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Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift vs BMW X1 vs Audi Q3 vs others

Other SUVs in this comparison include the Mini Countryman, VW Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Jeep Meridian, Citroen C5 Aircross and Hyundai Tucson.

BHPian Ripcord09 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift

What you'll like:

  • Good looking mini-SUV with a solid build quality
  • Premium interiors, sorted ergonomics and supportive seats
  • Diesel engine is fast (0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds) and fuel-efficient too (18.9 km/l - ARAI)
  • 8-speed DCT is smooth and quick. 4Matic AWD system will help you get out of some tricky situations
  • AMG Line is fun to drive! Good handling, well-calibrated steering & excellent high-speed manners
  • Loaded with features such as 360-degree camera, driver assistance, latest-gen MBUX, hands-free tailgate & lots more
  • 5-star NCAP rating, top-notch safety kit & a suite of electronic aids to keep you safe

What you won't:

  • Pricey! Top-end GLA 220d 4Matic AMG line would be ~67L on-road in Delhi
  • Suspension has a firm edge to it. Also, the AMG line's 19-inch wheels further stiffen the ride quality
  • Petrol engine only offered in a single variant and no AWD
  • Back seat is more suitable for 2 healthy adults and a child. Not 3 healthy adults
  • 425-litre boot - although adequate - is the smallest in the segment
  • Missing features such as cooled seats, rear sunshade, head-up display, Level 2 ADAS, full-size spare tyre (has a space saver tyre) etc.
  • Heavier adults will find the front seats too snug

Facelift Review Link

BMW X1

What you'll like:

  • Solid build & top-notch quality, inside out. Looks smart too
  • Modern and well-appointed interior feels good
  • Refined and competent diesel engine mated to a smooth, responsive 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Excellent high-speed stability coupled with sorted handling and a precise steering. Mature ride quality at speed
  • Accommodating 476-litre boot and multiple storage spaces in the cabin
  • Loaded with features such as adaptive headlamps, electric front seats with extendable seat bases and massage function, 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, sliding & reclining rear seats, handsfree tailgate, panoramic sunroof, driving modes, etc.
  • 5-star NCAP rating, top-notch safety kit and some ADAS features
  • BMW's relatively strong reliability record along with decent after-sales service and maintenance packages

What you won't:

  • Expensive! On-road price ranges between 55 - 63 lakhs
  • 18-inch wheels give the ride a firm edge on bad roads at low speeds. It's totally liveable though
  • The 3-cylinder 134 BHP petrol engine is a misfit in this segment
  • Diesel motor offers just 148 BHP, which is even lesser than the older car. At this price, 190 - 200 BHP is a must! Furthermore, Diesel is available just in the M Sport variant (no AWD)
  • No physical buttons for the climate control and idling start / stop systems is a useability failure
  • Aggressively tuned idling start / stop system. Even if you slow down and stop at a traffic junction for a second, the engine switches off
  • Back seat is more suitable for 2 healthy adults and a child. Not 3 healthy adults
  • Missing features such as ventilated seats, head-up display, full-size spare tyre (has a space saver tyre), 360-degree camera, rear sunshade etc.

Review Link

Audi Q3

What you'll like:

  • Evolved sporty styling, matched with solid build quality
  • Increased cabin space, practicality and boot capacity (530 litres)
  • Incredibly fun-to-drive 2.0L turbo-petrol with a quick 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Quattro all-wheel drive provides loads of grip & will help you get out of tricky situations (sand, mud etc.)
  • Good road manners with sorted ride quality
  • Well-equipped (panoramic sunroof, powered front seats, dual-zone climate control, virtual cockpit & more)
  • 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and equipment

What you won't:

  • Efficient & punchy 2.0 turbo-diesel is no longer available. Heavy users will miss its low running costs
  • Same 187 horses as the Kodiaq & Tiguan. We would've preferred a higher state of tune on a more expensive Audi
  • Pricey! The Skoda Kodiaq and VW Tiguan are ~10-15 lakhs cheaper on-road
  • Just two variants. No cheaper FWD entry-level variant available
  • Should’ve gotten adaptive dampers, at least on the top-end 'Technology' variant
  • Cabin is best suited for 4 adults, not 5
  • Missing features like a 360-degree camera, ventilated seats, driving assist tech, auto-hold, connected car gizmos etc.

