What's the used Mercedes GLA-Class hatchback like?
Take a regular family hatchback, raise it up a little, add some beefy bodywork and voilà, you have a family SUV. It’s a simple enough formula, but it has been going down a treat for a long time, so much so that even premium manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz are on the lucrative bandwagon.
The GLA was Mercedes’ first family SUV and is based upon the underpinnings of the old A-Class. It may look more substantial, but in fact it’s no longer, no wider and only 59mm taller.
It uses the same engines, too. The concise four-cylinder engine line-up kicks off with a 118bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol (badged GLA 180), followed by a 154bhp version of the same engine in the 200. A 211bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre comes in the 250. There are a couple of different power outputs for the 2.1-litre diesel: 134bhp in the 200d and 168bhp in the four-wheel-drive 220d. Most of these engines prove punchy if not terribly refined. For speed freaks, there’s also a 375bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged beast in the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45.
All apart from the 200 are available with Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel drive system, which brings with it the otherwise optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Front-wheel-drive models get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.
The GLA's steering is a little vague, and although it finds reasonable grip, its handling generally doesn’t inspire great confidence or enthusiasm. On top of that, its ride is a little fidgety, bordering on uncomfortable over broken surfaces.
Things get better inside, though, thanks to plush-feeling materials and comfortable seats. All GLAs get plenty of standard kit, too, although space in the rear isn't as generous as you might expect: six-footers will find themselves cramped.
Standard equipment is good; better on the entry-level SE model than on most rivals. The list includes a 7.0in infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, plus alloy wheels, air conditioning and cruise control. Indeed, the only things you might want to seek out are a DAB radio and sat-nav, although these were quite pricey options when new.
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