The average German stands, according to The Telegraph, at a gargantuan 1.81 meters of height. It is one of the countries of the world with the tallest average person.
This, in a sense, points to the great advancements in nutritional standards and great focus on children’s development in the country. Whoever was responsible for that in the great nation of Germany deserves a thank you, nice jug of beer and perhaps some curry wurst.
However, not all Germans are as commendable or as benign as the “minister of growth” or whatever. Some Germans are engineers or designers at Mercedes Benz, and I happen to believe that they were not given the message that the average German is 1.81m when designing the GLA. Or perhaps they ignored it, and instead decided to have a crack at the only science Germans seems to lack a mastery in: humor. Probably went like this:
Andrea: “Oh, Hans, should we make this seat stupidly uncomfortable for anyone who is taller than 175?”
Hans: “Oh, ja lets do that, I bet that Kevin over at approvals will have a good lanchen out of it”
*project is sent to Kevin*
Andrea: “Hans, Kevin approved die seats”
Hans: “Oh scheisse”
The seats in the GLA are, to be civil, ridiculously uncomfortable, impossibly hard and somehow impossibly mushy, these seats took all the less than twenty minutes to give me a backache. Twenty minutes! These seats are too short for anyone tall enough to shop in the adult section at Macys, and because #aesthetics or something, the headrest is part of the backrest and cannot be adjusted, so if you’re like me and you’re going under the speed limit because of the horrific backache the seats caused and someone crashes into you, you will get whiplash. I bet Hans is laughing manically in his Bauhaus stile office in Stuttgart.
Why did I spend 308 words talking about the seats of the GLA, well. These seats somehow represent the car they are in perfectly: pretty but flawed.
Stop being a dick, how does it drive?
The diesel motor in this car is pretty good, a twin turbo common rail four cylinder engine from the OM651 family, it produces almost 170hp and about 250 lb-ft of torque. However, this engine is let down by a “I can’t believe it’s not an automatic!” seven speed DCT box’ that won’t work in the city properly and makes the entire car judder and vibrate at slow speeds and kicks you every time you shift a gear. I honestly thought this transmission would stall the car when I was setting off from a 4 way stop.
The suspension is sufficiently soft without being overwhelmingly bouncy, though the added ground clearence does make it lean into corners a little. The steering has a disturbing lack of on centre feel, the wheel won’t return to center as fast as other cars. Despite having an engine with a good amount of torque, being front wheel drive, and pushing a heavy body, the car behaves surprisingly well when it comes to torquesteer.
It handled the mountain roads with ease, and despite some wind noise, it’s very calm and soothing in the highway. However, once you’re calm and soothed doing 125km/h in the A-52, you start noticing some things. Things like ridiculous pannel gaps, hard materials outside the main touching points, and again those fucking horrible seats. I cannot stress enough that this machine is good looking, decent driving, and nicely equipped, but is let down by the smaller details.
hey, it has an automatic boot at least.