Published on July 13th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes-Benz GLA, engineered to be enjoyed
This first Mercedes-Benz in the fast-growing compact SUV/crossover segment is highly maneuverable around town (length 173.9” x width 71” x height 60”), lively on country roads and athletic and efficient on the open highway. The high- quality appointments, developed with much attention to detail, and the versatile interior clearly position the GLA as a premium compact SUV.
The 2015 GLA is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be available with the new- generation all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution.
As a serene day-to-day companion, the GLA has a flexible and variable interior. The rear seat backrests fold down completely, and the generous luggage compartment is well laid-out and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low loading sill and the wide tailgate, which opens automatically.
The chassis of the GLA features a McPherson front axle and an independent multilink rear suspension. Three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel manage the incoming forces. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are independent of one another. The wheel carriers and spring control arms are made of aluminum to reduce unsprung masses. In the version with 4MATIC, the rear axle carrier is isolated with rubber bushings for the benefit of ride comfort.
Compared to conventional systems, the electromechanical power steering provides better feedback to the driver and makes an important contribution to the vehicle’s overall efficiency, as the servo assistance only requires energy when the vehicle is actually steered. It also allows various steering assistance functions that are initiated by the ESP® control unit. These include counter steering when the vehicle oversteers, steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different levels of grip, reducing the effects of front-wheel drive on the steering and compensation of cross-winds and road camber.
The GLA has an extremely rigid body, and therefore the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, as well as a high level of NVH comfort. There are additional reinforcements to the Bpillars, front damper domes, side members and underbody.
4MATIC all-wheel drive. Even more grip
The GLA from Mercedes-Benz is optionally available with a new generation of the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, featuring fully variable torque distribution. This all-wheel drive system excels with even more grip and outstanding agility while also enhancing driving safety and energy efficiency.
The components of the 4MATIC system include the power take-off to the rear axle that is integrated into the 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and the rear-axle gear with integrated, electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch. This set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower weight than is available from the competition, and high efficiency.
Off-road functions. Confident on light terrain.
Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the center 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 gearshift points and accelerator characteristics are modified so that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain and especially loose surfaces can be met. In combination with the standard CD audio system with USB Port, Bluetooth connectivity and HD Radio or optional COMAND system, 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.
Advanced assistance systems
Numerous driving assistance systems offer support in the GLA and reduce the driver’s workload. Standard features for the SUV include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS with autonomous braking, which now helps to protect against collisions from speeds of 5 – 65 mph when following a moving vehicle, and from speeds 5 – 31 mph when behind a standing vehicle. When DISTRONIC PLUS (part of the Driver Assistance Package) is equipped this incorporates an additional function: If a danger of collision arises and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking of up to 100% of braking power available and at speeds of up to 124 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles.
Established assistance systems, such as Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist are also available for the GLA. PARKTRONIC w/ Park Assist (optional) allows automatic parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.