Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class X156 | An Enthusiast's Sporty Crossover?
The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class X156 is an entry-level luxury crossover introduced in 2014. Over the years, it came with several engine and transmission options making it versatile and a choice for buyers with different needs.
It has been almost 5 years since the launch and being a relatively cheap, value for money and due to Indians' tendency of preferring Mercedes-Benz to BMW, Audi and Volvo; GLA models are now available at low prices in the used car market. Starting from ~₹13,00,000, they go up to ~₹67,00,000 for the potent AMG models. Since the 45 AMG and 45 Aero Edition cars variants have been discontinued, a used one is the only thing that reaches close to them. Moreover, the closest anything gets to them are the BMW X1 with its power and torque outputs at 188 bhp and 400 Nm.
For the normal models, the 200 CDI diesel ones (134 bhp, 300 Nm) start at ~₹18,00,000 and reach ~50,00,000 for the newer models. The higher diesel 220d (168 bhp, 350 Nm) models start are rare to come across and lie above ₹38,00,000. For the petrol models, the 200 (181 bhp, 300 Nm) starts at ~18,00,000 and at zenith reach, ₹35,00,000.
Reasons to buy a GLA-Class X156:
Practicality: Being a crossover, this car complies with all the needs of an average buyer willing to spend around ₹20,00,000. It is almost as practical as a brand new Renault Duster of that price. It has 5 doors and a seating capacity of 5; a boot space of 421 litres; disc brakes; big 18 inch tires; 4MATIC AWD system (only in higher trims); a 4424 mm length; lots of features. For the price, they might not be as long and luxurious as the liftback Škoda Octavia and Honda Civic, but the GLA is targeted towards those drivers who desire a driving pleasure, absent in the chauffeur-driven D-Segment liftback sedans. Moreover, the ground clearance of 183 mm is an upside over the Octavia and Civic, though it is less than Renault Duster. Another reason why GLA might be a better bargain than the aforementioned cars is that it has the excellent quality parts you would expect in a Mercedes-Benz. The premium features sure are superior to the ones in new cars of that price.
Performance: All the models come with disc brakes and offer good braking. The power steering is an electrically assisted one so this is a downside, as they do not offer as much feel and feedback as a hydraulic one. The kerb weight is 1,525 kg, which is a bit heavy for sure. In the higher trims, the AWD system really furnishes you with its brilliance.
The petrol models offer an exciting 181 bhp and 300 Nm 2 litre turbocharged DOHC I4 engine giving a modest ARAI-rated mileage of 13.7 kmpl. The torque kicks in a low rpm so this car offers quite a punchy performance. The suspension setup is comfortable enough and not very performance-oriented. The other petrol model is the glorious 45 AMG model that gives out an output of 375 bhp and 475 Nm. It still has some tuning potential left as SM Tuning has the stage 1 chiptune taking the power and torque to 400 bhp and 510 Nm while their stage 2 chiptune is enough to take the outputs to 320 bhp and 540 Nm. The lesser 2143 cc diesel engine has its output at just 134 bhp and 300 Nm but luckily, a chiptune is capable of transforming it to 170 bhp and 380 Nm. The same 2143 cc diesel engine in the higher 220d trims is capable of 168 bhp and 350 Nm stock, and 200 bhp and 420 Nm with a chiptune.
Price: As I mentioned earlier, GLA-Class models are available for prices as low as ₹13,00,000 and the AMG models are mostly available under ₹70,00,000, which by no means is cheap but is the only way you can get an AMG as they have been discontinued. Most ads you will come across will be in between ₹20,00,000 and ₹30,00,000.
Highway Performance: 90
Off-Road Performance: 10
Ride Quality: 60
Parts Quality and Reliability: 80
Modification Potential: 50
Maintenance Expenses: 30
Value for Money Factor: 50