The Mercedes GLA is easily the best looking crossover in the segment while also offering a luxurious cabin and is the company’s entry-level SUV the world over.

Mercedes GLA Class Launch
The Mercedes GLA has huge appeal and will sell in good numbers

Last to join the premium compact SUV segment, Mercedes has officially launched the GLA SUV in India, priced from Rs. 32.75 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company’s latest offering is the fourth product to come off the Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform after the A, B-Class and the CLA45 AMG and brings premium SUV luxury with the coveted star badge on a budget. Being brought in as a CBU, Mercedes plans to cash in on the growing popularity of the compact premium SUV segment as the GLA will be pitted against the BMW X1, Volvo V40 Cross Country and the Audi Q3 in the segment. The GLA is offered in two trims – Style and Sport.

Design – Sharing its underpinnings with the A-Class, the GLA’s design has a strong resemblance to its hatchback sibling carrying over the bold front fascia. Mercedes has complimented the bold new design with curvaceous lines running to the rear which gives the car a pleasing stance along with ample road presence. The rear in particular gets a wide shoulder line, which gives a larger appearance to the GLA, while the LED tail lights look absolutely beautiful.

Not rightly an SUV, the GLA can be termed as a crossover and sits tall courtesy of the increased height and a higher ground clearance of 183 mm. The suspension too has been raised to meet Indian road conditions, while the car rides on 18-inch 10-spoke brushed silver alloy wheels. Completing the looks are the contrasting skid plates that gel with the urban yet rugged theme of the GLA. The vehicle is offered in four colours.

Interiors – The cabin follows the lines of the A and B-Class with a similar layout. The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel and the propeller themed air-con vents add to the luxurious feel, while the dual-tone black and beige plastics make for a roomier appearance. The build quality is top notch with well appointed plastics covered in silver inserts throughout and the loaded feature list comes with several segment firsts.

You get a heads up floating infotainment display unit, electronically adjustable front seats with 3 memory settings, Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound unit with 12 speakers and woofer, reverse camera, SAT NAV (optional), ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, tyre pressure monitoring system, bi-xenon headlamps and a panoramic sunroof that shuts down automatically on sensing rain. Mercedes is also offering a range of customisation options to customers including a rear seat entertainment package.

Engines – Available in petrol and diesel engine options, the GLA is available in only one variant called the GLA 200. Christened as the GLA 200 Sport, the petrol variant is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged, direct-injection motor that belts out 181 BHP of power at 5500 RPM and 300 Nm of torque between 1200-1400 RPM. The diesel version on the other hand is badged as the GLA 200 CDI and gets the 2.1-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder unit producing 136 PS between 3600-4400 RPM and 300 Nm of torque between 1600-3000 RPM. Both the engines are paired to the 7G-DCT automatic transmission as standard.

In terms of performance figures, Mercedes says that the petrol version is capable of doing 0-100 km/hr in 7.6 seconds, while the diesel version does the same in 9.9 seconds. The top speed is restricted to 225 km/hr on the petrol and 205 km/hr on the diesel. Sadly, the Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel drive system is not available on either of the variants as of now, but will be offered later in the timeline.

Safety – Much like any Stuttgart based product, the GLA does not disappoint on the safety front and comes with a plethora of safety features and driver assistance systems that will come to the rescue in case of an emergency. The safety systems include seven airbags, ABS, ESP, Brake Assist, Hill Assist, Traction Control, Anti-Skid, Attention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and a whole lot more.

Fuel Efficiency – With fuel saving technologies like Start-Stop and Eco mode, the GLA diesel turns out to be the more frugal one with an ARAI certified mileage of 17 km/l. The petrol on the other returns a decent 13.8 km/l, but gets better performance figures and will surely keep enthusiasts happy.

After the super success of the A-Class in India, Mercedes is looking forward to a similar response with the GLA as well. Despite being optimistically priced than competition, the GLA is easily the best looking crossover in the segment and comes with a variety of features. The coming weeks will also see Mercedes bring the Affalterbach tuned GLA45 AMG to the country, which uses the world’s most powerful series production 4-cylinder motor churning out 355 BHP and 450 Nm of torque, and will come with the 4MATIC system. The company will commence deliveries for the new GLA in the coming days. The company has already received 600 bookings for the GLA in just 18 days.

Check out our very comprehensive review of the Mercedes GLA HERE.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –

* GLA 200 CDI Style (Diesel) – Rs. 32.75 lakhs
* GLA 200 Sport (Petrol) – Rs. 36 lakhs
* GLA 200 CDI Sport (Diesel) – Rs. 36.9 lakhs

Mercedes GLA Class Launch Interior
The cabin feels top notch in finish & gets new dual-tone interiors for a luxurious appeal
Mercedes GLA Class Specs
The styling has been carried over from the A-Class, but gets a muscular look
Mercedes GLA Class Price
The GLA tackles rough terrain easily & comes with petrol & diesel engine options
Mercedes GLA Class Ground Clearance
The suspension is tuned to suit Indian conditions & the ground clearance is 183 mm
Mercedes GLA Class Launch Rear
The GLA competes in the premium compact SUV space against the Q3, X1 and V40