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Auto & TransportMercedes GLA in the test: expensive Schonling for digital os

Mercedes GLA in the test: expensive Schonling for digital os


The Mercedes GLA offers a lot of safety thanks to countless assistance systems. But if real progress is important to you, it might be better to wait.

The second generation of the Mercedes GLA looks like the smaller brother of the successful GLC, but even the eighth member of the compact car family, even in AMG trim, only rolls off the assembly line with four cylinders installed transversely. The cheapest petrol engine produces 163 hp, the 2-liter machine in the GLA 250 has 224 hp. Alternatively, two diesel with 150 and 190 hp are available. The gearshift is always automatic; if desired, the 4-Matic all-wheel drive is on board, except for the basic model.

The SZ has tested the GLA 250 4 Matic, which pushes with a whopping 350 Newton meters from 1800 tours, accelerates from standstill to 100 km / h in a quick 6.7 seconds, is 240 km / h fast when required and on average (with the widest Tires) 7.1 liters consumed according to the manufacturer. Without extras, the car costs 44,381 euros, very well equipped, well over 60,000 euros are due – a lot of money for an entry-level model. The new GLA is minimally shorter, significantly wider and over ten centimeters higher than the discontinued item. In conjunction with the longer wheelbase, these proportions create noticeably more space.

A lot of electronics make the driving dynamics feel synthetic

The fact that safety is one of the core values ​​of the Mercedes brand is also documented by the new GLA, whose extended assistance package includes new functions with the keywords rescue alley (from 60 km / h in traffic jams), exit warning (for cyclists from behind), pedestrian detection (on the zebra crossing), emergency stop (including unlocking and SOS message), route- and traffic-based speed reduction (with steering and brake intervention) and braking (as whiplash protection against the rear impact). It sounds like Big Brother, but it can help prevent accidents and save lives. Unfortunately, most electronic watchdogs have to be deactivated again after each restart – of course only people who don’t like it when the steering wheel vibrates, the mirror triangles flash or a warning beep sounds. A nice detail is the car wash function, which closes windows and the sunroof at the push of a button folds in the mirrors and deactivates the rain sensor.

The new MBUX operating system ensures, at least during the familiarization phase, that the GLA is autonomous for longer than it is good for the attention.

True, the perfect voice input would make the right index finger unemployed, if it weren’t for the latent temptation to touch the screen tiles, scroll back and forth between four display styles, try out the different driving modes, stream music, and vary the ambient lighting, or to have emails read to you. Again and again, the chips go on the offensive on their own, film the apron, switch back to the rear-facing camera, insert arrows and house numbers, offer new route options, charge the instruments, the large monitor and the head in colorful succession -up display. Somewhere here there is a border between spam and customer benefit, between end in itself and patronizing.

The democratization of luxury

The GLA 2.0 has a much more comfortable suspension than its predecessor. The combination of comfort suspension and lowering seems particularly interesting. Another bonus point goes to the sensitive all-wheel drive, which only splits the torque between the axles equally in the off-road position. The dynamic select control of the driving programs only runs at its best in individual mode, because the problem with the virtual property profiles is the lack of feedback and a movement sequence that feels synthetic. The adaptive LED headlights with special light distribution for off-road trips, on the other hand, create a welcome illumination. The gain in air and brightness due to the unusually large glass sliding roof is similarly positive.

One may call it the democratization of luxury when S-class extras leak to the A-class. But the steep final price should blow up most budgets. The new GLA is a car for trendy digital os and status-conscious high earners. But if real progress is more important than mere ability to interact with the zeitgeist, perhaps you should wait until Mercedes opens a new chapter in crossover evolution with the electric EQA at the end of the year.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

Synthia Rozario
Synthia Rozario
An editorial staff member at The Eastern Herald. Formerly, correspondent of The Eastern Express, Hong Kong.

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