Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014–2020)

What's good

Impressive ride quality with comfort suspension.

Little noise at motorway speeds.

5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating under 2014 system: 96% adult occupant protection, 88% child occupant protection, 67% pedestrian protection, 70% safety assist.

What to watch out for

2.1-litre diesel engine is not the quietest, especially when worked hard.

Automatic gearbox can be slow to respond and kick down.

Standard Mercedes-Benz interior design is starting to look a little dated in places.

26-10-2016: Noise reported from AWD system of 40,000 mile 2014 GLA on 19-inch wheels from purchase used at 5 months old. Since purchased it suffered from a noise and vibration coming from the 4x4 system at low speeds and now under hard acceleration. After being run consistently on a motorway when stopping and then pulling away again it feels as though the front and rear wheels are fighting against each other. When braking to a stop and when the stop/start system cuts the engine you can actually 'feel' the transmission 'relax'. This seems much worse after a long, high speed run on the motorway. It has got to the point where every passenger comments on either the sound or vibration, regular passengers saying that it's definitely getting worse. Car is on the original rear tyres (at 40,000 miles), front ones replaced earlier 2016 year due to 'odd' wear due to under inflation (not registered by the pressure monitors). Problem probably caused by disparity between front and rear tyres.

10-4-2017: Report of front left side suspension of new 2017 Mercedes Benz GLA 220d 4matic collapsing.

7-8-2017: Report of front tyres of 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 'crabbing' on low speed corners.

23-8-2017: Report of engine management light on and restricted power within 3 months of purchase of new Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d. Earliest Mercedes would book owner in was 3 months later. Turned out the problem was a soot blocked DPF. Since then owner has taken it back at least 4 times with a blocked DPF. He uses the motorway every day for work commuting and doesn't do city driving.

29-10-2017: Faults with a June 2016 Mercedes GLA 250 YC16YXG have included: June 2016: Front offside proximity sensor continually activated when there was no obstruction in sight. Owner had to take it in to the garage three times before it was rectified: "It probably needs a software download." This was done but the fault recurred. "We’ll adjust the [something]." This was done but the fault recurred. "We may need to replace the sensor. This finally solved the problem at the cost of four days without the car. (The fault has recurred a few times since but owner ignored it in the hope it will just go away.) January 2017: The stop/start stopped working. Required two visits to dealer. First time "We have found the fault and have replaced the subsidiary battery." 2nd time: "The fault recurred so we have replaced the main battery." Also a fault with the audio system. If owner left iPod plugged in, when he switched on Media, the system showed the current track as playing but without sound. He had to switch to Radio and then back to Media when the system played the sound. He was told “this is a characteristic of the model” so nothing could be done. June 2017: The fault with stop/start recurred. Dealer said: “We have found an electrical fault on the main battery so will replace it. Unfortunately, we don’t have one in stock so can you bring the car back in.” Next day owner took car back and battery was replaced. Owner mentioned media fault to service assistant and she said that perhaps a download of the command module software would cure the fault. The battery was replaced and the download cured the fault. August 2017: Two further faults developed: The hatchback auto close partially stopped working – it would three-quarters close and then stop; The auto parking brake release stopped working so every time owner tried to drive off the panel told him to “release parking brake”. He took car to dealer and both problems were fixed, apparently with a software download (the software download also seems to have fixed the engine stop/start that had begun to malfunction again). However, the mechanic noted a repair advisory from Mercedes which required the battery to be replaced with a different model. This meant that, in 15 months, the car has had five batteries: The original two batteries fitted on delivery; a replacement of the subsidiary battery (January 2017); a replacement of the main battery (January 2017); a replacement of the main battery (June 2017); a replacement of the main battery [different model] (August 2017). September 2017: Front offside proximity sensor again started activating when there was no obstruction in sight. The garage collected the car but could find no fault either from the computer diagnosis or from a walk-around test. However, they had ordered a new sensor plus new wiring as a precaution so replaced the wiring. A day later the fault recurred. October 2107: Front offside proximity sensor again activated unnecessarily. Owner then read that a recall was planned for Mercedes GLA models because of an electrical fault that can cause the airbags to activate by mistake; the garage have not yet contacted the owner about this. (Recall issued 17-10-2017; see 'Recalls'.)

27-1-2018: Complaint of "tacker, tacker, tacker" noise on slow, hard, right turn going up an incline from stop (Dormans Station Road onto Wilderwick Road near East Grinstead) from Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic. BApparently US forums say known problem with CV joints TRB LI33.30-P-061504? Started at about 22,000 miles on 15 plate car. Crabbing started at about same time. Tyres 4mm.

