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2015 GLA 4matic
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Discussion Starter #1
...and it's a doozy. I live on a north-facing, steep slope in the northeast USA. We have to traverse a half-mile private road to get out, with an AVERAGE grade of 13% (in many places it is 17%). I had a 2007 Audi A3 Quattro for which I always switched to dedicated winter tires this time of year. The Audi always got me out of here, but I was very well acquainted with the car and what I needed to do with it in snow or ice. Plus, I think the right tires for the job are probably 90% of the job!

I just got this '15 GLA 4Matic a couple weeks ago and have only gone anywhere with it once so far, on dry roads (I know, right? What the heck does buying a new car in the pandemic mean? you still don't go anywhere?). I have the stock OEM tires (so-called "all season"). We just had a huge snowstorm and the drive is very messy but was plowed with one pass during the storm, so it's not deep but there is ice and slush all over it.

I have to go somewhere this afternoon and I am wondering what I might need to know about keeping this thing moving in the right direction going up a steep, snowy hill? Everything seems so computerized. Is there a special button to push for uphill in snow?

While I really appreciate the sentiment in advance, I am not asking for a lesson on how to drive in the snow. I have been driving for 35 years. I used to live in upstate NY. I am only trying to find out about the particulars of getting the best uphill snow handling out of this car.

I am sorry if I sound like an idiot. I'm not. I just like to be very, very familiar with a car before I put it to a big safety test. I usually like to read the owner's manual cover-to-cover. That might explain the lack of driving my new used car---the owners manual is a long read and I have to keep referring to the VIN lookup to find out what's applicable.

Thank you very might for any insight on the GL250 4Matic (2015) in snow!
 

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My two cents coming from a 45...

I wouldn’t even think twice about taking the car out on the summer performance tires, it’s a literal death trap in the snow. That said, throw some true snow tires on and it turns into a SnowLA beast that begs you to try and get it stuck. It’ll just chew through pretty much anything with snowshoes on. So I do agree with you that tires are about 90% of it. I’d think the all-seasons paired with 4-matic wouldn’t be too far off your Audi however.

I run Michelin X-Ice3’s and am in upstate NY so I’m keen to the winter weather too. Taking the 45 out drifting when the roads haven’t been plowed is some real fun.

And to actually answer your question, the 4matic system is really good so there’s not much to overthink here when you have the proper tires.. A one pass plowed road with slush shouldn’t faze the GLA at all. One of the only things I’d consider was if you feel that you need more power going up the hill you could use manual mode and/or Sport to stop the car from wanting to downshift if you’re in Comfort/Eco.

26476
 

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I grew up in Upstate NY and drive motorcycles through that winter weather. So with that background ...

Keep the car in comfort mode. This will keep the computer stability controls on full alert. And other than getting proper snow tires that's it. Well, beyond the winter driving skills seminar that you asked be bypassed.

We have a 45 and, even with well worn Conti summer performance tires, when the Grapevine headed to LA was closed and we got detoured into another snowstorm in the Mojave I was not able to get ours into a slide even with 6 inches of snow on the road.

While we were driving our car in Europe we hit a chip sealed narrow back road that would have thrown an older car in all directions at low speed. We ran high speed with no hassles.

Part of the AMG Driving Academy was to show how good the stability control systems were at extremes.

In other words, trust the car. And maintain common sense as well as momentum ... Without momentum there is nothing the stability control systems can do to assist.
 

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2015 GLA 4matic
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I was assuming that my first tire replacement will involve dedicated tires for whatever season it is at the time (although maybe I won't be as into the ultra high-performance low-profile summer tires like what I had in the 250-hp tiny hatchback my Audi was).

I have almost a half-mile of this before I get to a maintained road. I walked up it a while ago and both my dog and I were losing footing constantly (and she has full-time 4-paw drive). I am leaning toward making change of plans. I'd be so upset of my "new" (to me) MB slid off the road and ended up on one of those trees (I've seen it happen)!
26479


I think I will learn to "trust the car". It does seem to be an amazing collection of German engineering. Trust takes time and I haven't had much of that yet!

I appreciate the replies!
 

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2015 GLA 4matic
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Discussion Starter #6
Wayne,

YES! MC in snow! I took my MC driving test when I was 18 or 19 in Rochester on a cold November morning. It was snowing. When the test was over, the examiner (who was warm and snuggled in her car the whole time) said to me, "well, you didn't lose any points but you seem shaky." I replied, "Shaky? I know what you mean, but I call it SHIVERING, lady!"

Momentum is my best friend when it comes to getting up my hill. One of the property owners decided to put a speedbump on the road, presumably to slow people going downhill in regular weather. My winter weather rule for that is this: "hit that speedbump as fast as your suspension will forgive, and then don't slow down for ANYTHING until you get to the top." Of course, my 175k (mileage) Audi was about to need its third suspension overhaul when I decided it was time to get this GLA, which I think will handle that speedbump with more forgiveness.

Thanks for the help and sharing of your experience. I might not test this out today, but I'll probably have a few more chances this season!

Christine

I grew up in Upstate NY and drive motorcycles through that winter weather. So with yay background ...

Keep the car in comfort mode. This will keep the computer stability controls on full alert. And other than getting proper snow tires that's it. Well, beyond the winter driving skills seminar that you asked be bypassed.

We have a 45 and, even with well worn Conti summer performance tires, when the Grapevine headed to LA was closed and we got detoured into another snowstorm in the Mojave I was not able to get ours into a slide even with 6 inches of snow on the road.

