Mercedes-Benz has released a new car and it’s called the GLA. I think it is a thing of absolute beauty. In fact I’ll go so far as to say I think it is the epitome of the modern car for a modern man. Let’s look at why, shall we?
First off, it’s a Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes, believe it or not, is one of the manliest brands. It’s the company responsible for the S-Class, widely considered the greatest car in the world, driven by movie stars, billionaires, sheiks, and dictators alike.
Mercedes also builds mental sports cars like the SLS AMG Black and also world-crushing off-roaders like the G63 AMG 6×6.
To top it all off – Mercedes even has its own Formula One team. It’s clear, then, Mercedes has no shortage of testosterone or manly bragging rights.
Yes, the SLS and the G63 are perhaps manlier than the GLA but neither is particularly practical. None could be owned and used regularly in any realistic way, as they are wildly unwieldy. You couldn’t drive either the SLS AMG Black or the G63 AMG 6×6 in, say, Manhattan without wanting to gouge your eyes out with a hot poker. The GLA, on the other hand, is quite livable. It’s stylish, comfortable, peppy, off-road capable (supposedly) and compact.
Under its intoxicating bodywork, the GLA packs a 2.0-liter inline turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This peppy four-banger has been mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which either sends power to the front wheels or to all four through the new-gen 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. This shapely wedge of German steel will go 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and look very good doing it indeed.
On the interior we find the pinnacle of modern entry-level luxury interiors. Depending on how its optioned, the GLA can be fitted with either a satin-finished wood dash for those seeking a bit more of a bespoke look or with a leather and stainless steel dash with a sporty feel, complete with red stitching. Highlighting the dash is a floating infotainment screen, which has been plucked from the cabin of the aforementioned G63 land monster.
As we move through the cabin, we find a second row of seats and, in the way back, a hatch-y area for manly stuff like a mountain bike or the head of a horse.
As we come back outside the GLA we’re reminded just how masterfully it has been sculpted. It’s looks sleek but also burly at the same time somehow. This is rather fitting because the GLA is both rather fuel-efficient but also off-road capable. Mercedes engineers have fitted it with fully variable torque distribution as well as DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. This makes the handsome little crossover capable of confronting some demanding terrain.
The GLA is so versatile, in fact, that it could be used to comfortably haul clients around in the lap of European luxury or head up to a remote part of the mountain for an outdoor excursion – all in the same day. Could you do that in the SLS AMG Black? No, certainly not.
The GLA, then, is a rare breed of vehicle that can do just about everything. It is versatile. It is stylish. It is handsome. And it is athletic. It is – I believe – everything the modern man should be rolled into one vehicle. It is, then, truly the epitome of the modern car for a modern man.