2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift Review: Merc’s Baby SUV Is Better Than Ever

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA gets a refreshed exterior, an updated cabin, and some new tech; frankly, there are a lot of things to talk about. So, let’s get started.

By Seshan Vijayraghvan


10 mins read


Published on January 31, 2024

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  • The Mercedes-Benz GLA is the smallest SUV from the brand
  • The SUV gets minor visual tweaks, new tech and more features
  • The GLA is now priced from Rs. 50.50 lakh to Rs. 56.90 lakh

Mercedes-Benz India has promised to launch 12 new products in this calendar year, the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker is already off to a great start. While 2024 was kicked off with the GLS facelift, in January alone the company launched two more SUVs – the updated AMG GLE 53, and the 2024 GLA facelift. Now, Girish took the maniacal GLE 53 for some fun time, and you can know all about his experience here. However, I got to spend a day with Mercedes’ baby SUV and know what it has to offer. 



A refreshed exterior, an updated cabin, and some new tech; frankly there are a lot of things to talk about the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA. So, let’s get started.


Design & Styling


The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA comes with minimal visual updates


The GLA was always a handsome-looking car. Good proportions, strong character lines and an imposing look. With this 2024 update, most of it remains unchanged, albeit with some minor styling tweaks, and frankly, they only make the car look nicer. The model with me was the top-spec GLA 220d 4Matic in the AMG-Line package.


Also Read: Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift Launched In India; Prices Start From Rs 50.50 Lakh


Up front, the visual changes include the new LED headlamps and the updated front bumper with body-coloured aprons


Up front, you still have the star-studded pattern grille with the large three-pointed star logo at the centre, which looks very classy and elegant. But the headlamp design has been updated. The full LED unit gets a new cluster design, and a new LED DRL signature, quite premium. Then you have an updated bumper with a body-coloured front apron that gives the GLA a much more imposing look, while the chrome insert on the bumper lip adds a touch of premiumness to the face.


Also Read: 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Launched In India; Prices Start At Rs 1.85 Crore


The 2024 GLA 220d 4Matic AMG-Line is marginally longer and gets 19-inch AMG wheels


In terms of dimensions, the GLA largely remains unchanged, except for the fact that the new bumper kit has made it 26 mm longer than the outgoing model. There is no major change in the profile of the car either. That said this AMG-Line package includes body-coloured wheel arches and a set of sexy 19-inch AMG wheels. At the rear, the only new addition is the refreshed LED taillight which now gets a new light signature.


Interior & Cabin Features


The cabin layout, trim options and colour palette of the new GLA remain largely unchanged 


Step inside, and you’ll see that the cabin layout, trim options and colour palette remain largely unchanged. This being the AMG-Line trim you get the same AMG style interior, treated in all-black. The seats are upholstered in a combination of Artico man-made leather and MICROCUT Black Microfiber, and the latter has been used on the dashboard and door trims as well with contrast red stitching. That said, the cabin does come with some noticeable upgrades.


The centre console has been redesigned for a cleaner look and usable experience


Firstly, the dashboard and the door trims of the AMG-Line model now get a new carbon-fibre-like treatment, adding a sporty touch. Secondly, the centre console has been redesigned and now has a cleaner design. The older trackpad controller has been replaced by a rubberised tray panel, which can be used to keep your key fob or wallet. And along with it, the Dynamic Select toggle switch has been changed, and now you get a standard button over here. The console also continues to house a wireless phone charger, a Type C USB port and a couple of cup holders for that added convince.


The GLA 220d 4Matic AMG-Line trim comes with the latest AMG steering 


But the biggest update inside the cabin is the addition of a new steering wheel. Yes, now you get the latest AMG steering wheel, which looks a lot sportier and comes with touch-sensitive controls for infotainment as well as the instrument cluster functions. 


The front seats get power adjustability but miss out on the ventilation function 


As for the front seats, they do not have ventilation or heating functions, but you still get power adjustability with memory function as before. Also now you get a manual seat extended for added thigh support with the AMG-Line.


The rear seats of the GLA are quite cosy and comfortable and decently spaced 


Now, the GLA is not meant to be a chauffeur-driven car, but nonetheless, if you do decide to take the backseat, the experience at the rear is also quite nice. It is a cozy place and the seats are quite comfortable too. And it doesn't feel claustrophobic despite the all-black interior thanks to the large windows and the panoramic glass roof with a wide sunroof. 


The SUV continues to comes with a panoramic glass roof with an electric sunroof


The under-thigh support is also pretty nice, and even with the front seat set to my driving position – I am 5.9 feet tall – you have enough knee and leg room thanks to the scooped-out back of the front seats. So yes, it is a comfortable space, not enough for three passengers, but good for two adults, with possibly a kid in the middle seat.


The GLA misses out on a foldable central armrest, privacy blinds for the rear windows and controls for the rear AC vents


Having said that, there are things that the GLA misses out on which could have made the rear seat experience that much nicer. Things like a foldable central armrest with cup holders, privacy blinds for the rear windows and controls for the rear AC vents. Sadly, the GLA gets none of these. That said you do have access to some netted seat pockets, and two Type C USB ports.


