Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014 – 2020) Review
Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014 – 2020) At A Glance
In 2014, the Mercedes A-Class which had arrived in 2012 was turned into an SUV, the Mercedes GLA. It addresses the firm ride of the A-Class with a more supple set-up, although this is no high-riding off-roader. You can get it with four-wheel drive, but front-drivers are more frugal. Rivals are drawn from a variety of corners, such as the Audi Q3, dynamically impressive BMW X1, and even the Range Rover Evoque. Read on for our Mercedes GLA review.
The Mercedes GLA is a compact SUV designed to blend the practicality of a hatch with the option of four-wheel drive.
What’s surprising is why, given the popularity of smaller 4x4s among premium car buyers, it took so long for the Mercedes GLA to arrive.
It’s no surprise to learn that it’s based on the Mercedes A-Class. It uses the same platform and there are clearly big similarities in the styling, both inside and out.
Despite being an SUV, it’s not as big as you’d expect. In fact, sitting behind the wheel, it’s a bit like a jacked-up Mercedes A-Class – the driving position isn’t overly elevated.
It does come with raised ground clearance and a more rugged appearance, as we’ve come to expect from this style of SUV. And just like the competition, there are both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive versions available, although most used buyers will opt for the standard two-wheel-drive Mercedes GLA 200d. As with the Mercedes A-Class, it’s a front-wheel-drive layout.
The engine line-up echoes the Mercedes A-Class too, so there’s a Mercedes GLA 200d and Mercedes GLA 220d 4MATIC, which are both powered by the familiar 2.1-litre diesel.
It’s a decent engine but not the most refined around, and when combined with the 7G-DCT automatic gearbox it’s a fairly lacklustre combination.
If you don’t need diesel, there’s a Mercedes GLA 200 which is actually powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine.
The Mercedes GLA is better suited to a more laid-back driving style and it’s the excellent ride quality that really shines through, especially with the standard SE suspension.
It’s quiet and comfortable at motorway speeds and good over long distances. The interior quality is top-notch, too, and although the basic design is starting to look a little dated now – the stereo controls in particular – the quality of the finish is very good.
Read our review of the latest Mercedes-Benz GLA here.