Mercedes GLA review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, petrol, diesel
Available colours:
2020 Mercedes GLA infotainment controller
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  • 2021 Mercedes GLA front cornering
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA rear cornering
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA dashboard
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA rear seats
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA infotainment controller
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA rear
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA nose
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA front
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  • 2021 Mercedes GLA alloy wheel
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA front cornering
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA rear cornering
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA dashboard
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA rear seats
  • 2020 Mercedes GLA infotainment controller
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA rear
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA nose
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA front
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA side
  • 2021 Mercedes GLA alloy wheel
RRP £31,800What Car? Target Price from£29,430
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Mercedes GLA’s prices are a little on the steep side. It costs more to buy outright than its key rivals, the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. And while it should hold its value well, the competition tends to excel in that area too. 

On the other hand, the two diesel engines are impressively efficient – a little more so than equivalent versions of the Q3 and Range Rover Evoque – as proved in our real-world tests on other Mercedes models that use the same diesel engines as the GLA.

As a bonus, those engines are RDE2 compliant, which means there's no 4% penalty to add to its benefit-in-kind (BIK) ratings. But really, the clear choice for company car drivers in this line-up is the plug-in hybrid GLA 250e. It has very low CO2 emissions and can travel for more than 30 miles on electric power alone so it sits in the same low BIK tax bracket as the X1 xDrive25e (both are in a lower bracket than the XC40 T5 Recharge).

Equipment, options and extras

Even the entry-level Sport model is pretty well equipped, giving you 18in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, climate control and heated front seats.

In fact, given that the pricier AMG Line trim mostly focuses on making the car look more aggressive, we’d skip it and instead spend our money on the Executive package, for the infotainment upgrades it brings.

2020 Mercedes GLA infotainment controller

Reliability

The Mercedes GLA didn’t feature in our  What Car? reliability survey, but the performance of the A-Class hatchback that it’s closely related to gives some cause for concern – the A-Class finished in 9th place out of 12 cars in the family car class.

Mercedes came a disappointing 26th out of 31 manufacturers, with Audi and BMW finishing higher.

Safety and security

To help you avoid accidents, all Mercedes GLAs come with automatic emergency braking, a driver drowsiness monitor, and systems that stop you drifting out of your lane and can display the speed limit on the instrument panel.

Meanwhile, an optional Driving Assistance package brings a host of other tech, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a speed adjustment system which automatically slows the car as you approach bends, junctions and roundabouts.

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Overview

Classy, comfortable and well equipped, the Mercedes GLA is one of the better prestige family SUVs, but some rivals are cheaper and more practical.

  • Forgiving yet well controlled ride
  • Interior feels special
  • Good luxury and safety kit
  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Rear head room isn’t great
  • Closely related A-Class has below-par reliability

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