Mercedes-Benz GLA 250: Compact luxury

THE Mercedes-Benz GLA might be the entry level sports utility vehicle (SUV) but by joining the locally assembled range, it has become more value for the money with a slightly different equipment package.

With on-the-road without insurance price of RM271,164, the GLA 250 AMG Line comes with the Advanced Connectivity Plus and Parking Function with perpendicular parking.


Little else is different between the local and the previously imported model, which certainly adds to the vehicle’s good value for the buck.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves over the weekend with the GLA 250 AMG Line, especially its sprightly pace with turbo power against the normally aspirated one in our own crossover.


The GLA 250 comes with a 2.0-litre engine that delivers 244hp and 350Nm of torque that peaks as early as 1,800rpm, giving it a 0-100kph acceleration of 6.9 seconds.

We enjoyed this quick acceleration performance each time the road cleared up only to sober up as we reached traffic congestion again, but that was the thrill we had during the short time the GLA 250 was in our hands.


The GLA 250 didn’t disappoint in all other manners of city motoring either as it was generally easy to live with in city traffic although the occasional turbo spurts did seem to have the fuel tank level indicator going down quicker.

This was despite the auto engine cut-off feature every time we came to a stop, with the engine restarted the moment we hit the accelerator pedal.


That’s the price of the heady charge whenever one could partake of and we felt that was something one could control; simply, it’s a choice that the GLA 250 owner would have to live with.

With the 8G-DCT dual-clutch (eight-speed) automatic transmission, good fuel mileage should be better enjoyed on long distance drives with the engine running at a lower pace at legal speeds (which we didn’t have the time to check out).


Mercedes chooses a rather simplified version of gear selection via the steering control stalk; flick down for D(rive), up for R(everse) (N(eutral) is a light flick in between, and press down for P(ark).

For manual shifting, the steering wheel paddle shifters would come in handy for those who like to select the gear they are most comfortable with for taking corners.


As the entry level SUV/Crossover, the GLA 250 comes in a smaller dimensional package against the GLC model and that makes it more manoeuvrable in tight spots although parking is made so much easier with the reverse camera and body detection aids.

Its rounded edge profile has a contemporary look and the power design details include the short body overhangs front and rear and power dome bonnet while the 19-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels come as part of the AMG Line package.


Our eyes are drawn particularly to the glittering nose panel that encompasses the bold and striking Mercedes-Benz logo, nicely matched by a smaller one on the power dome bonnet.

Its sporty orientation is further boosted with the AMG Line’s lowered and dynamically tuned suspension that made it a delight to drive along winding stretches with pretty accurate steering feel and minimal body lean.


It is smaller than its bigger SUV cousins but the GLA 250 is still a tall vehicle compared with sedans and being dynamically sound in this area made it just as exciting to drive.

In creature comfort, the dynamically tuned suspension handled the respective road surfaces the city is riddled with – potholes, dips, rumble strips, speedbumps, badly patched surfaces, among others – rather well.


Most of the road impacts and harshness were nicely absorbed to make ride comfortable, except for sudden dips and bumps that brought about a hard impact almost to the point of being jolting.

Generally, the AMG suspension system would please most needs nicely in ride comfort while being dynamically sound for quick corner bashing.


Road roar is a common bane these days and this varies according to road surfaces; that in the GLA 250 was not that much different.

We noticed the growing pitch in road noise from about 70kph but it wasn’t that intrusive or loud and we could catch the news being read over the radio system without turning up the volume on the steering control.


As a SUV, the GLA 250 has flexible interior space that one could make use of and we found this feature useful for moving some sizeable items around over the weekend.

The 40:20:40 split rear seatrests are easy to fold flat to enhance the standard 420 litres of luggage space by at least twofold; good enough for us to carry our stuff around without having to make more trips than necessary.

Being a compact SUV, the GLA 250 only seats five but in good comfort with adequate legroom and headroom; it’s also wide enough to provide reasonably good elbowroom as well.

All told, the GLA range is for those who wants their premium drives not too big and nicely sized to their needs, with a “power” kick for that occasional quick pick-up-and-go.

And as a locally assembled model with a cheaper price, it felt just as solid and well put together for one to enjoy its merits all the more.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 AMG Line
Engine: 1,991cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
Maximum power: 224hp at 5,500rpm
Maximum torque: 350Nm from 1,800 to 4,000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed 8G-DCT dual clutch automatic
Acceleration (0-100kph): 6.9 seconds
Top speed: 240kph
Features: Airbags, lowered and dynamically tuned suspension, Direct-Steer system, 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, aluminium roof rails, auto dimming rearview and driver’s door mirror, multi-function sport steering wheel in Nappa leather, illuminated door sill panels with Mercedes-Benz nameplate, rear seatbelt status indicator, tyre pressure monitoring system, remote engine start, live traffic information, Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, reverse camera, cruise control, Blind Spot Assist, Active Parking Assist, Active Brake Assist, Exit Warning Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Keyless-Go, Easy-Pack tailgate
Price: RM271,164 (on-the-road price without insurance)
Autos Mercedes-Benz
CarSifu's Rating: 8.5