Mercedes-Benz has launched the much-anticipated GLA crossover in SA.
Based on the platform of the new A-Class, the GLA is more beefed-up hatch than proper SUV. In fact, those with only a cursory interest in vehicles could probably mistake a GLA for an A-Class fairly easily.
That said, the GLA does boast quite a bit more ground clearance (around 175mm), though you wouldn’t want to take it too far off road. This is definitely a vehicle designed primarily for off-road driving. (It doesn’t, for instance, boast any sort of spare wheel).
At launch, two diesel engines have been made available: The GLA 200 CDI develops 100 kW, has a displacement of 2.1 litres and maximum torque of 300 Nm. It emits only 119 g of CO2 per kilometre, therefore not liable for emission tax. The GLA 220 CDI 4MATIC likewise has a displacement of 2.1 litres and develops 125 kW and 350 Nm. Petrol engines with a power range of 115 kW in the GLA 200 to 155 kW in the GLA 250 4MATIC, will reach local dealerships in September 2014.
All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. The GLA is also available with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive featuring fully variable torque distribution. Engines are all mated to an automatic transmission.
The interior of the vehicle is predictably plush and well equipped. It offers the same sort of experience in other new Merc models such as the A-Class and ML-Class.
The GLA 200 CDI is the cheapest model at the moment, and retails at R422 700. Once you start ticking the options boxes, though, the price will climb quickly. The model we drove at launch had R125 000’s worth of extras. The GLA 220 CDI 4Matic retails at R498 000. When it launches, the GLA 200 petrol model will be the cheapest, and should be priced around R400 000.
You can view our gallery of the new GLA here.