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Top Features of Base Model
- Solid driving performance
- Ready for all weather types
- Good fuel economy
- Strong acceleration
- Great steering and handling
Since its launch in 2013, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, has been a popular SUV. It has outsold several of its competitors in the luxury compact crossover class. It hasn't changed much from 2018, but with its all-around quality, fans don't mind because they like it just the way it is.
What makes the Mercedes GLA special? While it's made by a luxury automaker, it's based on a platform for small European cars. The end result is a GLA hatchback with strong performance, luxury-level comfort, and a price tag in the same range as an average family sedan.
A four-cylinder engine with a 208 hp output is what you get with the GLA 250. There are also several great standard features like a folding seatback with a pass-through center and a power liftgate. You also get three performance modes that help you adjust the engine and transmission for many different road conditions.
The standard GLA is a front-wheel drive but it's available as an all-wheel-drive too. The all-wheel-drive models are called 4Matics and come with some specific off-road extras. With its solid handling and steering, the GLA is a hatchback that performs.
The onboard infotainment system uses an 8-inch display screen and is Bluetooth capable. You have the option of adding Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or a Wi-Fi hotspot through a subscription service. There are other technology options too like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
When it comes to comfort, with the GLA's suspension, tires, and wheels, there's a roughness to the ride. It can be jarring since the interior makes it feel like a luxury car. For many, the ride quality is lacking and keeps GLA from attaining a higher rating in its class.
The GLA doesn't exactly fit the Mercedes-Benz control and power mold. Still, it's one of the more fun vehicles to drive in their entire lineup. In particular, the AMG GLA 45 trim features 375 hp, all-wheel drive, and impressive performance.
While the GLA is reasonably priced, don't expect the smooth-as-glass ride offered by the brand's other vehicles. The GLA provides a ride that's a little rougher and there's not as much headroom, legroom, or cargo space. The transmission isn't as smooth as the brand's other offerings and is slow to increase power.
GLA is a bargain for a performance hatchback but more expensive than peers in its class. If it's wet where you live, get a GLA with all-wheel drive. If you're looking for a small crossover with energetic driving performance, and you rarely have passengers, the Mercedes-Benz GLA might be just what you're looking for.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Exterior Design
A distant relative of the Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan, GLA sits higher off the ground and offers a taller hatchback profile. The roofline is short with sharply angled pillars to display a more practical nature.
The appeal of the GLA is truly in the details with attractive front-end trim elements and 19-inch wheels. Its sculpting is bold with LED headlamps and taillamps standard on the AMG GLA 45 and optional on the GLA 250. The focus of the AMG GLA 45 is the performance, and it sits three inches lower than its counterpart.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Interior Design
While the GLA is a "budget Benz", it's still a Mercedes-Benz which means the GLA 250 is quite stylish. The finishes and panel fit aren't on par with the rest of the brand's lineup. But the manual steering column that tilts and telescopes lets you get comfortable behind the wheel.
The GLA 250's cabin is compact but the front row has enough room for two adults. The back seat is even smaller with limited head and legroom which doesn't help its ranking in its class. For families with little kids, it might work but a road trip with four adults might not be as comfortable.
The GLA 250 also has the smallest cargo space in its class. For those who routinely transporting bulky items, you may want to take a test drive before you buy. You get around 17 cubic feet of space beneath the hatch which can easily manage a few suitcases for a weekend away.
With the back seats folded down you get 44 cubic feet of space. The power liftgate is a standard feature with the option to get the hands-free version. Swing your foot under the bumper with the key on your person and the hatch will open for you.
What's New for the Mercedes-Benz GLA?
Although the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA hasn't changed a lot from the 2018 model, there are some exciting new features including:
- New Iridium Silver paint color
- New standard features for the AMG GLA 45 model
What Technology Does the Mercedes-Benz GLA Offer?
The GLA 250 has an 8-inch infotainment screen standard that's at the top of the dashboard. There's a small rotary knob at the center of the system's console. But there are options like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and onboard Wi-Fi using a service.
Some of the infotainment menus can be frustrating to users like having to unplug an Android Auto or Apple CarPlay enabled smartphone in order to access the navigation system. Bluetooth, however, is easy to set up and the sound for both streaming music and incoming phone calls is pretty good.
What Safety Features Does Mercedes-Benz GLA Include?
The GLA offers a full list of standard safety features. It has several standard driver-assistance features here like collision alerts and auto emergency braking. There's also available adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping helper to keep you safe on the roads.
What Is the New Mercedes-Benz GLA Like to Drive?
