The New Mercedes GLA: More than just a mid-life update

Facelifts don’t get much milder than this. The Mercedes GLA-class got a mid-life update, but you’d have to sit new and old cars side-by-side to notice much of a difference. 


Here’s a helping hand: droopier-looking headlights can now swap their previous xenon lamps for LEDs as an option, and blend into a new bumper design. Meanwhile there are some new seat covers and chrome trims in the cabin, and there’s an all-new exterior colour. 


At least the cabin finish will remind you that you’ve forked out the extra cash for a Mercedes; it’s all well screwed together and there’s a nice blend of quality materials and enough chrome flourishes to give it a premium feeling.
There’s a reasonable selection of cubbyholes, though, and the luggage area is a decent size, too, at 481 liters. Hands-free boot opening, by waggling a foot beneath the tailgate, is now available too. 


One thing that does work well in is the new 360-degree parking camera, which is an expensive option. This is useful for parking and soft-roading along with any other low-speed situation where you need to see the car’s extremities and immediate surroundings. 


The engine in this car is the old stalwart 2.1-litre diesel, which is undeniably feeling a bit its age now.
The car stays pretty flat in corners, although inert and slow steering means it’s not the most involving drive on twisty roads – and it’s cumbersome around town and in tight car parks as well. The adjustable hill decent system does work admirably, however, keeping the car under control at a driver-set speed on steep declines. 


The GLA is a popular car over and will probably remain so. Go figure, as they say.

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