27-2-2018: Report of repeated corrosion of the centres of the front alloy wheels on a March 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA, now at 13,500 miles. The wheels were first replaced in August 2017 and now, 6 months and 3,000 miles later the corrosion is spreading, like a spider's web, from the centres of the wheels. MB has once again agreed to replace the two front wheels. Apparently the rear wheels had been refurbed prior to the owner buying it as a new car.

19-3-2018: Report of 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA200 CDi 7G-DCT Auto Start/Stop losing Drive 3 miles after setting off. No warning signs on instrument panel. Owner pulled over, waited 2 - 3 minutes, then tried again and Drive returned.

27-4-2018: Report of red fault message appearing on dash of Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG - Collision Prevention System Unavailable. "From 50mph the car lost all power within two to three seconds and came to a halt. Owner switched off the ignition, re-started the engine, fault message disappeared engine power regained. MB could find no trace of the GLA45 fault on their diagnostic system and basically said what happened to the GLA 45 could have been the result of a number of issues and not traceable. MB subsequently absolved themselves of any responsibility to research the issue further. The reason being they cannot find a fault or determine why the fault would occur in the first place. If I want to pursue the matter further they have advised me to through the Motor Ombudsman."

29-5-2018: Report of same Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG as 27-4-2018 needing new brake discs at 16,000 miles at a cost of £2,000 because the discs had become warped.

16-10-2018: Report of failure of inlet manifold swirl flap motors on 2014 Mercedes Benz GLA 200CDI at 46,000 miles. (Damage code 0 09338H2). Estimated cost of repair £1312.32.

29-10-2018: Report of fuel system problems with 2016 Mercededs-Benz GLA 250 (petrol) AMG line at 20k miles after running 400km at 130kmp on French Autoroutes using 95RON petrol and then refuelling with 95RON. On pulling away from the pump, the car has a noticeable misfire for at least a couple of kilometres. On every occasion this has happened, it has been preceded by the auto stop-start failing, in that the yellow ‘not ready’ light will have been on for the whole 400 km (when the light is green, ‘ready’, there has never been a problem. The first time it happened (July 2017) the engine was unable to pull below 2500 rpm, and would not rev above 4000 rpm. Using the auto-box manually, owner managed to limp to Mercedes Le Mans where the engine diagnostics revealed a non-working No 1 cylinder. They reinstalled the full software suite, and the catastrophic misfire was resolved. However, three times since owner has experienced varying degrees of stuttering after the 400 km refuel point. We suggested running the car on 99RON petrol that the engine is optimised for.

3-4-2019: Report of dual mass flywheel of 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 220CDI failing to engage the starter motor after 23,000 miles. Mercedes-Benz delaer quoted £3,000 to replace DMF and clutch.

10-4-2019: Another report of the dual mass flywheel of a Mercedes-Benz GLA failing, this tme a 2014 4-Matic with full Mercedes-Benz service history.

8-6-2019: Report of random fault with 2014 Mercedes Benz GLA220 CDi 7G-DCT 4Matic. Warning shows: PRE SAFE FUNCTIONS LIMITED; DSR and "skid symbol" also comes on. When this happens engine seems to lose full acceleration and will not kick down. DSR and ECO buttons on the dashboard do not operate. If driver stops, switches off, takes out the key, then switches back on again failts disappear. MB dealer wants £180 for basic diagnostics to try to trace the fault.

24-10-2019: Report of poor performance and increased fuel consumption from Merceded-Benz GLA after NOx emissions upgrade.

9-12-2019: Report of rear hatch of 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA opening of its own accord, initially in a car park when it kept opening every time owner got out and subsequently on 3 further occasions; one a similar situation and twice when he just came to it and found the hatch open. Dealer replaced the lock but fault still occurs. Might benefit from a squirt of WD40. But see 29-10-2017.

15-2-2020: Report of wear on Alcantara type driver's seat material of 39,000 miles 2017 Mercedes Benz GLA 200 AMG Line leading to shiny areas where it seems to have worn away.


Mercedes-Benz GLA Built 08/09/2014-07/11/2014 Number of cars involved 1208 Manufacturer reference SRPC1507. Problem Front passenger airbag may not deploy because of ill-fitted fuses. Solution Check the fuses and replace fuse box if necessary.

20-06-2017: R/2017/096: STARTING CURRENT LIMITER MAY OVERLOAD. Where the car incurs severe engine damage resulting in the engine failing to turn over (engine seizure), and if the driver repeatedly attempts to start the engine despite the engine not cranking, the very high electrical current could lead to overheating of the starting current limiter and the potential for a fire. Fix: Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and install an additional fuse in the electrical line to the starter. Build dates: 01-02-2014 to 28-02-2017.

