Mercedes-Benz GLA Review 2024

Mercedes-Benz GLA At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Mercedes-Benz GLA throws into the mixing bowl everything you like about the Mercedes A-Class – its posh image, high-tech interior and strong range of engines – adds an extra spoonful of practicality and a dash of SUV ruggedness.

+Chunky SUV looks and practicality, with the same pretty cabin and excellent range of engines that you'll find in the Mercedes A-Class. Improved infotainment and mild-hybrid tech from 2023.

-Rivals feel more special to drive and have a more consistent feeling of quality through their cabins.

Insurance Groups are between 23–41
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The Mercedes-Benz GLA takes everything we like about the latest Mercedes A-Class and adds some extra practicality and oh-so-desirable SUV image. It's just been updated, too, which means it's now even more competitive against the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque. Is it one of the best small-but-posh SUVs on sale? Read our full Mercedes-Benz GLA review to find out.

Mercedes-Benz's SUV range follows the same Russian doll philosophy as its saloons – they look nearly identical (military-spec G Wagon notwithstanding) but every model is slightly bigger than the last. 

That’s a good thing for this new GLA because if there was a criticism of the old model it would have been that it looked too much like an A-Class on raised suspension – a major problem when your target audience is crying out for a chunkily styled SUV. Thankfully, its blunt front-end and boxier profile means this GLA isn’t going to be mistaken for a hatchback. 

You'll struggle to notice the difference between the latest Mercedes GLA and the pre-facelift model, though. In 2023, the Mercedes GLA was updated with some very minor exterior revisions including new bumpers, a refreshed radiator grille and body-coloured wheel arch extensions (replacing the rugged black cladding found on earlier models).

The engine line-up remains the same as before, including a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power. Mild-hybrid electric assistance is now standard on the petrol and diesel models, providing a small boost in power as well as the ability to turn the engine off as the car coasts to a stop. The battery in the plug-in hybrid Mercedes GLA 250e, meanwhile, has been revised to provide a longer electric-only range of up to 48 miles.

Whichever engine you choose, the Mercedes GLA is a comfortable and relaxing car to drive - if not as sporty as the BMW X1. An automatic gearbox is standard (changing gears yourself is hardly the premium experience Mercedes is going for), while the GLA's light steering takes the pain out of tight manoeuvring.

We like the GLA's interior - it's practical and generally well-finished, although it doesn't feel quite as rock solid as you might expect for a Mercedes. The infotainment was improved in 2023 - the 10.25-inch central display is slicker to operate than before, while a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is now standard across the range. Previously, a smaller seven-inch unit was fitted on more affordable models.

The Mercedes GLA remains an easy-to-recommend car for those wanting a stylish SUV without the high running costs of a bigger model. The latest updates don't exactly change the game but they do help it remain competitive in a very cut-throat market.

Ask Honest John

Can I disable keyless entry?

"Purchased Mercedes GLA in November. Vehicle parked in locked garage overnight. On a number of occasions boot has opened and scraped against garage door causing minor damage. Also have returned to car on a number of occasions to find boot open. Dealership know this to be a problem but only suggestion seems to be a Faraday pouch or hang then keys up somewhere. Makes keyless useless. Is there a key holder that protects key without shutting of keyless or can boot option be blocked? Unfortunately although Mercedes aware it seems it’s my problem and not theirs."
This is an unusual problem, but unless there is a specific fault with the keys or the vehicle it would appear that the boot operation is being triggered accidentally. One option would be to place the keys somewhere in your house that is further away from the garage so they are out of range, or purchase a Faraday pouch to prevent any signals being transmitted when not required. It is possible to reprogram the key so that the boot release button is disabled, so we would enquire with your dealer. If they are not willing to help, we would suggest trying an independent vehicle locksmith who may be able to offer this service.
Answered by David Ross

Mercedes-Benz GLA vs Audi Q2 - which is best?

"I’m considering buying a 12-month-old SUV. I've narrowed my choice to the Mercedes-Benz GLA or Audi Q2. Which car would you recommend?"
Both good choices. We'd recommend the Mercedes GLA, though - it feels a bit newer (the Q2 has been on sale largely unchanged since 2016). Also consider the excellent new BMW X1, if it's within budget.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Mercedes-Benz GLA new car order - can I get my deposit back?

"In early December I ordered a Mercedes GLA. I have still not been given a build date and have read stories of 40+ week waits for some customers. I’m happy to sit tight for now but at what point can I say enough is enough and get my deposit returned? "
Mercedes-Benz say that there are a number of different factors influencing the supply of new vehicles, depending on the individual circumstances, for example, model and specification. The Mercedes-Benz retailer is best placed to advise you, based on the specifics of the order and how the vehicle is being financed.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz GLA cost?