2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

MSRP

$31,300 - $48,300
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EngineEngine 2.0LI-4
MPGMPG 24 City / 32 Hwy
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2015 GLA-Class Overview

Certain expectations come with the name "Mercedes-Benz." We picture cars with luxuriously appointed interiors, fashionable exteriors, Autobahn-worthy performance, and a ride that delivers an optimal balance between agility and outright comfort. Expectations, though, are no friend to the GLA250. This is a car that is deeply confused as to its purpose in life – can it be a proper Mercedes-Benz while still being a reasonably priced, subcompact crossover? After a week behind the wheel, we believe the two are mutually exclusive. Driving Notes The exterior styling is similar to the not-for-America A-Class hatchback, with the only major differences found on the rear end. That means that even with its flashy 19-inch AMG wheels and sport body styling – more aggressive front and rear fascias – the GLA is a stylish piece. We might even call it cute. Considering our 4Matic model's reasonable $34,225 starting price, the interior treatment is both attractive and uses mostly quality finishes. The matte Satin Light Brown Poplar wood ($325) covers a large portion of the dash, while the real metal found on the air conditioning vents is elegant and handsome. There is a lot of plastic in the cabin: It's soft on the dash, and switches to a piano-black finish in spots, but the center console and door finishers don't feel like they came from the Mercedes parts bin. In general, the GLA's cabin feels roughly equal to that of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 – nice, but a step lower than what we've come to expect from Mercedes. The two-piece, leather-lined seats look great, but even with standard 14-way adjustability, they lack support. The bottom cushion is very flat, and doesn't support the legs. For this author, that's a recipe for near-constant back pain. That said, the chairs do look good, especially in the brown of this test car. The GLA250, like a few other models in the Mercedes range, uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, delivering a weak 208 horsepower. It makes up for that shortcoming with 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm. On paper, this sounds good, but in the real world, the 2.0T's power is tough to access. That's due more to the shortcomings of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic than the engine itself. With three modes – Eco, Sport, and Manual – we thought we'd find at least one that could serve up precise downshifts. In the automatic modes, the transmission hunts for the right gear, and the reaction speed when using the paddle shifters just isn't quick enough. This is exacerbated by the sluggish throttle response, which didn't improve much when we switched the engine out of Eco mode. The 2.0T is smooth, but we imagine it'd be more likable with a better transmission. The worst thing about this GLA is its ride quality. We have no idea why, but the 19-inch AMG wheels seen here are shod in low-rolling-resistance, runflat, all-season, 45-series Goodyear EfficientGrip tires. Long story short, the ride is appalling. Impact noises are …
Full Review

2015 GLA-Class Overview

Certain expectations come with the name "Mercedes-Benz." We picture cars with luxuriously appointed interiors, fashionable exteriors, Autobahn-worthy performance, and a ride that delivers an optimal balance between agility and outright comfort. Expectations, though, are no friend to the GLA250. This is a car that is deeply confused as to its purpose in life – can it be a proper Mercedes-Benz while still being a reasonably priced, subcompact crossover? After a week behind the wheel, we believe the two are mutually exclusive. Driving Notes The exterior styling is similar to the not-for-America A-Class hatchback, with the only major differences found on the rear end. That means that even with its flashy 19-inch AMG wheels and sport body styling – more aggressive front and rear fascias – the GLA is a stylish piece. We might even call it cute. Considering our 4Matic model's reasonable $34,225 starting price, the interior treatment is both attractive and uses mostly quality finishes. The matte Satin Light Brown Poplar wood ($325) covers a large portion of the dash, while the real metal found on the air conditioning vents is elegant and handsome. There is a lot of plastic in the cabin: It's soft on the dash, and switches to a piano-black finish in spots, but the center console and door finishers don't feel like they came from the Mercedes parts bin. In general, the GLA's cabin feels roughly equal to that of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 – nice, but a step lower than what we've come to expect from Mercedes. The two-piece, leather-lined seats look great, but even with standard 14-way adjustability, they lack support. The bottom cushion is very flat, and doesn't support the legs. For this author, that's a recipe for near-constant back pain. That said, the chairs do look good, especially in the brown of this test car. The GLA250, like a few other models in the Mercedes range, uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, delivering a weak 208 horsepower. It makes up for that shortcoming with 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm. On paper, this sounds good, but in the real world, the 2.0T's power is tough to access. That's due more to the shortcomings of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic than the engine itself. With three modes – Eco, Sport, and Manual – we thought we'd find at least one that could serve up precise downshifts. In the automatic modes, the transmission hunts for the right gear, and the reaction speed when using the paddle shifters just isn't quick enough. This is exacerbated by the sluggish throttle response, which didn't improve much when we switched the engine out of Eco mode. The 2.0T is smooth, but we imagine it'd be more likable with a better transmission. The worst thing about this GLA is its ride quality. We have no idea why, but the 19-inch AMG wheels seen here are shod in low-rolling-resistance, runflat, all-season, 45-series Goodyear EfficientGrip tires. Long story short, the ride is appalling. Impact noises are …Hide Full Review