While we were driving our car in Europe we hit a chip sealed narrow back road that would have thrown an older car in all directions at low speed. We ran high speed with no hassles.

Part of the AMG Driving Academy was to show how good the stability control systems were at extremes.

In other words, trust the car. And maintain common sense as well as momentum ... Without momentum there is nothing the stability control systems can do to assist.
 

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To simply reiterate a couple of the great points made that I’ve always gone by - Low torque (comfort mode) and maintain momentum. Dedicated quality Winter tires. And as Wayne cites, otherwise trust the excellent Benz engineering.
 

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We have a long uphill driveway, that doesn't get plowed.

In 16+ inches, my GLA made it up after a few tries. This is on new 235/55-17 P7 Cinturato A/S. I since got
deep snows, TOYO Observe in stock 235/50-18
26482


I don't want to kill your thread with a bunch of my pics, so here's my thread with more info...


I'll check back here later.
 

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2018 GLA45 AMG
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Timely thread! Thank you, Christine, for asking your question.
Add me to the New England / NY club of drivers who know and love how to drive in the snow!

This weekend I traded my 2013 VW GTI (DSG model) for a 2018 GLA45 AMG. 🎉 Waiting on delivery still though as I bought the car from out of state, and with COVID the dealer has to wait for an appointment to register my car. The waiting is almost like when I was 6 yrs old and had all of December for Santa's arrival on the 25th. 😂😫

Anyway, I spent ALL DAY yesterday researching rims and tires that would fit my AMG model. So many conflicting "fits" depending on the tire website I was on. Finally got to a point where I had to translate a German fitting manual to determine if I was ok to purchase the wheels. LOL. Had no idea it was so difficult to find a set of winters for this model! Currently the car (at the dealership) has its 20" summers on. Given all the snow we have had lately, and more to come, I knew I had to rush and order something because I certainly do not want to drive my new baby home on slicks in the snow for 2+ hours.

Love the snow photo, Audi Junkie! 🙌
 

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The 45 has larger brakes than the 250. This is why the factory doesn't offer 18 inch rims for the 45. That being said, there are some 18 inch rims that will clear the brakes (test fit to verify if you go this route). The advantage is there are a lot more snow tire options in 18s.
 

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PS: Congrats on the new car and welcome. Search on tips and tricks and other things to discover features and options you may not be aware of. Post pics and impressions as you can.
 

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The 45 has larger brakes than the 250. This is why the factory doesn't offer 18 inch rims for the 45. That being said, there are some 18 inch rims that will clear the brakes (test fit to verify if you go this route). The advantage is there are a lot more snow tire options in 18s.
Thanks. Ahh, it's the brake calipers/pads. Makes sense.

Yes, this is why I wanted 18", more tire options. I did buy a set from TireRack, so, let's hope their info, and the info I translated from German (LOL) is all A-OK! Fingers crossed!
 

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My 2021 250 I bought in October last year. I drove up to Dallas when they had the snow storm in Huntsville and the car did well. However, the wiper blades that come with the car are horrible, it wouldn’t clear my windshield so I couldn’t see. Tried again during rain and anything over a tough sprinkle, I had to pull over. I revert getting this car
 

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I've found OEM blades can be hit and miss. Even from I've car to the next. I have also found that sub and chemicals can damage blades. Also mishandling can damage the metal. They being said, the wipers on our 2017 remain great. Have you contacted the dealer? It would seem they could send you new ones without too much hassle. Good luck and please let us knits how things work out.

In the meantime the 2021 incorporated many changes and I'd love to hear your impressions beyond the wiper blades.
 

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I've found OEM blades can be hit and miss. Even from I've car to the next. I have also found that sub and chemicals can damage blades. Also mishandling can damage the metal. They being said, the wipers on our 2017 remain great. Have you contacted the dealer? It would seem they could send you new ones without too much hassle. Good luck and please let us knits how things work out.

In the meantime the 2021 incorporated many changes and I'd love to hear your impressions beyond the wiper blades.
 

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Sorry you’re now so disenchanted with the vehicle Dulce. Everyone’s wants/needs are different and sometimes even change over time. Manufacturers try to accommodate a particular demographic and it appears you are outside same.
I like the 2018 CUV but am not particularly enamored with the 2020+ SUV, other than its very cool tech dashboard, so I do empathize.
Best of luck with your next vehicle.
 

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I wonder what that person's last vehicle was. I can only imagine what a beam of light would compare to a GLA. Now I know for sure that Mercedes is unable to design a windshield wiper.

I trust a random complainer on the internet much more than a century of the most respected engineering in the trillion-dollar automotive market. The pride of a nation verses what's-her-name....
 

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Tanner Foust has a new YouTube Winter driving video (excuse the VAG :p). As he cites he was an ice driving instructor for 8 years.
He hits most of the topics except my "keep up your momentum" fav, although it is somewhat implied.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you! Great resources. I finally did have to go out in the snow. It only broke traction (probably only one tire each time) a few times up the hill but regained full traction almost immediately each time. What I found to be absolutely AMAZING was when I came back home and down the driveway. In my Audi, it was always just manual mode, 1st gear, and stay off the brakes unless needed to slow the downhill speed. In this thing, WOW! That downhill button (not sure what the feature is called) used the engine as a brake and I never needed to touch the pedal at all. I was able to creep down the half-mile 14-17% grade icy and snow in total control. I can only imagine what this can be like with real winter tires on it!

I am thrilled so far.
 
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