The Mercedes-Benz GLA has been spotted in Pune, loaded onto the back of a trailer. Mercedes-Benz had imported a few examples of the car for homologation purposes and the GLA is expected to be launched around the festive season. Mercedes-Benz dealers had started accepting bookings of the compact SUV in the last week of May and deliveries are expected to commence in September or October.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is built on the company’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform, which also underpins the A-Class and the B-Class. The car is based on the GLA concept, which was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, though the styling has been toned down to make it more ‘road worthy’. Like all MFA-based cars, the GLA uses a number of fuel-saving features like automatic stop-start and radiator grille shutters.
Dealers are accepting bookings only for the GLA 220 CDI which indicates that Mercedes-Benz might initially offer the SUV in only a diesel variant. The GLA 220 CDI is powered by a 2.1-litre diesel engine, which produces 135bhp and 300Nm of torque and will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The GLA is equipped with automatic bi-xenon headlights with LED DRLs, front and rear parking sensors, active parking assist, nine airbags, navigation system, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA will rival the other similarly sized German compact SUVs like the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 with the prices expected to be around the Rs 30 lakh. Mercedes-Benz has been expanding its line-up in India which is helping it cater to a wider audience. India has emerged as an important market for Mercedes-Benz and it achieved a growth of 32.5 per cent in 2013. With its ‘Year of Excellence’ strategy, Mercedes-Benz is hoping to keep breaching the records and overtake Audi as the best selling luxury car marquee.