Ask anybody who has little information of automobiles to think about their dream luxurious automotive and chances are high they’d consider a Mercedes-Benz. There’s simply one thing interesting concerning the sheen of the three-pointed star emblem than both the 4 rings of Audi or the blue and white roundel of BMW.
Whereas it’s perceived as a luxurious model, it’s attainable and one can get a brand-new Mercedes-Benz for round RM 250,000. It’s nonetheless plenty of dough for a automotive a lot much less one seen as an entry-level luxurious automotive however if you think about somebody who aspires to point out their success, the badge is what issues most.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 is probably the most reasonably priced Mercedes SUV that’s accessible in Malaysia. Regionally assembled (CKD) in Pekan, it is not uncommon to see the child Merc SUV round a cosmopolitan metropolis like Kuala Lumpur however can this city SUV work in a spot the place nature runs its course?
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To seek out out, I took a GLA 200 again to my hometown in Johor over the New 12 months’s weekend to see how properly the urbanite star fares in a spot that’s surrounded by nature.
From concrete jungle to a literal forest
There isn’t any direct freeway to succeed in Segamat. Lengthy earlier than the existence of the North-South Freeway, the city that lies within the northern a part of Johor is among the very important stopovers on Route 1. This was thought to be the primary federal highway in Malaysia having accomplished development in 1939 and was the spine of the western a part of the Peninsula.
As such, to get into the city, you would need to exit Tangkak from the freeway and undergo a windy trunk highway that goes round Gunung Ledang. The scenic however windy roads are transient due to the opening of a brand new stretch of highway that passes by the small city of Jementah earlier than reaching Segamat.
The GLA 200 handles fairly properly on this transient expertise of technical corners however that isn’t precisely the explanation one would select a Mercedes-Benz. The three-pointed star is at all times extra on consolation and regardless of being the bottom SUV, it actually excels in that regard.
This over the A-Class sedan?
For the reason that first impression usually makes or breaks anybody’s immersion, suffice it to say that the H247 GLA 200 is a large step ahead in design over the earlier X156. It’s now not only a jacked-up A-Class hatchback so good job to the designers for giving a definite look to the child Benz SUV.
The GLA 200 is just not probably the most reasonably priced Mercedes in Malaysia although. The A200 Progressive Line Sedan begins from round RM 230,000 however I want to assume that the GLA 200 is a more sensible choice for these trying to get their first Mercedes.
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Historically, the go-to alternative for a Merc is a sedan however the A200 simply doesn’t have that air of classiness like a traditional Mercedes. In actual fact, I feel the perceived luxurious on the A-Class Sedan simply feels a bit tacked on however regardless of being the entry SUV, the GLA 200 looks like a correct Mercedes.
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Prefer it or not, SUVs are right here to remain and for a lot of patrons looking for a Mercedes, most wouldn’t thoughts that it isn’t the normal sedan. The GLA 200 nonetheless provides off that air of status in a classy SUV type.
Beneath, the GLA 200 is powered by a 1.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s collectively developed with Renault. Should you’re in search of extra energy, the GLA 250 which prices round RM 30,000 extra is a greater match with its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine (224 PS/350 Nm).
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Regardless of the seemingly small engine, the bottom GLA can nonetheless pull and if you’re driving lengthy distances, 163 PS and 250 Nm is simply the correct amount. It’s not an excessive amount of energy that it will scare your mother and father away for that scenic journey to Gunung Ledang and it is usually tall sufficient to simply get out and in of.
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Plus, all through my time with the GLA 200, it’s surprisingly fuel-efficient. Having travelled round 400 km, gasoline consumption is round 9.9 L/100 km which is not that far off from the 8.6 L/100 km we recorded in our full evaluation of the GLA 200.
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Your first Mercedes?
Having stated that, an on a regular basis automotive doesn’t deliver out the identical status as a Mercedes badge and a number of the patrons eyeing a GLA 200 would possible be upgrading from their common automobile from a mainstream model.
To that extent, the GLA 200 is a wonderful first Mercedes-Benz for these eager to expertise what it’s wish to personal a prestigious model. Followers would most likely recommend the older fashions and whereas some just like the W124 are bulletproof and has an attractive value within the secondhand automotive market, they arrive with the luggage of excessive upkeep value since components might be fairly costly.
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In spite of everything, it’s nonetheless a Mercedes-Benz and plus, the GLA 200 comes with trendy comfort options like a hands-free tailgate, ambient lighting, and Lively Parking Help which helps to park the SUV for you on the contact of a button.
To some, a contemporary Mercedes could be a bit overwhelming with a large touchscreen interface and the gear shifter being mounted like a stalk, however you’ll get fairly used to it shortly. The buttons are all ergonomically positioned too so that you wouldn’t must fiddle round making an attempt to regulate the air-cond blower velocity or change the amount.
Previous to taking the GLA 200 for the weekend, my final expertise with a Mercedes-Benz was again after we rounded up a bunch of automobiles for the WapCar Automobile of the 12 months shoot again in 2020 with the W205 C200 AMG Line. For sure, I used to be a bit disenchanted with the expertise.
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Quick ahead three years later and I’m completely happy to report that the bottom Mercedes SUV has triumphantly restored a few of my religion within the three-pointed star. The GLA 200 works simply as properly within the much less crowded cities surrounded by nature in addition to within the metropolis all of the whereas being very snug and a bit enjoyable too.
It may be an SUV however most of all, it’s nonetheless a Mercedes whereas additionally being not too burdensome on your petrol and highway tax funds. For individuals who lastly made it and wish to dip their toes, fingers, and different appendages into getting one, the GLA 200 is unabashedly the very best start line in coming into the world of “finest or nothing”.