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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Expert Review

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Sometimes, it pays to wait. Mercedes-Benz could have jumped into the compact-SUV genre when competitors like the BMW X1 hit the market, but their patience produced the sleekly styled 2015 GLA-Class, which expands upon the sub-$30,000 Mercedes-Benz CLA's underpinnings and shares engines with that strong-selling sedan. Unlike the BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque, or Audi's soon-to-be released Q3, the all-new 2015 Mercedes GLA250 and its feral sibling, the GLA45 AMG, are slung low to the ground and more closely resemble bulbous wagons than high-riding SUVs. The result is an affordable, smallish SUV that's dialed in to appeal to driving enthusiasts, not just traditional sport ute fans – which gives this affordable hatchback huge potential for success.

You'll Like This Car If...

Crave practicality and need four doors, but can't commit to a full-blown SUV? Slip into a GLA250. Feeling more extroverted about your driving? You will find satisfaction from the GLA45 AMG's more robust performance capabilities.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a bigger, more imposing SUV that towers over traffic and drives large, head towards the Mercedes M-Class or GL. The new GLA is all about providing just enough size (and in the case of the AMG version, more than enough performance) – which is not necessarily for everybody.

How It Ranks

#2

out of 53

Fuel Economy

#36

out of 54

Horsepower
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Consumer Rating

9.3 out of 10
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consumer ratings
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The 2015 Mercedes GLA is similar in size to the global A-Class vehicle, but is an all-new body style wrapped around the Mercedes-Benz CLA's chassis and engine configurations, which uses a front-drive or all-wheel-drive platform.

Driving the GLA-Class
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions If you're the type to fight for the driver's seat, the standard-issue Mercedes GLA250 has a lot to like, while the GLA45 AMG offers even more to love. The base-model...

... SUV is powered by a 208-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder that delivers a respectable amount of grunt that's good for sprints to 60 mph in an estimated 7.1 seconds. Thanks to a low center of gravity, handling feels nimble and the GLA tracks nicely through corners, with a predictable amount of understeer as the adhesion limits are approached. The 355-horsepower GLA45 AMG is livelier, louder, and more fun to launch from a standstill, though its behavior is more measured (and less explosive) than those of other, pricier AMG models. Though its estimated 4.8 second 0-to-60-mph time is slower than its CLA45 sedan counterpart, this AMG nonetheless offers an entertaining and rewarding experience behind the wheel.

DOWNHILL SPEED REGULATION
Hill descent control isn't something you would typically associate with this class of SUV, but just knowing the new Mercedes GLA can manage its velocity on a steep downhill makes us like it more. After all, who doesn't love an overachiever?

PANORAMA SUNROOF
Epic sunroofs are fine and dandy on larger vehicles, but where you really appreciate their airy touch is on smaller cars like the GLA. In this application, the big expanse of glass opens up the cabin and makes it a more pleasant space.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Details
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Though the 2015 GLA-Class feels somewhat coupe-like from the front seats (which is no accident – after all, it's essentially based on the so-called 4-door coupe format of the CLA), rear passengers are met with more generous headroom thanks to the GLA's 3.5-inch-taller SUV profile. As such, this bubble-like greenhouse is bestowed with poplar, burl walnut, or aluminum trim options which make it feel rather upscale in spite of its accessible price point. Those who won't spring for leather will get the faux – but convincing – MB-Tex upholstery instead.

Exterior
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class photo

You can tell a lot about a car by its available colors, and the new Mercedes GLA's available palette suggests a level of sophistication and maturity that you simply can't find in other accessible offerings. Early adopters can choose the Edition 1 version, of which 750 will be built, with its special combo of 10-spoke black wheels and white paint. AMG versions receive the obligatory aggressive body treatment, while an optional Aerodynamics Package goes to 11 with a larger front splitter, flics on the nose, and a big roof spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The GLA250 comes with an impressive list of safety items, including collision prevention with autonomous braking and attention assist. Other unexpected standard items include an off-road mode with hill-descent control and a graphical representation of suspension and steering settings with 4Matic versions. Engine stop/start and a power liftgate round out the list of off-the-shelf items you might not expect in a reasonably priced Mercedes-Benz.

Optional Equipment

If you're smitten with the AMG model's looks but are stuck with a standard-sized budget, the Sport Package adds meaner bodywork and 19-inch, 5-spoke AMG wheels. Available convenience items include blind-spot assistance, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, and park assist, which helps find a parking spot and takes the reigns by steering the GLA into the open space.

Under the Hood
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Engine photo

Both of the 2015 GLA's engine offerings are mated to 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The lineup's powerplants couldn't be more different in terms of spec, however – the GLA250's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the GLA45 AMG's yields 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque (as well as a more aggressively programmed transmission). The new GLA250 is available in front-wheel-drive or in all-wheel-drive 4Matic trim.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/32 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
355 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/29 mpg

In front-drive form, pricing for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 compact crossover SUV starts just over $32,000, with the all-wheel-drive version taking off at about $2,000 above that. At that mark, the GLA represents a solid value considering its high-quality interior and generous list of standard equipment. Add the expected markup for optional luxury and convenience packages, and you'll climb into the realm of higher-end vehicles more typically associated with hefty list prices... but if you don't mind keeping it somewhat simple, you should be able to purchase a new GLA for less than you might think. The AMG version commands its requisite price boost, starting a little over $49,000, but the sportier model also delivers a fiercer, more mature driving experience. Resale value should also work in the new GLA's favor, as Mercedes vehicles tend to hold their value more than most.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 3 Ratings for the 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    10.0/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    10.0/10
    Styling
    10.0/10

Practical with a bit of excitement thrown in

By on Friday, January 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great small family SUV"

Cons: "options are expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had my GLA250 4matic for little over 4 months now and am extremely satisfied with it. Compared to BMW X1 and Audi Q3 which were my options when i decided to get my vehicle, the GLA definitely stood out in terms of looks and seating comfort. The interior ergonomics are fairly simple. Doesn't take too long to get used to all the buttons in the cabin. Something which i was not expecting when i bought this was the punch the engine packs when you floor it. I have taken it on multiple long drives in all the different weather conditions and the drive comfort remains the same. Compared to other SUV's i have driven, this corners more like a sport sedan and makes it extremely fun to push around on curvy roads. The only negative i have is that Mercedes does not offer too many standard options on the car. Like a rear view camera was part of a expensive option for me! But i guess that is a cost you pay to buy into the brand."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Comfort, power and looks

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, comfort, power and mpg"

Cons: "little noisy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife and I love the GLA 250. Are choice was down to the BMW xi, the Audi Q3 and the GlA. The rides on all three were very good, but the GLA was much better looking both interior and exterior; it looks luxury. Most sedan seats are too low; the GLA sits much higher and is very comfortable; this was very important to us. That is why we didn't purchase the Mercedes 250. The mpg we are getting is 27 city and between 32 to 36 highway.The car has plenty of power and sufficient cargo space."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Beautiful exterior/interior and fun to drive!

By on Thursday, October 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "beauty & fun combined!"

Cons: "road noise, but I've adjusted now"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had this MB GLA250 for 3 weeks. I am really enjoying it! Mine is pretty loaded up; I LOVE the Panorama Roof and the Blind Spot Assist is GREAT! I haven't used the Navigation much yet, but is very user friendly. I especially like the design of the controls for everything on the car cuz it is very easy to access and use (unlike others I test drove). The Voice Comand is a plus that I am used to having, and it is really impressive the way it displays on the navigation monitor. This car's interior either is or feels wider than other comparable cars which is a pleasant surprise. This car is really fun to drive!"

25 people out of 34 found this review helpful

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