available now at Nasser Bin Khaled Automobiles
The new GLA, the eighth model to join the line-up, rounds off the current compact-car generation from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time it is the entry-level model in the brand's successful SUV range.
The new GLA is available now at Nasser Bin Khaled Automobiles, the authorised general distributor of Mercedes-benz in Qatar, at its showrron on Slawa Road.
The character has been significantly reinforced compared with the previous model: With a height of 1611 millimetres (1616 with roof rails), the new GLA is more than ten centimetres higher than its predecessor. The correspondingly higher and characteristic SUV seating position also comes with more headroom in the first row. Legroom in the rear is likewise much more generous – even though the GLA is now one-and-a-half centimetres shorter. Hallmark off-road design features include the upright front section, short overhangs at the front and rear, and protective cladding all round.
The new GLA makes a further step in terms of safety courtesy of its driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support. The GLA is able to react when the driver doesn't. Active Brake Assist is charged in many situations with applying autonomous braking to avoid a collision or to reduce its severity. At typical city speeds the system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians, and avoid collisions depending on the situation.
With powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines, the latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, and the MBUX infotainment system with intuitive operation, the new model has all the strengths of the current generation of compacts from Mercedes-Benz. The GLA boasts excellent aerodynamic efficiency with a Cd figure from 0.28.
Self-assured and dynamic: the exterior design
The GLA features powerful overall proportions with short overhangs at the front and rear. The front section flows over the A-pillar into the visually compact greenhouse. Suggested powerdomes in the bonnet, along with wheels up to 20 inches in size and mounted flush with the outer edge of the body, reinforce the self-assured appearance. Typical of the GLA are the powerful shoulders of the bodywork and the coupé-like lines of the side windows. This contoured side profile gives the car its dynamically elegant flair and offers an interesting play of light and shadows.
As in the case of the other Mercedes-Benz SUV models, the radiator grille features distinctive openings along with a single louvre and a central star. In hallmark brand style, the inside of the headlamps is finished to a high level of quality, detail and precision.
The side and rear views are characterised by the muscular shoulders of the vehicle. The doors reach over the sills, thereby on the one hand improving ease of access, while at the same time keeping the door frames (and thus also the occupants' trousers) free of dirt and improving impact protection in the event of a side collision. All-round protective cladding adds structure to the overall proportions and emphasises the vehicle's off-road character, as does the simulated underride guard at the front and rear.
The rear lights are in two parts, with the reflectors positioned separately in the bumper. The makes it possible to open the load compartment wider, thus also making loading easier. It has the added effect of making the rear end appear wider. Further practical details, which may be optional depending on the equipment line, include the integrated roof rails and the chrome-plated load sill protection.
Contemporary and high-quality: the interior
The dashboard consists of a basic volume, which features optical "cut-outs" in the driver and front passenger area. The cut-out on the driver's side is dominated by the free-standing display unit, which is available in three variants: with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), with one 7 and one 10.25-inch display (26 cm) and, in the widescreen version, with two 10.25-inch displays. On the passenger side, the cut-out area is finished with a trim element.
The round ventilation outlets, five of them in all, feature a high-quality turbine look with meticulously designed air guidance vanes. The door centre panel flows seamlessly over into the armrest. The grab and assist handle has a tubular profile and runs horizontally like a railing.
Included as standard is the intuitively operated MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). It can be activated by voice control, using the keyword "Hey Mercedes". MBUX can be individually configured with the aid of a range of options. The powerful computer, brilliant screens and graphics, customisable presentation, full-colour head-up display, navigation with augmented reality and learning software are the key advantages of the system.
Significantly enhanced: the interior dimensions and the functionality
Although shorter than its predecessor on the outside, the new GLA offers a more spacious interior. This particularly benefits legroom in the rear and the luggage compartment.
The seating position for both the driver and the front passenger is higher and more upright than in the preceding model, and thus more typical of an SUV. The driver and front passenger are seated 97 mm higher than before. Compared to the A-Class the difference is 140 mm. All-round visibility has also been improved compared to the preceding model – partly thanks to optimised roof pillar cross-sections, which obscure less of the surroundings.
Utility value was one of the general focuses during development. The rear seat backrest is 40:20:40 split-folding. As an option the rear seat unit can be moved fore-and-aft by 14 centimetres, and the backrest brought to a more upright position, to make room for items such as bulky boxes. Nonetheless there is comfortable seating for one or two occupants, as the seat cushion in this variant has a 40:60 division.
The height-adjustable load floor, which comes as standard, offers considerable variability. When the rear seat backrests are folded down and the load floor is in the upper position, an almost flat loading area extending to the front seats can be created. For very bulky objects, the load floor can be put in the lower position, the cross-member behind the rear seats can be removed and the rear seats with optional fore/aft adjustment can be moved forward.
Keeping an eye on the surrounding traffic: the driving assistance systems
The GLA has driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support. The latest functions of the Driving Assistance Package include the cornering function, the emergency lane function, the exit warning function and a warning when pedestrians are detected in the area of zebra crossings.
Even in its purely indicative version, and at low speeds, Blind Spot Assist is able to warn of vehicles, including bicycles, in the danger area. When at a standstill and before the driver exits, it can give a visual warning in the exterior mirror that a vehicle or cyclist is passing in the critical area. If the driver uses the door handle at this moment, an additional acoustic warning sounds and the ambient lighting in the door (if specified) flashes red. The passing road user must be moving at a speed exceeding 7 km/h at the time. The exit warning function of Blind Spot Assist isavailable when the vehicle is stationary, and for up to three minutes after switching off the ignition.
Neat and clean: the new car wash function
The GLA has the car wash function already familiar from the GLS. With just one command, the exterior mirrors are folded in and the side windows and sliding sunroof closed. The information from the rain sensor is suppressed so that the windscreen wipers remain switched off in the car wash. The air conditioning system switches to air recirculation mode. If the vehicle has a 360° camera, its front image is switched on after a few seconds to assist entry into the car wash. These settings are automatically deactivated when the driver drives out of the car wash and accelerates to a speed above 20 km/h.
Exceptional comfort on long journeys and plenty of driving enjoyment: the suspension
The new GLA has a MacPherson front suspension. The wheels are guided by control arms below each wheel centre, the MacPherson struts and two tie rods. The wishbone is forged from aluminium. This reduces both weight and unsprung masses. The steering knuckles are made of cast aluminium.
The GLA features a sophisticated four-link rear axle. The three transverse links and one trailing arm at each rear wheel are configured for maximum driving stability, ride quality and longitudinal/lateral dynamics. The rear axle is mounted on a subframe isolated from the body shell by rubber bushings so that fewer vibrations are transferred from the suspension to the body.
Powerful and efficient: the engines
The new GLA places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol engines which were completely modernised for the new edition of the compact model series. In comparison to the previous generation, they are characterised by significantly increased specific outputs and by improved efficiency and emissions.
The entry level to the petrol models is the M 282 with a displacement of 1.33 litres in the GLA 200 (combined fuel consumption 6.0-5.7l/100km, combined CO2 emissions 137-130g/km). This engine has cylinder shut-off for efficient operation in the partial-load range.