Does the Mercedes GLA Hit the Mark?

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New Mercedes GLA crossover’s youthful appeal is a hit, according to analysts.

You’d pretty much have to be sleeping under a rock not to know that Mercedes-Benz has been aggressively trying to sell the GLA as a hot entry to the brand. And one with high hopes of luring younger buyers to the nameplate.

You need look no further than Mercedes’ “Unexpected” ad campaign (above) as proof of that. Everything from the look and feel of the ad says, “young,” in a way that you typically don’t associate with the 90-year-old brand. But how does the Mercedes-Benz GLA live up to the pitch?

Well, Boston.com probed a few experts in the field to get their take on Mercedes-Benz’s new entry-level crossover, including two analysts and a luxury car dealer. The general consensus? Stylish and fun to drive as an entry-level Benz, but not quite the level of luxury and comfort that most typically expect from the nameplate.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Consensus

Take, for example, Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at marketing research and consulting firm AutoPacific. He praised the GLA for its look and sub $33K price point, but was more critical of its luxury appeal.

“Unfortunately, the affordable price also means it lacks the bank vault solidity associated with Mercedes-Benz, and much of the interior comes off as a bit low rent,” said Kim. “The transmission can also be somewhat unrefined and jerky at times too. It’s very cramped inside as well – a byproduct of the very rakish exterior.”

Paul McDaniels, general manager, Flagship Motorcars, said he thinks Mercedes might have underestimated the broad appeal of the GLA.

“It’s also appealing to empty nesters who don’t need that seven-passenger SUV anymore,” says McDaniels.

Still, all and all, most agree that the GLA fits the bill of an entry-level Mercedes perfectly.

“With a price starting under $35,000, the Mercedes-Benz GLA has been a hit – exactly what we expected,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director, Kelley Blue Book.

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