The 2015 GLA250 is Mercedes-Benz’s entry into the compact luxury crossover market. Not a city-slicker SUV by any means, this urban crossover also has the chops to perform admirably on the road and take on the rugged wilderness when configured with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque distribution. Can the Mercedes GLA, fitted with low profile, summer performance tires conquer the rough, off-road terrain of Colorado?
The GLA250 4MATIC we tested has two chassis and suspension setups to choose from:
The default mode is the comfort suspension setting for everyday driving and usability. The electronic suspension settings are optimally setup to reduce wheel load fluctuations, thereby improving driving dynamics and safety of Mercedes’ compact ute. Even small rolling and pitching motions are monitored and dynamically controlled to reduce understeer when accelerating out of turns, which additionally improves vehicle control.
Under normal driving conditions, 100% of the power is directed to the front wheels. When traction and road conditions are sensed, up to 50 percent of the power can be transferred to the rear wheels by the fully variable torque distribution system.
Models with the 4MATIC® all-wheel drive system come standard with an off-road comfort mode that enables the 4-wheel electronic traction system (4-ETS), raises the ground clearance 1.2 inches (30mm), and increases steering feedback to make the ute more off-road worthy. Additionally, the shift points and throttle response are modified to make driving on rough terrain and loose surfaces a smoother and controlled experience.
Included is Downhill Speed Regulation (aka hill descent control) and an off-road transmission mode. The rear axle carrier gets special rubber bushings for ride comfort.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 208 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (with shift paddles). Mercedes says the all-wheel-drive GLA will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, and to a top speed of 145 mph. Stop/start is standard, but it can be switched off. The all-wheel drive 4MATIC model was the first to arrive in showrooms, while the front-wheel drive model will become available in the spring of 2015.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Specs:
- Engine: 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection inline 4-cylinder
- Power: 208 hp @ 5500 rpm
- Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1250 – 4000 rpm
- Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (DCT)
- EPA Fuel Economy Estimates (mpg): 24 city /32 hwy
- Suggested MSRP: $33,300
- 19-inch wheels and summer performance tires (Continental ContiSportContact 235/45ZR19), $2,060
- Premium Package, $2,300
- Interior Package, $1,700
- Multimedia Package, $2,480
- Driver Assist Package, $2,500