The market has drastically evolved from wanting sedans to preferring crossovers and SUVs to fit personal mobility requirements. Such seismic shift from the buyers led more manufacturers to join the SUV bandwagon, and luxury brand Mercedes-Benz is not shying away from it.
Last year, the local distributor of the three-pointed star brought home the second-generation GLA to its stable—alongside its bigger siblings GLB and V-Class. This model has proven its success across the globe after rolling out around 1 million units less than a decade ago since its inception.
With a target to entice the luxury crossover/SUV market, can the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz GLA ride the tide in the luxury crossover segment? Let’s check the AMG variant for the new GLA 200 to find out more.
Standing at 4,410 millimeters (mm) long, 1,834 mm wide and 1,611 high, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG can be quite the standout in the luxury crowd. At these dimensions, the GLA 200 AMG will help its driver slip and slide through light traffic.
The 2,729 mm wheelbase allots sufficient leg room for rear passengers, making it an unadulterated vehicle of choice for city driving. With a stance not far from a sedan, one can expect the stability of one in the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG.
While it may be a little small on the outside, this vehicle offers generous space on the inside, thanks to the rear seats that can split 40:20:40, with each section folding down individually. It also has a low boot sill and the luggage space is adjustable in two stages due to the continuous luggage compartment floor console.
You can bet that the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG would leave onlookers breathless (even oneself) with just the aesthetics alone.
It exudes that athletic look with its neat lines and rounded edges, complemented by a subtle AMG touch as seen in the 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, black roof liner and polished aluminium roof rails. The body color-painted side skirts give it a lowered ground clearance, contributing to its sporty look. The wide diamond grille that sports chrome pins and the embellished logo provides its elegant persona.
Getting inside the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG means the occupants would completely enjoy the sophisticated matching of Artico man-made leather and Dinamica microfiber for its seats. MB's decision to furnish it with carbon fiber trimmings and red stitching all around supplies the car's agile vibe that can be felt before even turning on the vehicle.
To add, the vehicle offers Comfort Seat Kinetics and memory seat adjuster to make sure front occupants still get the best seat in the cabin.
Being powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver 163 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG assures immediate response as you press the gas pedal.
The potent powertrain is partnered with a 7G dual-clutch automatic transmission with cruise control and standard with front-wheel drive. Contributing to fuel efficiency is the on-the-fly selection of driving modes that include (Dynamic Select) “ECO”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, and “Individual” as well as the ECO Start/Stop system.
Just as it is heavy on looks and performance, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG offers an equal amount of technological amenities. Among these are Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Active Parking Assist with reversing camera, among the usual safety packages.
For its infotainment system, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG has the seven-inch screen that's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-capable. Unlike any other vehicle, the GLA uses the Type C socket instead of the usual USB ports.
The infotainment system can also be accessed via vehicle assistant Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)—simply by calling “Hey Mercedes”—or through the touchpad in the middle console and the trackpads and rollers at the steering wheel.
While it has all these, it is also noticeable that the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG lacks electronically-folding side mirrors. Well, it seems that this crossover is practicing social distancing too with other vehicles.
With all the bells and whistles in this small package, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG—priced at P3.39 million—is not just riding the tide in the crossover division, but creating its own ripples by dishing out all that glitz and glamour (and then some) for a daily drive.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV