Golf Vacations (Malaysia) - - Collection - BY DARYL LOY

Com­pact crossovers. Some still strug­gle to un­der­stand this au­to­mo­tive genre. But that hasn’t stopped it from be­ing the in­dus­try’s run­away suc­cess in re­cent years. What makes a com­pact crossover? The com­pact label ap­plies to the car’s size and foot­print, which means that the recipe be­gins with the plat­form, or rather foun­da­tions, of a com­pact car. The Mercedes-benz GLA, for in­stance, is a com­pact crossover be­cause it is built on the same un­der­pin­nings that make the brand’s small­est of­fer­ing at present, the Mercedes-benz A-class. This im­bues the GLA with the ag­ile driv­ing dy­nam­ics and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity of a smaller car, which is ideal for ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments.

If a small and nim­ble car is all you want, then the A-class is all you need. But the GLA earns its crossover tag with taller ground clear­ance and a more beefed up frame for bet­ter stor­age ver­sa­til­ity – qual­i­ties nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with SUVS (Sports Util­ity Ve­hi­cles).

In the words of Mark Raine, Sales & Mar­ket­ing Vice Pres­i­dent of Mercedes-benz Malaysia, “the new gen­er­a­tion GLA with its unique char­ac­ter and pro­gres­sive ap­pear­ance is des­tined to be­come a style icon. With a sport­ing soul and a dy­namic char­ac­ter com­bined with its stylish high­lights, it is per­fectly suited for an ac­tive life­style.”

For the ca­sual user, Mercedes-benz Malaysia of­fers the GLA200, which, in the GLA’S base for­mat, of­fers a 1.6-litre tur­bocharged en­gine which makes 156bhp and 250Nm of torque. Be­ing a front- wheel-drive crossover, the GLA200 is the brand’s light­est and most ef­fi­cient GLA of­fered lo­cally, and is ca­pa­ble of a com­bined fuel con­sump­tion of as low as 5.8 litres per 100km. At RM239,888, this is a good match for buy­ers who like the idea of a com­pact crossover as a daily com­muter in and out of town.

More ad­ven­tur­ous driv­ers who may con­sider swap­ping the tar­mac for po­ten­tially abu­sive dirt trails are bet­ter matched with the GLA250 4Matic, which is es­sen­tially the same car but amped up with a big­ger en­gine and AWD (all­wheel drive). For an ex­tra RM30,000, the 1.6-litre en­gine is re­placed with a 2.0 turbo, which now sends 211bhp and 350Nm to all four wheels via the same, de­pend­able 7G-DCT dual-clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, for bet­ter all­ter­rain ca­pa­bil­i­ties to match its up­mar­ket rugged looks.

And then there is the AMG GLA45 4Matic, which is re­served for driv­ers who love liv­ing in the fast lane. Main­tain­ing the GLA250’S 4Matic ar­chi­tec­ture, the

GLA45 also draws power from a two-litre mill. But its en­gine, hand-built by AMG en­gi­neers in Af­fal­ter­bach, is up­rated to pro­duce a su­per­car- taunt­ing 381bhp and 475Nm. Even its DCT gear­box is of the more track­in­clined AMG Speed­shift va­ri­ety. Throw a few aero bits into the fray and the re­sult is a com­pact crossover that will rocket past 100kph from a stand­still in just 4.4 sec­onds all the way to an elec­tron­i­cally reg­u­lated top speed of 250kph.

The lo­cal GLA range tops out at the AMG GLA45 4Matic, which is priced at RM408,888.

In its many facets, the Mercedes-benz GLA is as flex­i­ble and scal­able as the com­pact crossover it claims to be. So which GLA is the one tai­lored to your driv­ing needs?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.