Love at first drive.


GLA 4x4 Review
Filled with anticipation, I had been asked to try the new Mercedes GLA 2-litre Diesel. I was expecting a Teutonic vehicle of typical German efficiency; powerful like the early bars from Wagner’s Valkyries. However, what I found was more like Wagner’s Tannhausser: melodic and shapely with a feline design more akin of Turin than Munich with a dash of ‘Banksie’ in the wonderful curves and shapes. My brief was not just about ‘looks’ what could this versatile prowler do and how would she perform?
The drive position is dynamic, offering a full visual and physical control of all that you could wish for to justify taking this vehicle from Country to City and back…regardless of the Season! All round visibility is important and is provided: easy access to vital controls is important and is provided: obvious readouts and messages which are readable is important and is provided. We met in the fountain area at The Deer
Park Hotel and the beginnings of a love affair began. Perhaps it should be now that
I admit to being a Lothario to cars, ancient and modern, but this Mercedes GLA oozed sex appeal and she just had to be a ‘she’! To take control of such a beauty via her padded leather, three-spoke steering wheel is a joy and you immediately feel that she will respond to your every flick of your fingers which were now in reach of the
multi-functions provided; paddle gear override, in-car entertainment, Bluetooth®
and computer comms – all there and all waiting to be activated. The leather upholstery grabbed my attention as it allowed me to nestle within the structured curves of comfort that made the front seats but from which I could achieve maximum visibility from a base of over half a metre from the ground. We set off – economic mode became unrecognisable as my ‘lady-friend’ allowed me to steer her around the fountain and thrust forward on the new tarmac drive with the feeling that perhaps, just perhaps I was at Le Mans! The power from the 2-litre Diesel 4 cylinder
engine took away any doubts that I might have had that this vixen was about beauty
than performance. So easy, so vibrant, so unfazed as my Cirrus White GLA urged
me to take her forward faster. This is the 4MATIC drive system perfected by
Mercedes through this 7-speed auto box which ensures that the torque generated
through the dual clutch goes to the axel most requiring it. So we negotiated the deep mud and puddles of the track leading down to the river, she showed such obstacles the sort of response that a secretive Princess Grace would have shown uninvited paparazzi, as she remained in complete control of the surface being offered her.
We encountered some quite steep gradients, by deploying Downhill Speed Regulation, we lost not an inch of traction, not a heartbeat was missed, our safety never compromised and still able to study the on-board computer screen to see exactly what I was encountering! I cannot wait to take her out again.