Mercedes-Benz has updated its entry-level SUV, the GLA and the price tag now begins at Rs 30.65 lakh ex-showroom, pan India thanks to GST. The refreshed look now resembles its larger sibling, the GLC, with the redesigned twin-slat grille and the bumpers. In the Indian car market, the GLA competes against the likes of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 along with the Mini Countryman and Volkswagen Tiguan. We find out how the new Mercedes fares against the competition.
The BMW X1 is a generation ahead of the GLA and gets the proper SUV looks unlike the crossover proportions of the GLA. With the new styling the GLA does get some brawn but loses out to the BMW in terms of sheer size. In terms of equipment, the Mercedes matches the BMW in all aspects including the two-zone climate control, power seats panoramic sunroof et al. The Mercedes gets 12 shades of ambient lighting though. Both the cars are evenly matched in terms of firepower but Mercedes has continued with the old 2.2-litre mill instead of introducing the 2.0-litre turbodiesel.
The Audi Q3 has been the oldest member in the entry-level luxury SUV space and is still quite popular with its striking LED signature lamps. It also scores over the GLA in terms of size but the design seems to have run its course and is due for an update soon. Unlike the Mercedes, the Audi does not come with a petrol option. Being luxury SUVs, both the cars get all the bells and whistles like leather interior, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlamps and display screens for the infotainment systems. Mechanically, the two are quite comparable with both the cars generating similar horsepower from their turbocharged diesel engines.
The Mini Countryman is a chic alternative to the Mercedes-Benz GLA if your drives are largely confined to the city limits. The Mini is smaller than the GLA and misses out on AWD which is offered on the GLA 220d. The GLA outshines the Mini in almost all aspects including features and equipment except for the style quotient.
Launched just a couple of months ago, the Volkswagen Tiguan has pitched itself in the luxury SUV category. It gets the typical square SUV lines unlike the curvy features of almost all the SUVs in fray. It does look bigger than the Mercedes and with its equipment should be a better off-roader than the GLA. But then, Volkswagen does not have the brand status that Mercedes commands in India. The powertrains again, are comparable making the Tiguan a good option for the Mercedes if brand is not on the top of your priorities.