When it comes to handling and driving dynamics, the GLA feels like a smaller car. The precision steering makes it easy to navigate the hatchback and provides a fun ride. As is often the case with sporty cars and vehicles, in exchange for the performance there is a diminished ride quality due to a stiff suspension.
What Fuel Economy Can I Expect from the GLA?
The Benz GLA holds its own in its class when it comes to fuel economy. It should be noted that the turbocharged engine of the GLA 250 uses premium gas which costs more but other in-class peers do too. On a 200-mile fuel economy test loop, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic managed a noteworthy 34 mpg which topped its rivals.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA
- Appealing design
- Respectable fuel economy
- Prepared for all weather types
- Good acceleration
- Good steering and handling
- Prices go up quickly with higher trim levels
- Limited back seat area
- Limited headroom
- Limited cargo space
Introduced in 2015, Mercedes-Benz entered the compact crossover market with the GLA-Class. Based on the CLA-Class platform, this vehicle had a sharp, sporty look and handled very well. It had more of a youthful appeal blended with the luxury features older adults wanted.
The GLA offered a lot of great standard features like electronic cruise control, power front seats, a power liftgate, and much more. There was a choice of front-wheel drive and 4Matic all-wheel drive in 2015 with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Before long, a performance AMG version appeared in the lineup with the GLA 250. The GLA 45 AMG had a hand-built turbocharged engine with 355 hp. It also had performance braking, a sport suspension, and an upscale interior including aluminum and stainless steel accents.
In 2016 the AMG GLA 45's engine got a boost to 375 hp. 2017 saw the addition of a multimedia display while the GLA 250 got a remote start feature. In 2018, buyers of the GLA-Class got an update with a new front bumper, LED headlamps and a brake assist feature.
In 2018, the GLA 250 got an inner cabin update to make it more comfortable. The AMG GLA 45 models also added the Performance Studio Package which included a lot of black detailing like that on the 19-inch multi-spoke wheel. It included pins in the diamond grille, the front splitter trim, the side skirt trim, the rear bumper insert, the rear spoiler, and the trim on the tailpipe.
For those who love a performance hatchback, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is worth a closer look.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA
- Body Style
- Sport Utility
- 2.0L I-4 Turbo w/Direct Injection
- 208 hp
- 7-Speed DCT Dual-Clutch Automatic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Back Up Camera
- CD Player
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L I-4 Turbo w/Direct Injection
- Transmission: 7-Speed DCT Dual-Clutch Automatic -inc: touch shift, Eco and Sport shift program
- Axle Ratio: 4.60
- GVWR: TBD
- Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 62-Amp/Hr Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
- 115 Amp Alternator
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 14.8 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Polished Tailpipe Finisher
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Wheels: 18" 5-Spoke
- Tires: 235/50R18 All-Season
- All-Season Tires
- Extended Mobility Run-Flat Tires
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Black Bodyside Cladding and Black Wheel Well Trim
- Chrome Side Windows Trim, Black Front Windshield Trim and Black Rear Window Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
- Deep Tinted Glass
- Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Lip Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Chrome Accents
- Power Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Roof Rack Rails Only
- Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Front And Rear Fog Lamps
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- Radio: Audio System w/Garmin Navigation Pre-Wiring -inc: media interface and Bluetooth connectivity
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, MP3 Player, Clock, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls, Radio Data System and Weatherband
- 8 Speakers
- Audio Theft Deterrent
- Streaming Audio
- Window Grid Antenna
- Single CD Player
- 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
- Front Power Seats
- Bucket Front Seats
- 8-Way Driver Seat
- 8-Way Power Driver Seat w/3-Position Memory
- 8-Way Passenger Seat
- 8-Way Power Passenger Seat w/3-Position Memory
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Selective Service Internet Access
- Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Push Button Start Only
- Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
- Cruise Control
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
- Illuminated Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Full Cloth Headliner
- MB-Tex Leatherette Door Trim Insert
- Urethane Gear Shift Knob
- MB-Tex Upholstery
- Day-Night Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Trunk/Hatch Auto-Latch
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Rigid Cargo Cover
- Cargo Space Lights
- Door Mirrors
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate and Windows
- Smart Device Remote Engine Start
- mbrace Connect Tracker System
- Smart Device Integration
- 8" Color Display Upgrade
- Refrigerated/Cooled Box Located In The Glovebox, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins and 1st Row Underseat Storage
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Redundant Digital Speedometer
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- 4-Way Power Lumbar Support for Driver & Passenger
- Perimeter Alarm
- Engine Immobilizer
- 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Emergency Sos
- Active Brake Assist
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
- mbrace Connect
- BabySmart Childseat Sensor and Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera