Mercedes-Benz is one of those prestigious brands that people aspire towards owning.
If you want an SUV from this company, however, you would need to part with at least R679,040.
This is the price of the GLA200, the most affordable new Mercedes-Benz SUV on the market.
The entry-level GLA is a great introduction to the German brand.
As small SUVs go, the GLA200 is packed to the brim with impressive features and systems – but is not as well kitted as its bigger siblings.
Looking past this, you will have yourself a capable “crossover” from a reliable brand that will last you for years to come.
The GLA range was updated in early 2020, introducing the second generation of this vehicle to the market.
It now looks like a hatchback on stilts, and reminds one of a more rugged-looking B-Class.
Up front it has the signature three-point star flanked by halogen headlamps with LED daytime running lights.
Above this is a power-domed hood, followed by rain-sensing wipers.
Around the vehicle you will see the rugged design additions, such as wheel arch covers and pre-installed roof rails, while the back receives a completely new look with a black bumper and updated taillights.
The “Mirror Package” then guarantees that the wing mirrors can fold in or adjust at the push of a button; and 17-inch, 10-spoke wheels wrapped in summer tyres finishes off the new exterior elements.
Moving inside you get two-tone man-made leather/ “Tandel” fabric seats, and a piano black panel on the dash provides space for the MBUX system – consisting of the digital instrument cluster and infotainment display.
The latter features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with extended MBUX functions comprising voice control, a Wi-Fi hotspot, personalisable displays, and predictive themes.
Live traffic information is also available, and a touchpad is provided to control the array of features.
More amenities are brought along in the form of automatic climate control, automatically-dimming mirrors, electric windows, and the “Light and Sight Package” – which provides lights all around the cabin.
Urban Guard integration is also standard, and works in conjunction with the Mercedes Me app to bring warnings for collision damage, tow-away protection, emergency calls, and anti-theft systems to the GLA200.
A push notification on your smartphone will also warn you if your vehicle has been moved or damaged while it was parked, or if there is movement in the interior.
Additionally, if it does detect any of these situations, the GLA will warn passersby that something is going on through loud audio and visual alarms.
At the heart of the baseline GLA lies a 1.3-litre, four cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine delivering 120kW and 250Nm of torque.
The motor is mated to a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission, and power is sent to the front wheels.
This set-up allows the GLA200 to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.7 seconds and reach a top-speed of 210km/h.
Combined fuel consumption then comes in at 5.9-6.1l/100km.
The small SUV assures some practicality, too, by being able to fit around 500 litres of cargo in the rear and providing a ground clearance of 143mm.
With every purchase you will also receive a 5-year/100,000km PremiumDrive maintenance contract, and every customer will have the choice of 10 exterior colours when ordering their GLA.