20-06-2017: R/2017/160: LEFT AND RIGHT WINDOW AIRBAGS MAY FAIL TO DEPLOY AS INTENDED. The left and right widow airbags may not meet specification. As a result they may not deploy in the event of an accident. Fix: On affected vehicles replace the left and right window airbags. VINS: WDC1569052J325801 to WDC1569052J325801.

20-06-2017: R/2017/161: LEFT WINDOW AIRBAG MAY NOT DEPLOY AS INTENDED. The left widow airbag may not meet specification. As a result it may not deploy in the event of an accident. Fix: On affected vehicles replace the left window air bag. VINS: WDC1569022J325763 to WDC1569462J326731; WDD1173032N451720 to WDD1179422N451604. Build dates: 01-08-2016 to 31-03-2017.

20-06-2017: R/2017/162: RIGHT WINDOW AIRBAG MAY FAIL TO DEPLOY AS INTENDED. The right widow airbag may not meet specification. As a result they may not deploy in the event of an accident. Fix: On affected vehicles replace theright window airbag. VINS: WDC1569022J325302 to WDC1569462J325894; WDD1173052N451708 to WDD1173441N452052. Build dates: 01-08-2016 to 31-03-2017.

20-06-2017: R/2017/177: AIRBAG MAY NOT DEPLOY CORRECTLY. The propellant mixing ratio in the igniters of the front passenger airbag assembly may not meet specification. If the airbag is required and activated, it might not deploy or not completely deploy. This could increase the risk of injury to the occupants. Fix: Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and replace the front passenger airbag assembly. VINS: WDC1569022J306707 to WDD2462432J426041; WDC1569022J306707 to WDD2462432J426041; WDC1569022J306707 to WDD2462432J426041; WDC1569022J306707 to WDD2462432J426041; WDC1569022J306707 to WDD2462432J426041. Build dates: 01-08-2016 to 31-03-2017.

20-06-2017: R/2017/179: VACUUM LINE BRAKE BOOSTER MAY BREAK. The connection fitting of the vacuum line to the brake booster is not to specification and my not be durable. If the connection fails the brake booster will no longer be supplied with vacuum. After a few brake applications, the driver will have to apply additional pressure to the brake pedal to gain the appropriate braking effect. Fix: Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and replace the vacuum line on the brake booster with a quality assured component. VINS: WDD1173031N011248 to WDD2462432J170572; WDD1173031N011248 to WDD2462432J170572; WDD1173031N011248 to WDD2462432J170572; WDD1173031N011248 to WDD2462432J170572. Build dates: 01-04-2011 to 30-04-2013.

23-7-2017: MB issued a voluntary recall to apply software upgrades to diesel engines in a bid to cut nitrogen oxide emissions on three million vehicles. All Euro 5 and Euro 6 standard diesel engines registered in Europe between January 2011 and September 2015 are affected. (Only the new two-litre turbodiesel fitted to the latest E-Class saloon and a new V6 turbodiesel in the soon-to-be released S-Class are exempt.) A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said that the “software upgrade” would be carried out by dealerships when customers visited for a service or other maintenance work and would take around an hour to complete. MB “did not expect” the upgrade to have any effect on the performance of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Many Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles have already had the update applied after work to apply the changes to compact vehicles and the V-Class MPV got underway in March. It was reported in The Times in July that while Daimler, which manufactures Mercedes-Benz, had not been found to use the same type of software for cheating emissions tests discovered in Volkswagen vehicles in 2015, it is the subject of an investigation by the German authorities into the possible manipulation of exhaust controls in cars with diesel engines.

17-10-2017: Mercedes-Benz issued a voluntary recall to apply a free-of-charge fix to approximately 400,000 UK models affected by a broken steering column spring. Coupled with insufficiently earthed wiring components, this may lead to a short circuit - which can inadvertently deploy the driver's airbag. If the airbag warning light appears on the dash customers are urged to contact a roadside assistance service or their nearest retailer. The safety recall affects certain A-Class, B-Class, C-Class and E-Class models, together with CLA, GLA and GLC vehicles, built between November 2011 and July 2017.

14-08-2018: R/2018/168 DRIVER'S AIRBAG GAS GENERATOR HOUSING FAILURE DURING DEPLOYMENT On affected vehicles it has been determined that drivers airbags with potentially faulty gas generator housing material may have been installed in vehicles of model series 156, 176, 246, 205, 238 & 253. If the material of the gas generator housing fails during airbag deployment in the event of a crash, the airbag system would possibly no longer have a restraint effect. In addition, separating parts could enter the passenger compartment. This could lead to an increased risk of injury.

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