Seat Time: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA

October 6th, 2014 at 4:19pm

Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.


Reviewer: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: Daimler
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: GLA
Type: Compact crossover
Competitors: BMW X1, Audi Q3
Price: GLA250 = $32,225/ GLA45 AMG = $49,225
Made in: Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0L Four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine w/ seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: GLA250 FWD – Not available/ GLA 250 4MATIC – 24MPG city/32 MPG hwy./ GLA45 AMG – 23MPG city/29 MPG hwy.

Final Impression:

Mercedes-Benz GLA250 InteriorIn an effort to boost sales, Mercedes introduced the CLA, a small sedan with a starting price right around $30,000. While many questioned whether it’s a good idea for a luxury brand to move down market because over time it could dilute the brand, the move has paid off for Mercedes. The CLA is bringing in new and younger buyers. The average age of a CLA owner is 10 years younger than the rest of its line-up and three out of four CLA buyers are new to Mercedes. The company has sold more than 30,000 CLA’s in the U.S., a pretty impressive number but now the company is targeting the red hot crossover segment with the GLA.

The new compact CUV is based on the CLA architecture and also features the same powertrain setup. A 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s matched to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. There’s also an AMG version of the GLA that’s powered by a modified setup of the base car. The entry level GLA250 has plenty of power when you need it and feels well planted on the road. There’s several driving modes to select from that changes the dynamics to perform more economically or sporty depending on your mood.

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Fiat’s Wooden Buck, Practical Tool, Work of Art – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:39pm

There are a lot of pie-in-the-sky, 5-MPH concepts on the floor of an auto show, but one of Fiat’s eye-catching displays has to be the winner for “least drivable” car in Paris. This original wooden buck dates back to 1956 and today is symbolic of the quality and attention to detail the brand aspires to. Roberto Giolito explains how it was used.

Infiniti Q80 Concept Biggest They’ve Ever Built – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:25pm

It’s what Autoline deems, hands down, the most dramatic concept at the 2014 Paris Motor Show: the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration. And, Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa tells John McElroy it is without a doubt the biggest it’s ever built. So what impact will this larger-than-life concept have on the real products on dealer lots?

Renault 1L Eolab Bests VW in Function, Style – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 7:21pm

The Renault Eolab may be a concept on the Paris Motor Show floor, but drivable prototypes are around the corner. Laurent Taupin, Project Chief of the Eolab, says the prototypes will even carry through most of the flair of the model on the turntable, all while getting a head-turning 250 MPG. How did they do it, and what is the ultimate fate of this one-liter wonder?

Fiat 500X Design Eschews Redundancy, Embraces Purity – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 5:38pm

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the Fiat 500L and the just revealed 500X, Fiat-Chrysler’s European design chief has the answer. The two projects had completely different goals, and for its part the 500X is said to merge agility, energy and pureness of design. Roberto Giolito gives John McElroy the full explanation.

AAH #260 – Studio 2000X: Rendering the Future of Ford Design

October 2nd, 2014 at 5:30pm

Audio-only version:

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- Ford’s big quarter: Mustang and F-150. What do they do for a second (third?) act?
- Ram 1500 not only is selling like mad, but they’re going to be making 20% diesels.
- Johan de Nysschen tells Cadillac dealers that things are going to get worse before they get better.
- GM’s Mary Barra gets on the cover of Time magazine. Why?

SPECIAL GUEST: Jeff Nowak, Chief Designer, Ford Studio 2000X
- What does this little-known studio have to do with how future Ford models will look and feel?

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Jeff Sabatini, Car and Driver; John Manoogian, College for Creative Studies.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

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Hyundai i20 Aims for C-segment Features in a B-segment car – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 3:52pm

The next generation of Hyundai’s Euro-centric i20 offers more. More room, more features and even more mature styling. Christian Loeer, Head of Product and Pricing for Hyundai Motor Europe says the company aimed to provide C-segment features in a B-segment package.

Bridgestone Growing Sustainable Tires in the Desert – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 3:25pm

Using the guayule bush the Bridgestone tire company has committed to 100 percent sustainability by 2050. Michael Martini, President, OE Operations for Bridgestone Americas explains how that will happen and how the company will spread its message as a major sponsor of the Olympic games.

The Engineering Secrets of the Mercedes-AMG GT – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 1:01pm

It’s not another SLS. The Mercedes-AMG GT goes in a new direction as the company aims to take down Porsche’s 911. Jochen Hermann, AMG R&D, explains what makes the car so different including some of the secrets engineers used to reduce the car’s weight.

Peugeot’s 120 MPG Hybrid Runs on Compressed Nitrogen – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:51am

The latest hybrid from Peugeot doesn’t use a single battery cell. Instead it stores energy in the form of compressed nitrogen. Ladamir Prince, the head of the company’s innovation lab explains how the system works, why Peugeot has gone with such an unconventional technology and when we can expect the finished product.