Cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLA have a special purpose — they allow people to dream big. Priced at ₹50.5 lakh onwards, ex-showroom, the GLA is what Mercedes-Benz hopes new buyers will find interesting enough to abandon their lesser SUVs. The lower price point, in comparison to other Mercedes-Benz cars, does work in its favour, but the question then arises — does it feel as good enough to command a premium over more ‘everyday’ marques? We take the recently updated Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d to find out if this deserves your hard-earned money.

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When the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA was released, it gave the GLA more character than before. While it still shares its platform with the A-Class, it doesn’t just feel like an A-Class on stilts — as it did earlier. It’s distinctly sharper, with a large grille that can’t be mistaken for anything but a Mercedes-Benz’s. Its dimensions might be compact, according to premium-car standards, but there’s no lack of proportions on this one. It does make heads turn quite effortlessly, even when parked next to more expensive metal. Blending in is one thing but the GLA almost certainly never gets lost in the crowd. For a supposedly entry-level offering, that’s saying a lot, isn’t it?

The GLA has a well-put-together cabin and has a premium feel

The GLA has a well-put-together cabin and has a premium feel | Photo Credit:

Premium interior

It’s the cabin where it proves its worth even more. There’s no doubt that many cars in the space will be able to match or even surpass the GLA with a long list of features, but in terms of the fit, supportive seats, and as a result, how premium and well-put-together the cabin feels, it’s a totally different game altogether. The 10-way electrically adjustable seats at the front offer great comfort, and the rear passengers aren’t ignored, either, with a good amount of legroom and overall plushness. Tall passengers might find it a bit of a squeeze; for them, one of the front seats will more than suffice.

Fuel efficiency

Powering the GLA 220d is a 2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which makes 188 bhp and 40.78 kg-m. An eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is standard on the compact SUV, and with its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, you’re assured of effectively turning all that power into meaningful progress without losing grip. On the move, the GLA offers a good combination of comfort, suppleness, and stability. It’s not unresponsive to driver inputs, and its compact size helps a lot, especially in the modern urban environment. Despite it being a diesel, the occupants will definitely be unperturbed by the noise, because the sound insulation is really good. What they (and your pocket) will most thank for is the impressive 18.9 km/l average fuel economy, which helps in ensuring that running costs are kept in check, especially for a premium car.

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Even when compared with its principal rivals, like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the GLA is a strong contender, with a great combination of power, looks, and efficiency. It’s backed by a plush cabin, a comfortable ride, and the charisma that many cars in the price bracket fail to exude. If you’re someone looking to switch to a premium car, the GLA 220d makes for a good choice, and the three-pointed star just adds to the overall experience.