The GLA is essentially a high-riding, small SUV version of the A-Class, though the difference in overall height is negligible – the main difference is in its chunky looks. However, the A-Class has since been updated – it’s now in its fourth-generation, while the GLA is based on the third-generation model. That means that compared with the current A-Class it doesn’t really offer much of an advantage – the hatchback is far better to drive and has a much-improved interior.
Mercedes-Benz GLA specs
- Top-speed: 124-168mph
- 0-62mph: 4.4-9.1 seconds
- Fuel economy: 29.4-46.3mpg
- Emissions: 147-193g/km
- Boot space: 481-1235 litres
Which versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLA are available?
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is offered in a single five-seat compact SUV body style, but unless you opt for one of the 4Matic four-wheel-drive models, it offers little in the way of off-road talent. The range kicks off with the GLA 180 Urban Edition – the only model to be powered by a 122hp 1.6-litre petrol engine. SE, Sport and AMG Line trim levels are offered with a 156hp version of the same engine, while the 211hp 2.0-litre petrol GLA 250 4Matic is available in Sport and AMG Line guises.
Mercedes-Benz GLA styling and engineering
Mercedes-Benz treated its compact SUV to the mildest of facelifts in 2017, but you’d be hard-pressed to spot the changes between old and new. At best, the GLA has always looked a little awkward, but from some angles, it’s just plain ugly. On the inside, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were sat in the outgoing A-Class, but you do gain an extra 140 litres of luggage space.
How does the Mercedes-Benz GLA drive?
The GLA does feel a little more refined and comfortable than the A-Class hatchback, especially in Comfort mode, when it does a respectable job of absorbing bumps in the road. The trade-off for the raised ride height is a fair amount of body-roll when cornering, although this is countered in the Sport and AMG Line versions, thanks to the firmer suspension.