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Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI 2014 review

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI is a premium sporty compact SUV.
EXPERT RATING
8
  Hiking boots are big, cumbersome things while hi-tech hiking shoes have much the same performance, but are much sleeker, sportier and efficient. That's what Mercedes-Benz said this week at the launch of their new GLA 200 CDI, the hiking shoe of the motor world, if you will, and just the thing to step out in. It

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Hiking boots are big, cumbersome things while hi-tech hiking shoes have much the same performance, but are much sleeker, sportier and efficient. That’s what Mercedes-Benz said this week at the launch of their new GLA 200 CDI, the hiking shoe of the motor world, if you will, and just the thing to step out in. It also boasts sideskirts with ‘bucket teeth’ – which opens the imagination to all sorts of things.

The GLA 200 CDI is the latest of Merc’s compacts, a hot-looking SUV that rides more like a car and has the luxuries expected of the tri-pointed star brand.

Value

There are three models in the GLA lineup; the diesel-powered 200 CDI, available now from $47,990, the petrol GLA 250 with all-wheel drive, which arrives in July at $57,900 and a fierce AMG version, the GLA 45, due to dock in October with a $79,900 price tag. The GLA 200 CDI has 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, auto-on wipers, front and rear parking sensors, active parking assist, nine airbags, satnav, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera, a six-speaker audio system.

Plus the whole electronic safety bit, including blind spot and collision prevention assist. The excellent seating is in Artico, described as ‘man-made leather’ and the dash has a decent cluster with silver sports dials and red needles plus a 5 ¾ inch TFT colour display. The well-bolstered power-adjustable seats have four-way electro-pneumatic lumbar support, split-fold rear seats, and an expandable 420 litre cargo area. And there’s a twin-pipe exhaust system.

Engine / Transmission

The 200’s 2.1litre turbo-diesel motor puts out 100kW/300Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddleshift. The AWD 250’s 2.0litre turbo-petrol motor produces 155kW/350Nm and the AMG 45 uses a super-tuned version to whack out a stunning 265kW/450Nm. All models have Eco start-stop and direct injection.

Driving

The GLA’s extra suspension travel over Merc’s closely-related A-Class gives it a comfy, compliant ride, but although the makers claim a sprint to 100km/h in 9.9 seconds, it doesn’t feel particularly quick. The seven-speed auto is a good one though. Fuel economy is an average 4.6litres/100km with emissions of 122g/km. 

We had a drive from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley – on wet roads – so we didn’t push our luck through the twisty bits, but detected a bit of understeer, a feature generally seen as safe. It’s an attractive and pleasant thing to hike about in, handles pretty well and can maintain a fairly rapid pace, but with just front-wheel drive, you wouldn’t want to take on anything seriously off-road.

So is it really a SUV? Well, the Merc folk point out that it does have aluminium roof rails and power bulges on the bonnet, plus those bucket-teeth sideskirts. Which turned out to be scallops moulded into the skirts. They weren’t going to bite anything.

Pricing Guides

$36,644
Based on 60 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$26,000
Highest Price
$49,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GLA250 4MATIC 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $32,200 – 42,990 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2014 GLA250 4MATIC Pricing and Specs
GLA45 AMG 4MATIC 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $41,990 – 49,990 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2014 GLA45 AMG 4MATIC Pricing and Specs
GLA200 CDI 2.1L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $26,000 – 39,900 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2014 GLA200 CDI Pricing and Specs

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EXPERT RATING
8