'Three Germans fighting it out' would never be a statement written anywhere else except the automotive world. The rivalry of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW is a well-known global spectacle and in India all of them try and go one up with the introduction of new products. There can be a lot of products that can be named here but we will stick to the entry-level SUVs from all the three.
BMW was the first to enter this segment with the X1 crossover. Bold in looks and offering a touch more than the 3-series sedan, the X1 clearly set the ball rolling. Following suit was the Q3, the baby-SUV from the Audi stable. It got every bit of gadget and gizmo that went into the Q7 and it became even more affordable, so quite obviously there was a surge in demand for the car.
After this, all eyes turned to what the folks from Mercedes-Benz would get to the table. Mind you, it had been silent for a long time but now we know why. The German car manufacturer finally showcased what it had in stored and they christened it the GLA. Now, we have driven the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1, but not the Merc GLA, so this comparison will be roughly based on the specifications of the cars.
When it comes to the length of the car the BMW X1 wins the battle with 4454mm followed by the GLA with 4417mm and finally the Q3 with 4385mm. A similar result can be seen when it comes to the wheelbase. The X1 gets 2760mm, the GLA 2700mm while the Q3 yet again comes third with 2603mm. But at the end of the day, they are SUVs and height plays a very important role in all of this, so, what is the result in this department?
The Q3 wins hands down with 1608mm, while the X1 comes in a close second at 1545mm. The GLA on the other hand, is far away from both those numbers at 1494mm. Finally we get on to the weight of the cars. The Q3 is the heaviest and weighs in at 1660kgs, while the X1 weighs 1565kgs. This is where Mercedes-Benz takes the lead as the GLA will only weigh 1535kgs, so it'll be lighter and possibly swifter as well.
The X1 and the Q3 get the 2.0-litre diesel powertrain, however, the GLA will get the 2.2-litre engine. Now, if you compare the engines, you will expect the GLA to win this battle with ease. However, that is not the case. Where the X1 generates 184bhp and 380Nm torque, the Q3 manages 174bhp and the same amount of torque, the GLA, doesn't really match upto those numbers. It punches out 136bhp and 300Nm torques. The effect is seen on the 0-100km/h timings as well. The X1 does this distance in 7.8 seconds, the Q3 in 8.2 seconds and the GLA in 9.5 seconds.
Now, you might start to think that the X1 clearly beats both the cars when it comes to numbers while the GLA comes in a close second and the Q3 sits in third. But it will finally come down to the way all three drive and that is what will put the lid on this debate. We can't wait for Mercedes-Benz to bring the car to India so we can take a spin in it.