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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d vs Audi Q3 35TDI: Which one should you pick?

Which of these compact SUVs is better - the fun GLA or the more practical Q3?

autos Updated: Sep 09, 2017 09:01 IST
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d,Audi Q3 35TDI,best suvs india
The battle of compact SUVs.

Both the GLA and the Q3 where in need of a refresh to appeal to more buyers. Mercedes-Benz and Audi recently updated their GLA 220d and Q3 compact SUVs and the changes have certainly increased their overall appeal. The Q3 gets a restyled face and the engine makes a little more power now, while the GLA wears a different face and features a slightly updated interior. Does the Q3 make more sense or should you buy the GLA? Let’s find out.

THE CONTENDERS

Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d

List price Rs 36.75 lakh

Audi Q3 35TDI

List price Rs 40.60 lakh

(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

What are they like inside?

Both compact SUVs see minor tweaks that are largely cosmetic in nature, however, both cabins look and feel different. The Audi’s top ‘Technology’ trim features a well-built dashboard, high-quality plastics and aluminium bits that feel plush and lift the air in the cabin. They don’t feature leather but leatherette (artificial leather) - which feels anything but cheap. The buttons and switches on the centre console are of the highest quality too. The front seats are soft yet supportive and thanks to the seat set high, you get a commanding view of the road, although, from behind the wheel, the Merc gives you more of that SUV feel.

At the back, it is spacious enough for two adults to be seated comfortably, three might be a bit of a squeeze. However, headroom and leg room are good and the seats offer great support. The panoramic sunroof goes a long way to increase the feeling of space. The Q3 is also fitted with Audi’s MMI infotainment system on the dashboard that’s easy to navigate.

The GLA’s build quality is, in true Mercedes fashion, solid. A grouse is that the centre console here feels aged and cluttered and while the buttons feel solid, they just look out of place in a car like this. Also, there is no electronic climate control. Like the Audi, this car’s large panoramic roof and the beige upholstery goes a long way in giving it that feel of airiness.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d vs Audi Q3 35TDI

The Mercedes allows you to change ambient light settings in 12 different colours, which is a neat touch. The well-contoured and firm front seats will ensure you’re comfortable on long drives especially. Space on the inside is tight though and headroom, as well as underthigh support, could have been better. The updated COMAND system is a bit more intuitive compared to Audi’s MMI, the interface is crisper and clearer as well. There’s also an updated speedometer and tachometer with new designs.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 09:00 IST