Infotainment & Tech


The SUV gets the latest gen MBUX system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto


Now the central attraction of the cabin continues to be the wide dual-screen unit that houses both the touchscreen central display and the driver display. They are the same 10.25-inch unit screens, however, now Mercedes offers the latest gen MBUX infotainment system, which mainly brings wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the table. A much-needed update.


As for the instrument cluster, there is no major change here


In addition to that, the updated infotainment system also offers features like a voice assistant, a digital key, which can be shared with other people, and an integrated gaming console with some small games like Sudoku. However, the games can only be played in park mode.


Now the GLA also gets the Keyless Go function, along with a hands-free function for the powered tailgate


As for the instrument cluster, there is no major change here, however, now the GLA also gets the Keyless Go function for keyless entry, along with a hands-free function for the powered tailgate. So, simply do a kick movement under the rear bumper where the sensors are, and the tailgate will automatically open or close for you. Both are extremely useful.





The GLA also has a few new safety features up its sleeve. Firstly, now you get 360-degree view cameras with a blind spot alert function, quite useful. Then there is the adaptive high beam assist, which automatically switches from low to high beam depending on oncoming traffic. Other safety bits that continue to be on offer include – 7 airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), active brake assist, run-flat tyres, ISOFIX, and a tyre pressure monitoring system among more.


Powertrain & Performance


Now the GLA 220d is powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine that came with the earlier model. And frankly, it is a very nice engine for this SUV. The power and torque remain unchanged, and it continues to come mated to the same 8-speed dual-clutch transmission as before that also does a fine job at sending the power to all four wheels. Yes, as I mentioned before, the GLA does get a 4Matic all-wheel drive system, and it is exclusive to this top-of-the-line AMG-Line version.


The 2.0-litre diesel engine makes the same 188 bhp and 400 Nm of peak torque


Right off the bat, this GLA feels quick and fun to drive. The motor produced 188 bhp and the power delivery is nice and punchy. The build-up happens in a linear manner, and in Sport mode, the car feels even punchier and a lot more agile. The engine feels smooth and sustains power quite efficiently before peaking out at around 4000 rpm. However, the 220d 4Matic’s acceleration time has come down by 0.2 seconds, which means the 0-100 kmph sprint can now be achieved in 7.5 seconds instead of 7.3 seconds.


The 220d 4Matic’s acceleration time has come down by 0.2 seconds and 0-100 kmph is now achieved in 7.5 seconds


There is also a lot of torque on offer, 400 Nm to be precise, and a great deal of it is available from as low as 1600 rpm. So yes, it has a lot of grunt! So, any time you even try to floor the accelerator, you will get an instant rush with that satisfying pushback on the seat. What makes all this even better is the throaty exhaust sound, that puts an instant smile on your face.


Mercedes also offers the GLA 200, powered by the 1.3-litre petrol engine that makes 161 bhp and 270 Nm of torque, which mated to a 7-speed DCT.


Driving Dynamics


As for how this GLA performs on the road, I have to say that the suspension is set a bit on the stiffer side. A small undulation or speed bump on the road, at lower speeds, the GLA can handle that without any fuss, but anything bigger and the harshness and jerks will seep into the cabin, and it is not a pleasant feeling. But you will have to remember that has been done to achieve great handling, and boy the GLA does that and how.


The steering too has a good heft to it, and the feedback is also nice, and you thus feel more connected to the car


The SUV has great straight-line stability and even when you are taking a corner a bit too aggressively, it sticks to the road and imparts confidence to exit the corner with the same aggression. The steering too has a good heft to it, and the feedback is also nice. What this means is that you feel more connected to the car and the road. The cabin is also well insulated and keeps most of the road and tyre noise out to give you a pleasant driving experience.


This GLA continues to come with an off-road mode as well along with Comfort, Eco and Sports. It’s exclusive to the 4Matic version, and what this does is split the power 50:50 between the front and rear wheels so you get better traction on rough terrains.


Price & Verdict


In a nutshell then. With all these updates, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA certainly feels like a nice entry point into the luxury SUV space. It’s compact, gets most of the features you would expect from an SUV in this class, and most importantly, it is extremely fun to drive. And when it comes to pricing, I feel Mercedes has certainly hit the right spot.


The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA is priced from Rs. 50.50 lakh to Rs. 56.90 lakh (ex-showroom)


Prices for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA start at Rs. 50.50 lakh for the entry-level GLA 200, going up to Rs. 56.90 lakh (ex-showroom, India). Compared to the pre-facelift model, the entry-level trim is about Rs. 2 lakh more expensive, while the top-spec model is Rs. 3.6 lakh is more expensive. Not a major bump in premium given the segment.


Mercedes-Benz GLA Price (Ex-Showroom India)
GLA 200Rs. 50.50 lakh
GLA 220d 4MATICRs. 54.75 lakh
GLA 220d 4MATIC AMG LineRs. 56.90 lakh


So, if you are in the market for a compact luxury SUV, then you should definitely consider the new GLA facelift. Some of the other options in this segment would include the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 Sportback.


Photos: Pawan Dagia

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