'Chintzy' in the US, as well cited above, is a slang term for "cheap, tacky, poor quality, gaudy and tasteless."
There's no question the GLA 250 is an "entry level" vehicle, purposely so to introduce newer buyers to the brand at a relatively affordable price (or also as MB has unexpectedly discovered, retirees looking to downsize to a small all-purpose crossover whilst retaining The Star).
As such, the interior touch materials and quiet ride in particular more often associated with Benz are somewhat lacking. However at the price point new and even better pre-owned, and now with two years experience, my wife and I still find it "more than adequate." The MB-tex (aka vinyl) is remarkably good, coming from someone who was prior a stickler for leather. But I do shake my head every time I have to use the ol' school hood/bonnet strut in lieu of gas pistons.
There are after market hood struts. I got a pair out of Russia (via Amazon) that work great. And it does make a big difference in feel every time I lift the hood. It's an easy bolt on thing ... Like MB meant to include the parts but then forgot. One on each side. Just be careful not to over tighten the bolts.
It looks like the new GLAs come with a single strut.
Thanks Wayne and I was aware of those aftermarket gas pistons. Heck, it's a relatively light aluminum hood/bonnet and I'm well used to manual strut support, but my point was more about first impressions related to the relative 'entry level' build quality.
Again, I really like the GLA, but can understand and empathize to a degree when folks cite that it's not up to their Benz expectations.
As wise people have said (and I have repeated) ... Black is not a color, it is a hobby!!!
And definitely the GLA was designed as an entry level car. But I think MB blew it. The GLA250 is not a young couple's entry car. It is an empty nester / grandparents' car (I'm not applying that statement to the GLA45 which is a different animal). I would have been happy to have the options of PTS (paint to sample), folding mirrors with puddle lights, under front seat storage, extra sound proofing, and many of the features found on the higher end models. Pay more? Sure. At least give the options. MB touts just in sequence manufacturing and that any combination can be built. So why not on the GLA?
Note: Many features were available in non USA cars but MB really limited what the USA could order, figuring they could sell more large SUVs by limiting the GLA (that is only my opinion).
Another note: In replacing Pam's car (Lexus Rh400) the orders I got were smaller (tight parking), sporty (handling and performance), SUV (for loading and visibility), luxury, good mileage, and a few other things. When all was said and done the GLA45 really was the only option on the market. Adding the aftermarket gas struts and under front seat cabinets helped me feel like the compromises were less.
To be fair, I think MB now better understands the market and has improved the line and offered options that were not previously allowed. For me it's too bad they had to do that with a taller vehicle. Perhaps in the future the A45 will come to our shores. MB, are you listening?
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