2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA Review: The Small SUV With BIG ambitions

Published on 30 Jan, 2024, 6:00 AM IST
Updated on 30 Jan, 2024, 6:00 AM IST

Ameya Naik
4 min read
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2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The 2024 GLA impresses with what it offers and yes, worth every penny!

Mercedes-Benz’s smallest SUV in India – the GLA – has been a strong performer. There are already over 14000 units of this car sold in the country but clearly, it has achieved that number in 10 years. It is the most affordable SUV from the company and we are sure, it could have done better. But now, that’s what has motivated it to push for a facelift. One that was first showcased last year globally. So let’s try and understand, what has changed.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Exterior Design

The changes to the exterior are not the ‘in your face’ kinds, so trying to find them can be challenging. The one that I am driving is the AMG Line and that’s why it gets the body-coloured front apron. This bit does not exist in the other – Progressive Line – variant.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The new headlamps look very attractive and the new LED DRLs enhance the look but it’s not a significant change. The taillamps too are new and they give the car a wider stance. But the overall silhouette sees no change and neither do the dimensions.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Engines & Transmissions

There’s no change in the engine lineup either. So the same 1.3-litre petrol and 2-litre diesel are on offer. The petrol is the one with less power and no 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. There’s 161 bhp on offer and 270 Nm of torque and the engine is mated to a 7G-DCT. According to Mercedes-Benz India, it can do a 0-100 kmph sprint in just under 9 seconds, which is not bad.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

But I didn’t get to drive this one. It was the diesel that was handed to me and it has more power to offer. 400 Nm of torques are available from as low as 1500 rpm and that’s why there’s always power on offer, all 188 bhp of it.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: How Does It Drive?

It’s quick and the steering feedback is great too. You throw it into a corner and the 19-inch wheels have enough grip on offer and they give you the confidence to push it further. The 8-speed gearbox also works its charm and the ratios are not tall, so the response to driver input is quick and that means you have something that just accepts your order and goes with it. Push the engine revs above 5000 rpm and there is still plenty of power coming to you. That’s a little unexpected because the earlier lot used to gasp for air and that’s where you start to understand how well the engine and gearbox have been calibrated.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA


1950 cc

Maximum Power

188 bhp @3800 rpm

Peak Torque

400 Nm @1600-2600 rpm


8-Speed Automatic

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Fuel Efficiency

Now, Mercedes-Benz claims a fuel efficiency figure of 18.9 kmpl for the diesel GLA and that’s more like a Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai compact SUV type of figure, which is great. The petrol too returns a mileage of over 17 kmpl.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Off-Road Manners

As I’ve said before, the GLA diesel gets the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and of course, I had to do a little off-roading. It’s pretty capable and for a small SUV, it takes on pretty big rocks with ease. Climbing from one side to the other is like a piece of cake and because it has a smaller footprint (compared to its other siblings) it’s as spritely as a rabbit and jumps in and out without any drama.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Ride and Handling

It takes you by surprise especially when you know how the GLA was. The evolution is evident. The ride is supple and not too hard. There’s no lateral movement that you feel inside and because of the grippy 19-inch tyres, you get the confidence to throw it into a corner and come out on the other side, feeling like you have accomplished something big. And that feeling is what you hold on to!

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The ride quality at the rear too is fantastic, because, even if you take the bigger potholes, there’s no problem in dealing with them. The passengers inside, will not be thrown from side to side and that’s what a luxury car must feel like.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Interior

There’s a bit of evolution on the inside because now it has to be in tune with the elder siblings. So the 10.25-inch dual screens are now part of the package. You get wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and some wonderful touches with the ambient lighting. It just raises the feeling of opulence inside the cabin.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The sport seats with red stitching that you see here are only on the AMG Line variant and that just gives you a very snug and comfortable seat. The MBUX system works like a charm, but the black glossy material on the dashboard is a bit of a dust magnet and yes, if you’re a bit of a cleanliness freak, then you’ll be cleaning it every day.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Price & Verdict

Now the previous model was priced between Rs. 48-53 lakh (ex-showroom, India). Its rivals the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 undercut this car by a decent margin. Mercedes will look to price the GLA at Rs. 50 lakh and push the envelope to Rs. 54 lakh for the top-spec variant.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Prices (ex-showroom, India)


Audi Q3


₹49.50 lakh

₹43.81- 53.17 lakh


₹52.50 lakh


The strategy here should be not to price it competitively but rather tell the buyers, they’re getting more than any other competitor at a decent cost. The GLA impresses with what it offers and yes, worth every penny!

Photography By: Aadil Khan

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