The GLA-class SUV is the sexy sibling of the slightly more practical GLB-class. What the slimmer GLA loses in cabin and cargo space, it makes up for with improved styling, meaning it’s the better choice for those who prefer form over function in their SUV. The stylish, modern interior is beautifully furnished in luxurious materials. The GLA’s 221-horsepower turbo-four engine delivers ample power to either the front or all four wheels and is complemented by the subcompact crossover’s composed handling. If you’re looking for a GLA that will light up your synapses with its performance, then head in the direction of the much more powerful AMG GLA45. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a fashion-forward vehicle with ample space and a healthy dose of luxury and refinement, then the GLA-Class should suit your wants and needs elegantly.
What’s new for 2024?
Mercedes has revived the GLA-Class for the 2024 model year, giving it a new face with high-output LED headlights as well as a newly sculpted rear end with updated taillights. Under the hood, the GLA-Class gets a hybrid assistance system, which should make the engine work more efficiently, but not necessarily increase performance. Other improvements include a new standard 10.3-inch infotainment screen with the latest software plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition, high beam assist, the parking package, mirror package and keyless GO package are all now standard equipment.
Prices and which one to buy
While no one buying a GLA250 is likely to explore the trails, opting for the 4Matic model adds more than just four-wheel drive. Mercedes makes the Off-Road Engineering package standard on that model, which offers an off-road mode that reduces throttle response and power output. Some drivers may find this useful in certain situations, such as plowing through heavy snow. We’d also be inclined to add the optional Burmester surround sound system, 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 produces 221 horsepower and is assisted by hybrid technology. The turbo four is also paired with an eight-speed automatic that sends power to the front or all four wheels. While we haven’t yet driven a GLA with the new hybrid technology, 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 quick compared to many EV SUVs. The result is actually slower than the last generation model, which is a 5.7 seconds result in the same test. Although the GLA250 isn’t intended as an SUV, its handling is composed, and its suspension is adaptive enough over rough stretches of road to avoid being rude.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has not yet published estimates for the 2024 GLA class. We expect figures to improve given the addition of the hybrid assist system. For reference, the 2023 GLA250 is rated at 24 mpg city, 34 mpg 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’ll update this story with the results. For more information on the GLA-Class’ fuel consumption, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
One of the main complaints about the previous generation GLA-Class was its cramped interior. Mercedes has rectified this with the current generation model. Rear-seat passengers are treated to nearly five inches of additional legroom, as well as greater room for shoulders and elbows. This helps the GLA class compete more directly with key rivals such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1and 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 switch, center console-mounted infotainment controller, and circular vents along the dashboard. Cargo capacity is adequate and grows with the rear seats folded flat, and the load floor is flush with that of the window sill, which should make bulkier items in and out of the boot easier. In our testing, the GLA250 fit six of our carry-on bags behind the rear seat.
Infotainment and connectivity
Every 2024 GLA is equipped with two 10.3-inch screens, one for the driver’s gauge display and one for the infotainment system. It’s a slightly refined setup that’s been rolled out across the entire Mercedes lineup mixed reviews from our editors. The system can be manipulated either via the touchscreen, using voice commands, or using the touch pad 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 sound system are all optional.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Automatic 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 assistance the optional Driver Assistance package will need to be added. For more information on the GLA-Class’ crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane departure warning with lane keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with a lane centering function
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
Mercedes offers a basic warranty package, with coverage spanning four years or 50,000 miles. The Lexus NX offers longer warranty terms while others, while other competitors such as the BMW and the Volvo offers long 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
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