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Mercedes-Benz GLA250 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
8
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Mercedes-Benz GLA250, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

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It’s been a bit of a wait but Mercedes-Benz has just about completed its local A-Class line-up including a swag of derivatives like the car we drove last week in New Zealand – the GLA 250 4Matic.

This is the mid-spec SUV model, with the front-drive diesel GLA200 below and the hot rod GLA 45 AMG above. The 250 goes for $57,900 – an attractive price considering standard kit, available performance and a Luxury Car Tax benefit due to low fuel consumption.

CHANGES

The GLA is more than an A-class on stilts with few if any common body parts between the hatch and this attractive vehicle.

The chassis is significantly changed with additional strengthening using high strength steel, specific suspension and powertrain tuning along with extra durability components such as underbody protection.

DESIGN

Outwardly, it’s a much more muscular beast with pumped out haunches and an aggressive front. The rear styling is arguably the best rendition in the A-Class range.

Inside is pretty much the same as all the other A-class cars featuring outsize air vents as a focal point and a large, tablet-style info screen centre-stage. Three different fascia media are used and the car we drove scored a sexy looking red stitched dash and seats.

VALUE

The multi-function wheel is flat-bottomed and the GLA250 has a wide range of standard luxury equipment like leather heated (front) seats, premium audio, satnav, full multi-media connectivity, electric seat adjustment, cruise, speed limiter, paddle shift and reverse camera

It’s no stump jumping, mud plugging, rock hopper though, intended more as a practical light off roader that can be driven on dirt and mud roads, snow and ice and perhaps sand.

They chalked up extensive test kilometres on GLA including a stint on Germany’s military tank testing track. Apparently it came through OK.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

And, of course, given the performance potential of the GLA250’s 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine rated at 155kw(with 165kW on overboost)/350Nm and all-wheel drive, it was punted around no less than the Nurburgring race track over 6000km at race speed.

It runs a seven speed auto transmission and fuel consumption is 7.0L/100km on 95.

CAPABILITY

Because it is what it is, the Aussie spec GLA 250 gets an off-road engineering package as standard which bolsters transmission, suspension, lights and provides specific 4matic drive modes suitable for off the tarmac driving including downhill speed regulation. A cool off road screen provides critical vehicle information.

But there’s no lockable all-wheel drive as the 4matic system is on-demand feeding power to the front wheels and then the rear if a loss of traction is detected. This happens in 100 milliseconds.

The car gets Econ, Normal and Sport drive modes each with different dynamic calibration.

It’s handy but annoyingly defaults to Econ after switching off.

DRIVING

As a drive car the GLA ticks nearly all the boxes – right size, right looks, practical, excellent performance and handling, safe, sporty dynamics and luxurious. What more does a poor boy or girl need.

Punt it along a tight curving road with confidence, cruise the long straight stretches in comfort, park it in tight spots easily, fold the rear seats and chuck the mountain bike in, visit a farm with dirt tracks/roads - the GLA250 covers all the bases with style and ease.

Sounds pretty good to especially considering this engine is the same as in the A250 and CLA250 Sports models. Gotta love that.

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