Published on February 16th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes GLA 250 AMG Line Malaysian Test Drive Review
This is the latest 2021 model GLA 250 which is selling beyond expectations.
Yes, since it initial launch in December 2020 from a price of RM244k to RM285k, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for this all new premium crossover has been very good and despite supply issues, buyers were not interested in looking rival models. They all wanted this new GLA.
Then in October 2021, some 10 to 11 months later, the local assembled versions arrived at the port and production in Pekan went full steam ahead to deliver to waiting customers. Priced from RM232k to RM266k bookings kept coming in for this all new GLA.
First a little history. We remember being invited to Europe for the launch and test drive for the first ever GLA (the first crossover for the brand) and at the time we were ‘taken’ by how the Mercedes styling team had managed to rework the A-Class into a crossover with a raised height, large wheels and ‘4×4’ cladding around the car. It was a runaway success for Mercedes, with us and also the thousands of Malaysian buyers over the years.
Even when the facelift arrived in 2019, it continued to carry the ‘low slung’ sporty looks and sales continued to be impressive.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is not going to be sitting on the side-lines and waiting for the competition to take away their sales position in this premium crossover segment.
Yes, the three pointed star continues to lead in this rather exclusive segment and with this completely new GLA it will easily outsell the Volvo XC40, BMW X1, Lexus NX and also the Audi Q3. Why? Let us explain.
NEW GLA DESIGN
The exterior is all new and it has a higher roof-line and wider shoulders with a face that includes an even more striking design, with vertical chrome-plated fins and MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with Adaptive High-beam Assist Plus.
A similarly eye-catching feature are the aerodynamically designed 19-inch AMG 5 five-spoke light-alloy wheels with discreet AMG lettering.
NEW GLA CABIN
The interior design features powered sports seats clad with ARTICO/microfiber material which offer improved lateral support to both the driver and front passenger.
Five drive programs are provided, “ECO”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual”. Using these allows the characteristics of the vehicle to be individualised even further with the mere touch of a finger. The programs modify key parameters, such as the response of the engine, gearbox and steering.
The latest version of the MBUX infotainment system with ‘Mercedes me’ connect further underlines the car’s viability for everyday use and establishes an even closer connection between vehicle, driver and passengers.
Whether it’s operated with the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the operating system of this latest GLA is both versatile and flexible. Just say “Hey Mercedes”, to activate the interactive voice assistant.
The driver receives visual information via the 12.3-inch instrument cluster on the left and the 10.25-inch touchscreen display on the right. The multi-function steering had little soft touch pads to operate all necessary functions and you just need a few days to get used to it.
NEW GLA DRIVE
Just like with the latest A Class and GLB Crossover, this new GLA cabin is driver-focused. All controls are positioned to allow the driver to obtain all necessary information with a single glance and operate them with ease.
The interior of this GLA is well screwed together and offers enough comfort for 3 average adults in the rear. Yes, the roof line has been extended upwards over the previous sleeker GLA to allow taller passengers in the rear.
The 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is very perky and responsive and provides for a top speed of 240km/h when needed from an engine output of 224hp and a very impressive mid-range punch of 350Nm of torque. This GLA in ‘sport’ mode sprints from 0-100km/h in just 6.9 seconds with an 8-speed slick shifting gearbox working quick.
In the city, this crossover behaves predictably like a hot hatch through corners and the average driver will find themselves slowly being a hero around corners as its high tail stays tucked in at speeds that will leave many others scouring for traction, all this thanks also to the firm and composed new suspension setup.
The heavy traffic commuting in Klang Valley can be tolerated with good sounding entertainment unit and the comfortable cabin seats. The rivals are priced very close and offer almost similar driving performance, however this new GLA 250 is a smidgen quicker and that 3 pointed star on the nose makes all the difference in the family and also company car park space.
Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 AMG Line Specifications
Engine: Inline-4 Turbo
Gearbox: 8-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission
Max power: 224hp @ 5,500rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @1,800-4,000rpm
Top Speed: 240km/h
0-100 km/h: 6.9 seconds
Selling Price: RM266,164.84