Mercedes GLA Review

The Mercedes GLA is a stylish small SUV with a posh interior and plenty of high-tech features. You can only get it with one engine at the moment, though.

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Buy a new or used Mercedes GLA at a price you’ll love
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RRP £33,000 - £43,575 Avg. carwow saving £1,574 off RRP
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Mercedes GLA: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

When the first Mercedes GLA came out, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that jacked-up hatchbacks with a dash of off-road styling were a flash in the pan – a bit like fidget spinners or Vines. Turns out, they’re here to stay.

The latest Mercedes GLA commits more to the sub-urban SUV theme than before, so it’s 10cm taller than the old car and you can get it with massive 20-inch alloy wheels. Its gaping front grille is bigger than ever and the new LED headlights look super classy.

At the back, the Mercedes GLA’s brake lights look just like those on the A-Class, only there’s a tall piece of black plastic trim to accentuate the car’s ride height and make it look tougher and more off-road-ey.

There’s little about the Mercedes GLA’s interior that conjures up images of muddy mountain paths or perilous river crossings. It’s all very classy and you can get it with the same two large infotainment displays as the Mercedes A-Class hatchback.

There’s also Mercedes’ latest MBUX system that’ll give you the option of using various voice-commands to control the car’s features as well as overlaying sat-nav directions on a live video feed from a camera above the car’s windscreen. Just the thing to help you navigate tricky junctions.

Small SUVs based on upmarket hatchbacks are here to stay. And the Mercedes GLA looks to be one of the very poshest.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The new Mercedes GLA has 11cm more legroom in the back than the old, rather cramped model, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble convincing a couple of adults to sit back there. You can also get a set of sliding and reclining rear seats, but these cost extra.

You’ll be able to fit more luggage in the new Mercedes GLA’s boot than in the old car’s. Well, maybe one small bag – it only has 14 litres more space. There’s no load lip, though, so it should be pretty easy to slide in heavy items.

Unfortunately, switch to the front-end of the GLA and the news isn’t quite so good. You’ll only be able to get it with one engine when it first goes on sale. This 163hp 1.3-litre petrol engine comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard and should help the Mercedes GLA return around 50mpg. More petrol engines will go on sale in the future, though, along with some diesel units and hybrid versions.

If you’re looking for something faster, there’s the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 to consider. This gets the same 306hp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and four-wheel-drive system as the AMG A35 hatchback, so it’ll be capable of blasting from 0-60 in around five seconds flat.

If safety tech is more important to you that outright speed, you can also get the GLA with a bunch of Mercedes’ latest driver assistance systems. These include adaptive cruise control that’ll accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways and a clever evasive steering assist system that can help you avoid collisions by steering around obstacles.

Head over to our Mercedes GLA deals page if this sounds like the ideal small SUV for you.

Buy a new or used Mercedes GLA at a price you’ll love
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RRP £33,000 - £43,575 Avg. carwow saving £1,574 off RRP
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