Mercedes GLA 220D: Delivery & initial impressions
What surprised me the most was the performance of the 220d. It was a fast revving, smooth and quick car and was nothing like the clattery diesel motor I was used to in my Jeep Compass.
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Our GLA finally comes home!
We took delivery of our GLA 220d 4 MATIC in Denim Blue this week from VST Titanium Motors in Chennai. The wait time was approximately 2 months from the time of booking. The overall dealership experience was positive and very transparent under MB India’s Retail of the future.
Why the GLA 220d?
The GLA was an unlikely choice.
Based on recommendations on team-bhp, the 330i was my default option. I did not have the slightest of intent to visit a Mercedes Benz showroom as I had it in my mind that these were expensive and unreliable cars only for those who looking for luxury and snob value.
I had visited the BMW dealer (KUN) quite a few times but there wasn’t even a 330i to test drive. I got short test drives in a 330Li and a 320Ld but did not really need a Long wheelbase version as my kids are just 8 and 4 and its only the either of us behind the wheel. The 330i sport was all but discontinued (BMW’s focus appears to be shifting towards high margin products) and the 330i m-sport was at about 62L and the 330Li was 67L. KUN BMW has a monopoly here in Chennai so basically it was their deal or no deal. As I held on, the prices were going up consistently by 3% a quarter and the equipment level was coming down which was rather frustrating.
I was lamenting to a friend who convinced me that looking at other options wouldn’t hurt and put me in touch with the sales team at VST Titanium motors and Jubliant Audi and that week I got to try out the A35 AMG, GLA35 AMG, GLA 200, GLA 220d and the Audi A4, a memorable one indeed.
These cars weren’t bad at all! The A4 was surreal but the 35 AMGs really tugged the heartstrings and the MBUX was like no other. But what surprised me the most was the performance of the 220d. It was a fast revving, smooth and quick car and was nothing like the clattery diesel motor I was used to in my Jeep Compass.
I followed up for a quote with Mercedes for the GLA 220d and here is where their retail of the future approach was a revelation. After seeing insurance quotes in the range of 2.5-2.8L for the 330i and handling charges to the tune of 50k and ‘etc’ price heads at BMW, the MB India quote was amazingly transparent.
Insurance quote was 1.2L for a 55L car, there was no handling charges and on giving proof of my employment at a MNC, I got a further profile discount of 2L on the ex-showroom. Chip shortage or not, MB India still offered me a corporate discount on a car that had to be manufactured on booking. And the 3 year comprehensive + 8 year unlimited mileage warranty on engine and transmission was far more than what anyone else offered.
So it was to be. A GLA 220d 4 MATIC AMG line at 55L OTR in Denim Blue.
Karan’s review was spot on. I find the GLA 220d to be very enjoyable in the city and on open stretches. As he’s already covered the essence of the car, I’d note down some nuances and differences that I found in my MY 22 car.
- Park Assist: The MY22 cars come with park-tronic and auto-parking assist features that the original media cars did not get. Auto-park is very easy to use but the park ironic sensors can be over sensitive in dense traffic but you can turn it off quickly on the touch screen.
- Spare wheel position: The production version cars have the spare wheel under the boot so you get that flat and usable boot space. However, the AMG35 still has that spare wheel eating into the boot space.
- Sliding Seats: The MY22 cars DO NOT get the sliding or forward reclining rear seats OR the central arm rest.
- Ride Quality: On delivery, I found the ride to be very stiff but then found the tyre pressure to be 40+ PSI. On reducing it to 34 upfront and 32 at the rear, the car rides much much better.
- Audio Quality: Audio quality may not be Burmester class but is very good
- Android Auto/Apple Car play: Although the car has 5 USB type c ports, only the one in the front directly below the A/C controls supports smartphone integration. I needed to get a right angle type c cable to be able to connect and position my phone in that phone slot but once that’s done, its stable and usable.
I will post a detailed ownership experience after putting on a few thousand miles on the car. Once again, thanks to Karan for his accurate and comprehensive review.
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