The GLA-class SUV is the sexy sibling of the slightly more practical
GLB-class. What the sleeker GLA loses in cabin and cargo space it makes up for with enhanced styling, which means it’s the better choice for those who favor form over function in their SUV. The stylish, modern-looking interior is handsomely appointed in upscale materials. The GLA's 221-horsepower turbo-four engine delivers adequate power to either the front or all four wheels and is complemented by the subcompact crossover’s composed handling. If you’re after a GLA that will light up your synapses with its performance, then head in the direction of the vastly more powerful AMG GLA45. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a fashion-forward mode of transport with sufficient space and a healthy dose of luxury and refinement, then the GLA-class should suit your wants and needs elegantly.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2024?
Mercedes has revitalized the GLA-class for the 2024 model year, giving it a new face with high-output LED headlights as well as a newly sculpted hind end with updated taillights. Under hood, the GLA-class gets a hybrid-assist system, which should help the engine operate more efficiently but doesn’t necessarily increase performance. Other enhancements include a newly standard 10.3-inch infotainment display with the latest software plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, high beam assist, the Parking package, Mirror package and Keyless GO package are all now standard equipment.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While no one who buys a GLA250 is likely to explore the trails, opting for the 4Matic model adds more than just all-wheel drive. Mercedes makes the Off-Road Engineering package standard on that model, which provides an off-road driving mode that decreases throttle response and power delivery. Some drivers may find it useful in certain situations, such as plowing through heavy snow. We’d be inclined to add the optional Burmester surround sound system, too, as we appreciate having a quality audio experience during road trips.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2024 GLA-class is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 221 horsepower and is assisted by hybrid technology. The turbo-four is also paired with an eight-speed automatic that transmits power to the front or all four wheels. While we haven’t yet driven a GLA with the new hybrid tech, we expect performance figures to remain the same. At our test track, a previous model-year all-wheel drive GLA250 4Matic managed a 60-mph time of 6.3 seconds—adequate but far from fast compared to many EV SUVs. That result is actually slower than the last-generation model, which managed a 5.7-second result in the same test. Although the GLA250 is not intended as a sporting SUV, its handling is composed, and its suspension is compliant enough over rough stretches of road to avoid being uncouth.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has not published estimates for the 2024 GLA-class yet. We expect figures to improve given the addition of the hybrid-assist system. For reference, the 2023 GLA250 was rated at 24 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined. The all-wheel drive GLA250 4Matic's fuel economy estimates were 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg city. We haven't had a chance to test the new GLA250 on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route, but when we do we will update this story with the results. For more information about the GLA-class's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
One of the chief complaints about the previous-generation GLA-class was its cramped interior. Mercedes rectified that with the current-generation model. Rear-seat passengers are treated to almost five inches of additional legroom, as well as increased space for shoulders and elbows. This helps the GLA-class compete more directly with key rivals such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Volvo XC40. Interior materials look upscale, and the layout of controls and climate-control vents is similar to what we see on the GLB-class, with a column-mounted shifter, center-console-mounted infotainment controller, and circular vents along the dashboard. Cargo capacity is sufficient and grows with the rear seats folded flat, and the cargo floor is flush with that of the sill, which should make sliding bulkier items in and out of the trunk easier. In our testing, the GLA250 fit six of our carry-on suitcases behind the rear seat.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every 2024 GLA is equipped with two 10.3-inch displays, one for the driver's gauge display and one for the infotainment system. This is a slightly refined setup has been rolled out throughout the Mercedes lineup to mixed reviews from our editors. The system can be manipulated either via the touchscreen, using voice commands, or by utilizing the touchpad controller on the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard while navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, a head-up display, and a Burmester premium audio system are all optional.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Automated emergency braking and high-beam assist are standard across the range, but more advanced driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist will require adding the optional Driver Assistance package. For more information about the GLA-class's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes offers a basic warranty package, with coverage stretching four years or 50,000 miles. The Lexus NX offers longer warranty terms while others, while other rivals such as the BMW and the Volvo offer lengthy contracts for complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance