With Mercedes-Benz stepping into the luxury compact SUV segment, it is up for a faceoff against the existing players in the league. Importantly, Audi Q3 and BMW X1 are the two German rivals standing in front for the challenge, while Volvo V40 too poses a threat. The entry level car is launched in three variants named as: GLA 200 Sport Turbo Petrol, GLA 200 CDI and GLA 200 CDI Sport priced respectively at INR 36 Lakhs, INR 32.5 Lakhs and INR 36.9 Lakhs (Ex-showroom, New Delhi). The prices lie almost in the same bracket as others except the Q3 which is offered at a starting price of around Rs 25 Lakhs. Let’s check the competition the new Merc is going to face when brought about these SUVs.
Design and Dynamics: GLA, no doubt, looks spectacular over others with its flowing curves and high stance. The prominent wheel arches and 18” alloy (others get 16”) wheels make it look more aggressive. The ground clearance of the Merc is 183mm which is best in class. On the other hand, the Beemer looks more like a car than an SUV, also it needs a serious facelift. Audi Q3 with its straight lines and simple yet distinct design language wins over Indian buyers and will give a tough competition to the GLA. On the contrary, Volvo V40 which has the lowest ground clearance of the lot, has minimal off-roading capability and thus fails to attract majority of luxury SUV buyers. Nevertheless, the car is a stunner both to look at and drive.
Petrol versions: The GLA 200 is offered with a more powerful petrol motor that belts out 181.1bhp of power and a peak torque of 300Nm similar to its diesel motor. This trim is peppier than the diesel and have a higher top speed too. The 0-100 clocking is also better than the diesel. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz is planning to bring an AMG GLA later in this month which will be getting a more power packed motor mated to ever known 4matic setup. On the other hand, BMW X1 diesel was performing much better than the petrol one, so company decided to phase out the petrol version while Volvo doesn't offer diesel version as of now.
Pricing: The GLA variants range in the price bracket of INR 32.75 lakhs to INR 36.9 lakhs which is pretty competitive considering the lot. Though, BMW X1 has an edge with a price at a lower range starting from INR 30.75 lakhs extending to INR 36 lakhs, but it has started to feel little dated. On the other hand, Audi Q3 goes a step further with the price bracket of the lowest INR 25.49 lakhs to INR 38.40 lakhs. Moreover, the all time favourite looks of Audi have attracted more buyers than any other luxury brand in India, so GLA is about to face it as its top competitor. Volvo V40 is altogether a different story with only one variant which is priced at INR 32.40 lakhs. Due to a small and selected dealer network, GLA will have less trouble from the V40 despite Volvo being a good car.
Mercedes Benz GLA will surely do great than the others in the segment. Not to mention, Mercedes has already received 600 pre-bookings. Also, the GLA’s suspension are tweaked for Indian roads and the ground clearance is higher than the European spec car. This is the most talked about entry level luxury SUV and with its stylish looks, it grabs a lot of attention while its performance will do the rest.