Published on June 22nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes Benz GLA test drive review, crossover with style
There are 3 models offered for sale in Malaysia. A 1.6-liter petrol engine pushing out a mild 156bhp, a turbocharged 2-liter petrol version and the very exclusive and desirable AMG tuned GLA.
While the 2.0-litre turbo is a smooth operating engine outputting 211bhp, it is the AMG tuned 350bhp GLA that got our attention.
However we concentrated our drive on the GLA 250 as this is the model that will sell the most in Malaysia and will be the talking point for many showrooms visitors. This hot hatch 4×4 looks and drives like it promises. The 211bhp engine delivers in spades. The engine fires up like any 4-cylinder Mercedes, quiet, unassuming and when called on the upper levels of the engine revolution it delivers just like in the A-Class.
The firm chassis delivers good, predictable handling where the GLA shines with plenty of grip courtesy of the 4-MATIC system that provides plenty of cornering speed with minimal body roll. The brakes remains unruffled and provides plenty of stopping power combined with decent feel.
Find a dirt and rock filled track and the GLA will not bottom out or grind to a halt when challenged. Mercedes-Benz engineers have fitted the GLA with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive. This all-wheel drive system excels with outstanding agility and it is very light. The components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. This set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles.
The GLA is also equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation similar to what you find in a Range Rover or a BMW X series) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the centre console, and assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed within the physical limits when negotiating downhill gradients.
This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by specific braking intervention. When the off-road transmission mode is selected using the transmission mode switch, the shift points and accelerator characteristics are modified so that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain, and particularly on loose surfaces, can be met. In combination with Audio 20 CD (standard) and COMAND Online (optional extra), the head unit can also be switched to an off-road display.
The steering angle, the selected off-road transmission mode and a compass are displayed there. The roll angle in degrees, the gradient in percent and activation of Downhill Speed Regulation DSR are also indicated.
This new compact SUV is probably another success story and as you read this the wait list is growing at all showrooms.
Mercedes GLA 250 (4MATIC) Specifications
Power: 211bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 1200-4000rpm
Top speed: 230km/h
Mercedes GLA 200 Specifications
Power: 156bhp @ 5300rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1250-4000rpm
Top speed: 215km/h