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Driven - Mercedes-Benz GLA 200

Quick Facts:

  • Price: From R749 050
  • Engine: 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine
  • Transmission: 7G-DCT 
  • Power/Torque: 120kW/250Nm

By Kumbi Mtshakazi

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is now in its second generation, and while it is based on the A-Class, it is quite different from its sibling. We spent a week sampling the compact SUV from the German automaker and what surprised us a lot was how efficient, plush and good looking it is. 

Our unit was the AMG Line variant which incorporated some good looking visual cues, upfront, a wide grille flanked by matrix headlights while the lower apron is reminiscent of the previous generation A-Class model.  

The rear looks well put together, it is not as boxy as the previous generation and while the tailpipes might be 'fake' they add on to the overall good looks at the rear. 

Inside the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200, among the standard features are the larger instrument displays, plus an infotainment screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AMG floor mats are included in addition to a multifunctional sports steering wheel with a flat-bottomed section, microfibre black upholstery, carbon-structure elements, a double cup holder, wireless charging pad, and MBUX.

While the GLA features almost all niceties, the space in the cabin has not been compromised. We were able to all fit inside the GLA despite the ‘sloppy’ roofline. The boot space is decent for a young family. The panoramic sunroof also lets in much-needed light, and if that's not enough, the Ambient lighting turns night into day.

Verdict? The Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line is a safe, fun and fuel-efficient compact SUV. The AMG Line kit adds a lot of visual appeal and while power might not be its strong point, it does not feel like it lacks any. It’s spacious enough for a small family or anyone who wants a compact SUV. The seating position is great and it has almost all the safety and driver aids one can wish for in a car. The adaptive cruise control is one of the best systems in the segment and the added bonus of the 360-degree camera ensures that you are always parking like a professional without any ‘oopsies’.

Under the hood of the GLA 200 sits a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine created jointly with Renault. The engine produces 120kW and 250Nm of torque and is coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Mercedes-Benz claims a fuel consumption figure of 6.0L/100km for the GLA200, however, we achieved just a little over. 9l/100km and this was mainly due to spirited drives, we also did not do highway driving that often.  

Pricing

Priced from R749 040, I think that the GLA is a worthy contender in the compact SUV segment. 

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