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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took our first road trip in the new GLA250 recently. Day 1 took us from San Diego to Lake Tahoe via I-15, I-215, I-15 again, then US395 up along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, through Carson City Nevada, then up to the north shore of Lake Tahoe. It was a 9 hour drive through some beautiful country. We had 4 in the car, me, the wife, and my two teenage kids in the back seats. My daughter even drove for 2 of the 9 hours, which gave me a nice break.

After several days we headed west and south down I-80 through Sacramento, then down the I-5 to the Atascadero area, where we headed further west to the US101 south to San Luis Obispo for the night. The next day we headed south along the 101 to LA and then south on the 405 to 5 and back home.

It was a great trip, and allowed us to really see how the GLA250 does in extended driving. Some observations:

Cruise control: At first I couldn't even find the control. It's hidden behind the steering wheel, low below the turn indicator stalk. It took some trial and error to figure it out, and it seemed to no work well because once set, it would add or subtract speed in 5mph increments. Later I figured out that by moving the stalk barely up or down it would increase or decrease by 1mph increments. After I figured that it worked great.

Roominess: I'm 6-0, but it was plenty roomy for me, and my son is 5-10 and he was behind me, also with plenty of leg room. We had lots of room for luggage, and with the panoramic roof (the sunscreen) open it felt even bigger. It was hot through the central valley, sometimes over 106ºF, but closing the pano screen made a big difference in cooling.

Power: We climbed up to well over 8000 feet in elevation, and even with a full load never once did it seem under powered at all. And climbing big grades at speed in 100º+ temps the water temperature never budged.

Navigation: We slowly figured it out, but it hardly intuitive. The traffic is weird in that it only shows when there's a problem, but I'm used to Google Maps with green where things are going well. I really hate the convoluted voice commands, but eventually through trial and error and trial and error we figured out how to use it. Would love to have a better, friendly nav system.

Overall: it was a great trip, and the car was a pleasure to drive. Very happy with the purchase!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Road noise was great, except when we were up in the high Sierra where the tire chains have been degrading the surface over the years. Otherwise very good.

Mileage was excellent! Averaged 33 or 34 mpg, and most of the time in Eco, though through the mountains and on a few 2 lane roads I put in sport for passing.
Sorry about photos, but I drove most of the time, so couldn't take pictures. Seeing the high Sierra's sticking up through the hazy high desert sky into the deep blue sky over 14,000 feet was breathtaking! I'll see if I can find some.... sorry guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for sharing! How was the road noise?
Wanted to share another thing I noticed that may relate the comment above about road noise. As I said, road noise in our GLA is great, but we live in southern California where the roads aren't beat up by road salt, tire chains, nor studded tires. I know that on trips to Seattle, where studded tires are allowed, the roads (almost all of them, but notice it especially on the freeways) rutted and in bad shape. It's so loud in the car it's hard to hear people talking. Locals have gotten used to it so they don't even notice! You have to hug the right or left side of the lane to have something approaching a normal noise level, and every car I've ridden in while there had the same issue.

So back to the GLA.... I noted that in the high Sierras the road noise was loud, but because of the road. What I left OUT (by accident) was that a couple of times the road had rain grooves cut into it, and the car wiggled a lot as we drove.... like a motorcycle on a grated drawbridge. It was unnerving.

This all leaves me wondering about the run-flat tires. It's rare, in my experience, to have a car wander on grooved pavement. We do have it here in socal some places, but maybe not as deeply cut??? Also wondering if run-flats have some denser stuff than air inside them that translates more road noise to the car than normal air-filled tires, which may act like insulators.

Thoughts?
 

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Run flats have much stiffer sidewalls designed to hold the weight of the car in the event of a flat and have differing tread material compositions, on average they run louder and ride stiffer than a similar standard non run flat tire of the same size with a comparable tread pattern. The effect you describe is called tramlining and is common with performance cars but to varying degree. How much so depends on the steering gear, suspension, tires size, aspect ratio, and tread pattern and rubber composition. Performance tires use stiffer sidewalls whether run flat or not, are usually installed in wider sizes with more aggressive aspect ratios, often have continuous block/continuous rain groove tread patterns, all make the car more susceptible to tramlining. Realistically most cars will tramline in specific instances and performance cars have attributes which tend to increase the likelihood.
 
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