thinking technology. The GLA is set to include a self-steering functionality which is in place to help keep the car on course should it be hit by high-powered winds. Cheaper options, although slightly smaller would be the Seat Altea XL which although only a 5-door car has been praised for its spaciousness.
If the Mercedes GLA lives up to its expectations and carries forward the positives of previous models then it will be most likely be an incredibly popular choice of SUV when it is made available in the UK in November.