Ask anybody who has little information of automobiles to think about their dream luxurious automobile and chances are high they might consider a Mercedes-Benz. There’s simply one thing interesting in regards to the sheen of the three-pointed star emblem than both the 4 rings of Audi or the blue and white roundel of BMW.
Whereas it’s perceived as a luxurious model, it’s attainable and one can get a brand-new Mercedes-Benz for round RM 250,000. It’s nonetheless loads of dough for a automobile a lot much less one seen as an entry-level luxurious automobile however while you think about somebody who aspires to indicate their success, the badge is what issues most.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 is probably the most inexpensive Mercedes SUV that’s out there in Malaysia. Domestically assembled (CKD) in Pekan, it is not uncommon to see the infant Merc SUV round a cosmopolitan metropolis like Kuala Lumpur however can this city SUV work in a spot the place nature runs its course?
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To search out out, I took a GLA 200 again to my hometown in Johor over the New 12 months’s weekend to see how properly the urbanite star fares in a spot that’s surrounded by nature.
From concrete jungle to a literal forest
There isn’t a direct freeway to achieve Segamat. Lengthy earlier than the existence of the North-South Freeway, the city that lies within the northern a part of Johor is likely one of the important stopovers on Route 1. This was thought to be the primary federal street in Malaysia having accomplished development in 1939 and was the spine of the western a part of the Peninsula.
As such, to get into the city, you would need to exit Tangkak from the freeway and undergo a windy trunk street that goes round Gunung Ledang. The scenic however windy roads are transient because of the opening of a brand new stretch of street that passes by way of the small city of Jementah earlier than reaching Segamat.
The GLA 200 handles fairly properly on this transient expertise of technical corners however that isn’t precisely the explanation one would select a Mercedes-Benz. The three-pointed star is all the time extra on consolation and regardless of being the bottom SUV, it really excels in that regard.
This over the A-Class sedan?
For the reason that first impression usually makes or breaks anybody’s immersion, suffice it to say that the H247 GLA 200 is a large step ahead in design over the earlier X156. It’s now not only a jacked-up A-Class hatchback so good job to the designers for giving a definite look to the infant Benz SUV.
The GLA 200 just isn’t probably the most inexpensive Mercedes in Malaysia although. The A200 Progressive Line Sedan begins from round RM 230,000 however I wish to assume that the GLA 200 is a more sensible choice for these seeking to get their first Mercedes.
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Historically, the go-to selection for a Merc is a sedan however the A200 simply doesn’t have that air of classiness like a standard Mercedes. The truth is, I feel the perceived luxurious on the A-Class Sedan simply feels a bit tacked on however regardless of being the entry SUV, the GLA 200 seems like a correct Mercedes.
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Prefer it or not, SUVs are right here to remain and for a lot of patrons in search of a Mercedes, most wouldn’t thoughts that it isn’t the normal sedan. The GLA 200 nonetheless provides off that air of status in a stylish SUV type.
Beneath, the GLA 200 is powered by a 1.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s collectively developed with Renault. In the event you’re searching for extra energy, the GLA 250 which prices round RM 30,000 extra is a greater match with its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine (224 PS/350 Nm).
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Regardless of the seemingly small engine, the bottom GLA can nonetheless pull and while you’re driving lengthy distances, 163 PS and 250 Nm is simply the correct amount. It’s not an excessive amount of energy that it could scare your mother and father away for that scenic journey to Gunung Ledang and additionally it is tall sufficient to simply get out and in of.
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Plus, all through my time with the GLA 200, it’s surprisingly fuel-efficient. Having travelled round 400 km, gasoline consumption is round 9.9 L/100 km which is not that far off from the 8.6 L/100 km we recorded in our full assessment of the GLA 200.
Additionally learn: Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 in Malaysia – Performance and class at a premium
Your first Mercedes?
Having mentioned that, an on a regular basis automobile doesn’t deliver out the identical status as a Mercedes badge and a few of the patrons eyeing a GLA 200 would probably be upgrading from their common car from a mainstream model.
To that extent, the GLA 200 is a wonderful first Mercedes-Benz for these desirous to expertise what it’s prefer to personal a prestigious model. Followers would most likely counsel the older fashions and whereas some just like the W124 are bulletproof and has an attractive worth within the secondhand automobile market, they arrive with the bags of excessive upkeep price since elements could be fairly costly.
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In any case, it’s nonetheless a Mercedes-Benz and plus, the GLA 200 comes with fashionable comfort options like a hands-free tailgate, ambient lighting, and Lively Parking Help which helps to park the SUV for you on the contact of a button.
To some, a contemporary Mercedes is usually a bit overwhelming with a large touchscreen interface and the gear shifter being mounted like a stalk, however you’ll get fairly used to it shortly. The buttons are all ergonomically positioned too so that you wouldn’t should fiddle round attempting to regulate the air-cond blower velocity or change the quantity.
Previous to taking the GLA 200 for the weekend, my final expertise with a Mercedes-Benz was again after we rounded up a bunch of automobiles for the WapCar Automobile of the 12 months shoot again in 2020 with the W205 C200 AMG Line. For sure, I used to be a bit disenchanted with the expertise.
Additionally learn: Ratings: W205 Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG Line in Malaysia – Rocks your body, but in the wrong way
Quick ahead three years later and I’m blissful to report that the bottom Mercedes SUV has triumphantly restored a few of my religion within the three-pointed star. The GLA 200 works simply as properly within the much less crowded cities surrounded by nature in addition to within the metropolis all of the whereas being very snug and a bit enjoyable too.
It could be an SUV however most of all, it’s nonetheless a Mercedes whereas additionally being not too burdensome in your petrol and street tax funds. For many who lastly made it and need to dip their toes, fingers, and different appendages into getting one, the GLA 200 is unabashedly the very best start line in getting into the world of “greatest or nothing”.