Auto Nation Group, Inc. (ANG), the official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, brings the refreshed GLA to the local market. This is the first compact crossover from the German marque and is pitted to go against the growing segment, which is mostly endorsed by buyers who have an active lifestyle.
At first glance, the new GLA isn’t like the usual Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicle that you see on the road. With its raised height from the ground, side door streamers, 17-inch light alloy rims, front and rear chrome underguards, and roof rails, you know this new compact crossover means business — and it can take this business out of the metro.
Mercedes-Benz also makes sure that the new GLA is favorable for the younger market, as it’s available in new light color options such as the Jupiter Red. It’s also equipped with low power-consuming LED headlamps and daytime running lights (DRLs), making sure that the road is well-lit while lowering the strain on the eyes during nighttime drives.
Full of curves and chrome trims, the interior of the new GLA stays true to its youthful vibe without veering away from the classy Mercedes-Benz styling. Its 5 seats are covered in Artico man-made leather with red contrasting stitching, while the circular ‘x’ air conditioning vents across the dashboard exhumes an active vibe.
It also has a floating 8-inch high-def multimedia display, which connects to smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. To maximize the space and versatility of the car, the new GLA has foldable rear seats and under load compartment floor.
At the heart of the new GLA is a range of 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines with varying displacements, depending on the variant type. The smallest 1.5L diesel mill can produce up to 109 hp and 250 Nm of torque, while the 1.6L gasoline counterpart has a maximum output of 122 hp and 200 Nm of torque. Bigger 2.0L gasoline and 2.2L diesel choices are also available with much higher output ratings.
On the other hand, the high-performance Mercedes-AMG variant is powered by a 2.0L gasoline turbo engine that can max it out at 381 hp and 475 Nm of torque. This allows the car to go from complete standstill to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. All these engine types are mated to either 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch transmissions.
To match your preference when it comes to performance and driving comfort, the new GLA has Dynamic Select feature that let’s you choose between Eco, Comfort, and Sports settings. For those who love the outdoors, a 4MATIC all-wheel drive variant is also available, which has an “Offroad” transmission mode so you can tackle moderate off-road terrains and dirt tracks with its definite power delivery.
For safety, the new GLA is equipped with the latest Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive technologies, spearheaded by the Active Brake Assist feature. This warns the driver if the forward distance is closing, while autonomous braking is at bay if the driver fails to engage the brakes and the collision is imminent.
Other safety features include Attention Assist drowsiness detection, Adaptive Braking Control, active bonnet pedestrian protection, and 7 airbags (9 if sold with the optional rear side airbags).
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA is available in Style and Urban lines, which exterior and interior features depend on the lifestyle of the would-be owners. As mentioned, there is an AMG line available for those who like to push their driving performance to the next level.
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