Review Link

Mini Countryman

Ownership Review

Volkswagen Tiguan

Facelift Launch Review

Skoda Kodiaq

What you'll like:

  • The ultimate “value luxury” SUV! Classy styling, solid build & superb quality
  • Cabin offers space, practicality and lots of intelligent features
  • Impressive 2.0L turbo-petrol is mated to a quick 7-speed DSG automatic
  • Cushy ride quality in “Comfort” mode (L&K variant)
  • Sorted handling & road manners in “Sport” mode. Adjustable suspension is a USP of the L&K
  • 3rd-row of seats is an advantage over some 5-seater competitors
  • Massive boot with 3rd seat row down. Boot is useable even with the 3rd seat row up
  • Impressive kit (12-speaker Canton ICE, panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, auto parking...)
  • AWD available to get you out of tricky situations. Tourers will love it
  • 5-star safety rating & equipment (9 airbags + a host of electronic aids)

What you won't:

  • Workhorse 2.0L turbo-diesel is no longer available. Heavy users will miss its low running costs
  • Single-digit fuel economy of the turbo-petrol AT in the city. Drops drastically if you drive aggressively
  • Its sibling, the VW Tiguan, is priced a couple of lakhs cheaper
  • Expensive! Worse still, Skoda increased the Kodiaq’s pricing within days of the launch
  • Cramped 3rd row of seats is strictly for small children. A 5+2 SUV, not a 7-seater
  • Styling does look Estate-ish from some angles. Doesn't have that much street cred or presence
  • We feel that the “Sportline” variant should’ve been offered with the DCC & other L&K features
  • Skoda’s ill-famed dealership network & after-sales horror stories
  • Skoda’s patchy long-term reliability track record (including, but not limited to, the DSG)
  • Silly feature deletions from older Kodiaq (rear door sills, 1 umbrella, 1 blanket, chrome tip on power window switches, removable torch in the boot, red warning lights on the front doors…)

Review Link

Jeep Meridian

What you'll like:

  • Handsome unmistakably-Jeep styling & loads of character
  • Robust build quality. Feels very solid, just as a Jeep should
  • Classy cabin now boasts a versatile 5+2 seating configuration and better accommodation when compared to the Compass
  • Competent 2.0L diesel. Good driveability in the city, quick on the open road
  • Mature suspension setup, nicely-tuned EPS & rock-solid stability
  • Capable AWD available, with 214 mm of ground clearance
  • Feature packed: electric front seats (driver memory), panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, powered tailgate, LED projector headlights…
  • Topnotch safety kit: Strong all-disc brakes, a plethora of electronic aids & 6 airbags

What you won't:

  • Cabin has limited width, can feel snug for larger passengers. 5th passenger (in the 2nd row) will feel unwelcome
  • 3rd row is strictly for children and small adults
  • Should’ve had more power for the price. Same 2.0L diesel available in SUVs from a segment below
  • No petrol engine in a market that is moving to petrols in a big way. Delhiites will be disappointed
  • 9-speed Automatic gearbox is competent, but not brilliant
  • We’d have liked to see front parking sensors, paddle shifters, gearbox ‘sport’ mode, a sliding middle row, more connected tech features (it’s very basic currently)
  • At low speeds, the firm ride quality always keeps you aware of the road quality you’re driving on
  • Jeep India’s dealer & service network coverage is still limited

Review Link

Citroen C5 Aircross

What you'll like:

  • A superbly engineered & properly premium crossover
  • Very stylish exteriors & interiors! We love the design. It's matched to solid build quality
  • Good quality cabin with comfortable seats, lots of storage & fantastic insulation
  • 2.0L diesel engine is quick, efficient & extremely refined
  • Smooth 8-speed AT gearbox impresses
  • Excellent ride comfort and mature road manners. High speed behaviour is sorted too
  • Large, well-shaped 580 liter boot gobbles up holiday / airport luggage
  • Loaded to the gills with features such as a panoramic sunroof, handsfree tailgate opening, customisable instrument cluster, double laminated front windows, terrain modes...
  • 4-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test. 3-point seatbelts for all five occupants, 6 airbags, blind spot monitoring system, ESP, hill hold, hill descent control and more

What you won't:

