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Affalterbach: Mercedes-AMG’s new GLA 35 4MATIC compact all-rounder marks completion of the 35-series entry level models

The entry of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC marks completion of the 7-member family.

The AMG range of compact 35-series entry models is now complete with a new addition, the AMG GLA 35 4MATIC. The existing collection includes the A-Class as a hatchback, the CLA Coupé  and a seven seater as well. The car contains a good amount of tech features packed into a pretty sleek and sporty design. And of course, the performance expected from Mercedes.

Characteristically AMG

It boasts all the typical AMG design properties which includes the AMG-specific radiator grille. The sides have a nice, smooth finish along with the 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish that add a classic silver sparkle. The door panels have inserts in silver chrome or high-gloss black . The headlamps and 2-section rear lights help give the car a broader look. Others include a new rear diffuser and the AMG spoiler lip on the roof. Customers can also opt for the AMG Night package for a more unique exterior.

Interior and the MBUX system

The interior is sophisticatedly detailed with a Carbon-fibre structure. It comes in four optional leather upholsteries including the ARTICO man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibre combo.

A feature worth noting is the MBUX infotainment system. The system has two displays under one glass cover giving it a ‘Widescreen Cockpit’ hence becoming the center-piece focus. The infotainment system can be operated via touchpad, control buttons on the steering, voice command and even gesture control! Though I’m not quite sure if that’ll come in handy while driving. The keyword to activate voice control is “Hey Mercedes” , a feature that seems similar to the one in MG Hector.

The instrument cluster comes in three AMG display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport” and is fully digital. Using the AMG menu, the driver can choose different special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data. You can also have visualisations of the driving modes and telemetry data. You have to admit this adds a deeper level of connection with your car.

Under the hood

The 4Matic cradles a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine whose output is 306 hp and 400 Nm max. torque at 3000 rpm. Other performance enhancers include a CAMTRONIC variable valve train, multi-spark ignition and Piezo injectors. Piezo injectors are basically highly accurate fuel injectors.The 4Matic uses an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and AWD. The SUV can accelerate 0-100 Km/h in 5.2 seconds which is pretty decent but other cars almost the same size can do a faster time. For example the Bentayga can go the same in approx. 4 seconds.

Some other stuff that shouldn’t be overlooked are: the centre console that controls the 3-stage ESP® and adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, data logging using AMG TRACK PACE ( for track use only) and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT with 5 driving modes ( “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport +” and “Individual” ).

In terms of braking, the front axle seats a 4-piston monoblock fixed callipers with 350-mm brake discs whereas the rear axle has 1-piston sliding callipers coupled with 330-mm brake discs. Apparently the discs are internally ventilated to dispel heat better and thus prevent brake fading.

In conclusion, the car is a great new addition to the AMG  lineup with a good amount of features that will surely enhance the driver’s experience. But in terms of performance, I do not feel the car has got anything additional to offer.

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Allan Sheldon

Looking at life over a dashboard.

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