Svelt and mus­cled like a Rot­tweiler

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ROB RATHGE­BER

“S Benz GLA 2.2 CDI 4-Matic” — from this word salad you, as a mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­ast, have worked out ex­actly what a com­pact, hand­some all­wheel drive diesel ve­hi­cle we have here.

What isn’t men­tioned is that she also has seven for­ward gears.

If she were a BMW she would be a SUV Bavar­ian Motor Works (more word salad) sport ac­tiv­ity ve­hi­cle.

She is, how­ever, a SUV sport util­ity ve­hi­cle from the Mercedes Benz sta­ble. No Scottsville curb car this.

My house­hold thought “GLA” stood for Gla­dys, but af­ter feel­ing the gen­tle push in the kidneys de­liv­ered by the 350 Nm from only 1 400 revs, I called her the Gla­di­a­tor. Whichever name you pick — gen­teel Vic­to­rian lady or fear­some fighter — this ve­hi­cle fills ei­ther role ad­mirably.

This medium-sized SUV is good to go snow watch­ing in the Berg or to take shop­ping in the city.

I also en­joyed the beautifully ap­pointed in­te­rior although the back is a lit­tle cramped for my wheel­chair.

I have read a Porsche ad­vert in which it claimed that the back­seat ac­com­mo­dates two small chil­dren. This does not ap­ply to this ve­hi­cle.

The back­seats would swal­low two back­line play­ers with ease, even for­wards if those in the front seats are of shorter stature. My rotti had other ideas and as I strug­gled, jumped in and had to be coaxed out. Def­i­nite stamp of ap­proval, that!

The back seats fold down in a 60/40 split to ac­com­mo­date a 50 kg plus Rot­tweiler with ease, and you can throw in a cou­ple of dax­ies as well.

Driv­ing the car, there is the usual slight diesel clat­ter upon start­ing, but she purrs along smoothly with noise, harsh­ness and vi­bra­tion lev­els at the min­i­mum one ex­pects from a ve­hi­cle in this price range.

Mercedes-Benz claims the en­gine de­liv­ers 5,1 l/100 km. I did not get close to this in the city, but my stop­start econ­omy was still very good.

As for the price, you won’t get much change from R 600 000. It cer­tainly is ex­pen­sive, but you can see where the money went.

Specs at glance

En­gine: 2,1-litre, 4-cylin­der, tur­bod­iesel Trans­mis­sion: 7-speed dual-clutch Power: 125 Kw at 3 400 r/min Torque: 350 Nm at 1 400-3 400 r/min 0-100 km/h: 8,3 sec­onds Top Speed: 215 km/h Fuel Con­sump­tion: 5,1 litres/ 100 km

• When not be­ing a petrol­head, Dr Rob Rathge­ber checks out pi­lots’ sta­tus of health.


The fur­ri­est mem­ber of the Rathge­ber fam­ily en­dors­ing the rear seats of the Mercedes-Benz GLA 2.2 CDI 4-Matic.

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