  • Very expensive! We wish Citroen had priced-it-to-sell-it (aka penetration pricing)
  • Rear legroom is strictly adequate. Two 5’10" adults can sit behind each other, but not two 6-footers
  • No turbo-petrol engine (big miss), no AWD for tourers & no manual gearbox for MT fans
  • Not really sporty to drive. Cars like the Compass & Tiguan are more fun
  • Missing some features we expect today (connected car tech, ventilated seats, electrically adjustable passenger seat, ADAS, 360-degree camera, subwoofer…)
  • The bolstering of the 3 individual rear seats is suitable for slim passengers, not heavier ones
  • Audio sound quality is alright, but nothing special as you’d expect in a 40-lakh car
  • Many competing crossovers & SUVs offer a 3rd-row of seats, which the C5 Aircross doesn't have
  • Long-term reliability & after-sales service quality are still big unknowns

Review Link

Hyundai Tucson

What you'll like:

  • A futuristic-looking, well-engineered premium SUV
  • Complete urban package with comfortable suspension, light steering and a smooth automatic
  • 2.0L diesel engine is not just refined, but punchy too
  • 540 litres of boot space is enough to haul holiday luggage
  • ADAS safety features like autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitor and lane-keep assist are cool & work reasonably well
  • Loaded with features like a panoramic sunroof, multi-air mode AC, ventilated and heated front seats, connected car tech, wireless charging, boss control for the front seat etc.
  • 5-star Euro NCAP rating. 6 airbags, ESC, VSM, downhill brake control, TPMS, 360-degree camera & more

What you won't:

  • Edgy looks & funky styling may not be to everyone's liking
  • At ~43 lakhs on road for the top-end variant, the Tucson is expensive!
  • Not as engaging to drive as the Kodiaq or Tiguan
  • Naturally-aspirated petrol isn't as punchy as the competitors' turbo-petrol units
  • Other crossovers & SUVs offer a 3rd-row of seats. Tucson is a 5-seater only
  • Some missing features such as paddle shifters, rear sunblinds...
  • Hyundai badge lacks the snob value that many 40-lakh rupee customers are looking for

Review Link

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

Wouldn't buy any of the entry-level crossovers from the German marques. They suffer too many compromises, whether space or engine or features...

Among new cars, it would be a close call between the Tucson & Kodiaq. I love the Kodiaq, but it's now feeling old & outdated.

With 50 - 60 lakhs in my pocket, what I would really do is either get a high-end EV (e.g. Ioniq 5, BYD Seal) or go the pre-worshipped route for a really fast German sedan or SUV. That's really the only way to get some value for your 60 big ones. Everything new is grossly overpriced in that price band.

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say about the matter:

Reducing this consideration set to "petrol only", it comes down to the Countryman vs the Kodiaq for me.

Between those two, I'd likely pick the Kodiaq (L&K for the dynamic suspension). Handsome, well-built car, extremely spacious, comparably powerful as the entry-level big Germans and a whole lot cheaper than the Germans, which are also half a size smaller.

Great to drive, great to be chauffeured and a huge boot. It's the perfect all-rounder workhorse.

Here's what BHPian sjain2054 had to say about the matter:

I am sure I will be the only one voting for the C5 Aircross. So the "1" against that car will be me! haha!

I have driven only a few cars from this list and I found C5 Aircross perfect for Indian conditions. I voted for C5 Aircross for the following reasons:

  • The fact that it drowns out all the street noise. Indian cities are loud.
  • It gives the best comfort on Indian road conditions and that is good enough for me to choose it over others (I have a bad lower back... that darn L4-L5)
  • The beautiful engine and transmission is obviously a major advantage of the Aircross
  • For me, the icing on the cake is the after-sales service stories from owners. It's good to be treated like a prestigious owner of a great car. I remember a story where the fellow and his family got stranded in Leh due to some fault in the car and the company not only repaired the car and delivered it to their home in Mumbai but also paid for the entire family's air tickets to Mumbai. I mean c'mon, that is just fantastic.
  • I always like to stand out in terms of owning a rare car. In a big group, there might be 7 Hyundai cars, 5 BMWs, 4 Mercs and maybe 3 Audis but there will only be 1 Citroen. Why? because no one buys it.., haha.
  • Discounts. I would save money on C5 Aircross and purchase a sexy EV - Nexon/Punch for city use with the spare money from the total budget of 60 lacs or so.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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