The mad, no, crazy rush toward smaller and more compact bodies has continued to sweep the universe. And it shows no signs of stopping. And it is not just human bodies that are getting slimmer and sleeker by the day; the motor vehicle industry has joined the bandwagon resulting in some gorgeous machines. The 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA is one such model that sits at the table of today's eye-catching compact SUVs. While it still carries the title of a crossover, it is actually more of a cross between a crossover and a hatchback, with all benefits retained. Think of it as a petite girlfriend who can make that body move and still got something to work with when the DJ says shake what yo momma gave ya! Get the picture? Quite unlike the wide-bellied oversized SUVs, this babe is more like a sports-oriented hatchback whose ground clearance is higher. In other words, that fine petite chic is now on stilettos. The 2018 GLA does not really stand out in any particular area, but the fact that it is an all-round above average performer cancels out all the demerits. You will not get that 0-60 in 4 seconds, but the agility of this machine is definitely something to behold.
What's new for 2018?
The Mercedes-Benz GLA has certainly been refreshed for the 2018 model year, but most of its definitive features are unchanged. The changes, however, cannot be termed as just some minor freshening. There is a restyled grille with punctured crossbars made even hotter by the LED headlamps. There is also a redesigned front bumper with fog lights that are more prominent. We are guessing our hot chic analogy should end right here lest we get accused of indecency. Inside, a new 8.0-inch infotainment screen and black-faced gauges bring out the new look. There is also additional chrome on the door panels and the center console. Going to the rear of the crossover, the backup camera is now standard as is a power liftgate that opens and closes by the wave of your foot under the bumper provided you have the key fob with you. Now you realize why we quit using the earlier analogy. We'll be sure to pick something more 'professional' on the next one.
How is the interior?
If anyone declares that the GLA is the roomiest crossover around, delete their number and forget that lying tongue. The front seat occupants are lucky since they get optional sports seats but their back seat counterparts will be waiting eagerly for the journey to end as their legs will be somewhat cramped. If you are looking to make an intimate seating arrangement, fit five passengers in the GLA, you will exceed expectation. The cabin is by no means a mediocre one, but it isn't an S-class one either.
What's under the hood?
Well, this is pretty much what most governments have, same crooks, new face. The new GLA is powered by the same turbocharged 2.0 liter inline four that has been there before. It produces 208 ponies and 258 lb-ft of torque that is delivered to either the front or all four wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. This powerhouse will get you from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds or so.
How does it feel like to drive it?
The new GLA gives you the pleasure of sharp handling and a very sporty feel. The small SUV is sure-footed and beats many of its rivals at the precision of its steering wheel, just a little light touch, and you are in the right direction. It has a superb cornering ability and will quickly adapt to the new direction after a sharp turn at high-speed thanks to its firm suspension. Body roll you ask? Close to none.
Buyers will compromise on some comfort, but this will be one valuable buy for those looking for driving prowess. We feel that the $34,395 price tag is a fair deal.