Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 (1)

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has officially launched the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class in the country. The premium compact SUV, which sits on the front wheel-drive MFA platform used by the W176 A-Class (and C117 CLA-Class), arrives here in three variant guises – the baseline GLA 200, GLA 250 4 MATIC and range-topping GLA 45 AMG.

The X156 measures in at 4,417 mm in length, 1,804 mm wide and 1,494 mm tall, which doesn’t make the GLA a very large car – it’s slightly longer than the Audi Q3, but shorter than the BMW X1, its primary competitors. It’s also set to do battle with the upcoming Lexus NX when that arrives here next year.

In keeping with its go-anywhere character, the practical and flexible interior offers rear seat backrests that can be adjusted for angle, or folded down flat if required, and the boot has 421 litres of space, expandable to 836 litres, quite generous considering the car’s compact exterior dimensions. All three GLA variants feature a Load Compartment package, which allows the backrest of the rear seat unit to be moved to a steeper position and enlarges the load compartment capacity by 60 litres.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC (32)

As with its shared-platform siblings, the powertrains found on the GLA are familiar – the GLA 200 features a 1.6 litre petrol turbo with 156 hp at 5,300 rpm and 250 Nm from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm, while the GLA 250 4 MATIC has a 2.0 litre petrol turbo offering 211 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm at 1,200 to 4,000 rpm. Both variants are equipped with a seven-speed 7-G DCT dual-clutch transmission.

Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h time of 8.9 seconds and a 215 km/h top speed for the GLA 200, while the GLA 250 does the century sprint in 7.1 seconds and gets to a higher maximum speed of 230 km/h.

The GLA 45 AMG‘s engine is the same found on the A 45 AMG and the CLA 45 AMG, no surprises here – as in the other applications, the AMG 2.0 litre twin-scroll M133 produces 360 hp at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,250 to 5,000 rpm, and the mill is paired with a seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT transmission.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG_Exterior (3)

Global lines for the regulation GLA are Style, Urban, AMG and Exclusive exterior/interior lines – Malaysia gets two lines, Urban for the GLA 200 and an AMG Line (with a Night package) for the GLA 250. The GLA 250, as its 4 MATIC suffix suggests, is equipped with the maker’s all-wheel drive system, which has fully variable torque distribution.

In terms of kit, here’s what the cars get, starting with the GLA 200. The variant sits on 18-inch twin-spoke alloys and an off-road comfort suspension that raises ride height by 30mm as standard. External design elements include a radiator grille with silver-painted louvres and chrome inserts as well as an integrated two-pipe exhaust system with chrome plated tips. The front and rear bumpers, meanwhile, have a simulated under guard finished in dark chrome.

Standard equipment and features include bi-xenon headlamps, cruise control, Thermatic automatic climate control, reverse camera, an Audio 20 CD system, velour floor mats, Active Parking Assist and Eco Start/Stop. Safety kit, meanwhile, includes Collision Prevention Assist, Pre-Safe, Attention Assist, the same as found on the GLA 250.

The interior is shod with Artico/fabric leather upholstery and light aluminium trim, and the Urban package brings silver chrome to the air vent surrounds/cruciform nozzle and a three-spoke leather steering wheel into the equation.

As for the GLA 250 4 MATIC, this one gets dressed with 19-inch five-spoke AMG alloys and an AMG bodykit (and AMG floor mats) as part of the AMG Line package, and the Night package adds on side mirror housings, roof rails and waistline trim strips in black, the latter two in high gloss.

The 250 also gets a sports suspension, which lowers the ride by 15 mm at the front axle and 10 mm at the rear axle, and a Dynamic Handling package. The 4 MATIC also has an Off-Road package – nothing to do with ride height in this case, but rather DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode.

The former assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed within the physical limits, and the latter – engaged through a switch – modifies the shift points and accelerator characteristics for light off-road terrain use.

Equipment-wise, the 250’s bi-xenons are Intelligent Light System units (with Adaptive Highbeam Assist), and the interior is dressed with Artico/Dinamica microfiber uphosltery – otherwise, kit is essentially the same as the GLA 200, with an Audio 20 CD system, cruise control, Thermatic auto climate control and Active Parking Assist.

The GLA 45 AMG gets an AMG Night package as well as an AMG aerodynamics package, and sits on 20-inch AMG 10-spoke light alloy wheels. The Edition 1 version, which is what we’re getting, adds on a larger front splitter, additional flics in the front apron, and a rear aerofoil.

It also gets silver grey/red AMG racing stripes on the vehicle sides, complemented by red highlights on radiator grille, exterior mirrors, diffuser insert and rear aerofoil. The brake calipers are red painted too, and the multi-spoke AMG light alloy wheels are painted matte black, with red rim flanges.

Standard fit items include Artico/Dinamica microfiber upholstery, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround system, Thermotronic auto climate control and illuminated door sills.

Pricing for the GLA-Class variants are RM238,888 for the GLA 200, RM268,888 for the GLA 250 and RM378,888 for the GLA 45 AMG, all on-the-road without insurance. Comparatively, the CLA 200 and CLA 45 AMG are priced at RM235,888 and RM392,888 respectively – the latter is notable, which makes the GLA 45 AMG much better value than its CLA sibling, don’t you think?

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4 MATIC

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG