2015 – 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 Review

2015 – 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 Review

2016 mercedes-benz GLA crossover the GLA is ver city’s least expensive crossover vehicle in the United States and you can consider this the crossover version of Mercedes brand new CLA sedan now when it comes to the crossovers BMW does have a competitor for this but interestingly enough the competition is actually a little bit narrow because we basically have the X 1 we have this GLA we have the Range Rover Evoque and we have the Audi q3 in case you’re wondering this does not necessarily compete with the Lincoln MKC the lexus NX or the volvo xc60 because those are

one step larger than this they actually compete with the mercedes benz glk which has recently been renamed the mercedes benz GLC new mercedes has been renaming all their crossover vehicles in the United States so the former ml is now the GL e and the GL will be the GLS personally I think the GLA is the most attractive entry in this segment it has a lot to do with this very bold front end we have this huge Mercedes logo which interestingly enough can be optionally illuminated at night our particular model does have the radar cruise control system inserted in it but we do have

standard forward collision warning in all GLA models I think the Range Rover Evoque is very attractive but the BMW and the Audi are both a little bit restrained some might say too restrained perhaps a little bit boring now one thing to note is that we do not get xenon or HID headlamps standard in the GLA we do have halogen headlamps in the base model and that is something we see

standard in the q3 up front we have these very discreet fog lamps and we also have well integrated parking sensors in terms of side profiles you can see this is somewhat between Audi is q3 which is a very upright more traditional SUV side profile shape and something like a BMW x1 that really looks an awful lot more like a jacked up hatchback in terms of overall length the slots right in the middle of this small segment it’s about a foot shorter than the next size category up which would be again the lexus NX x three Audi q5 and of course the mercedes-benz GLC the back end is also an

awful lot more expressive than the x1 or the q3 we have the optional LED tail lamps on our particular model they do wrap from the body right on here to the trunklid notice we have a relatively small rare glass and that does reduce a little bit of rearward visibility we don’t have a standard backup cam we do however have a decent amount of trim going on down here to give it a little bit of extra Flair and we have standard integrated dual exhaust tips although keyless entry is not standard a power tailgate is under the hood we have two different 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged

engines the GLA 250 gets one that produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque there’s actually a different two-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is hand assembled in the AMG factory that gives us 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque for the 2015 model year you’ll note that is a decent amount more power than BMWs 3 litre inline-six turbocharged engine now for 2016 that gets even more power up to 375 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle the GLA 250 sends power to the

front wheels only by default with an optional all-wheel drive system and the GLA 45 has a standard all-wheel drive system fuel economy comes in at 25 miles per gallon city 35 highway 29 combined for the front-wheel drive model and the all field drive model still is class-leading for all wheel drive entries at 27 miles per gallon combined the big takeaway for me however is that that GLA 45 AMG only extracts 2 miles per gallon in your average not only did the 2016 GLA 45 AMG get a little bit more power for 2016 it also gains some additional refinements in its transmission

programming and other systems in the vehicle and those actually have quite a significant improvement in the 0 to 60 time from 4.8 seconds zero to 60 down to 4.3 now 4.3 seconds 0 to 60 is incredibly fast even in Mercedes own performance portfolio when it comes to front seat comfort I’m going to give this 9 out of 10 points the seat is quite comfortable and it gets an improvement for 2016 with that extending thigh cushion we have a multi-way adjustable driver seat that is memory linked and the headrest is even powered right over there we also have a four-way adjustable

lumbar support which I really appreciate we also have a tilt telescopic steering column with a moderate range of motion one thing you will notice in vehicles in this category is that we have relatively small door openings so sitting with this front seat adjusted for me at six feet tall you can see that the side of my head really is behind this B pillar and that does give me a rather large blind spot that’s very similar to every other vehicle in this segment however I do think that the GLA is B pillar is a little bit chunkier than the Audi’s one of the big reasons to get this over the

Mercedes CLA would be the rear seat accommodations I have an awful lot more legroom than I do in the sedan a lot of that has to do with the more upright profile we get in this crossover the upright sitting position really allows the seats to be arranged in a slightly different manner and it also gives me more Headroom now if I sit upright the side of my head is brushing right here against the side of the ceiling over here on the right side of the vehicle I have this front seat moved as far forward as is comfortable and safe for me at six feet tall and you can see that I do have a

great deal of legroom left there that’s because the dashboard in this particular vehicle like other compact crossovers in this luxury segment is shaped to allow that front seat to move further forward actually giving you a quite practical rear seat again that’s especially compared to the CLA that means that it is a tight squeeze but it is possible to put rearward facing child seats back here that wasn’t something I could really do in the CLA over here we have a softly padded center armrest with two cupholders well and graded into the side their rear seat passengers get a center

armrest that is softly padded with two cupholders integrated right there we also have a ski pass through to the back now an odd thing however is that this Center headrest right here its prongs actually descend right there into the middle of that ski pass through from a design perspective in order to make the proportions of the CLA sedan work properly they actually gave it quite a large trunk and that means that we don’t really get that much more cargo room in the GLA than we do in the CLA that said there is still ample room back here for 24 and 26 inch roller bags and you can

see that we could put this $0.26 roller bag on its side right like that under the tonneau cover as you’d expect from a compact crossover we do have rear seats that fold flat with the cargo area but under this car load four we find something unexpected and that’s some additional cargo storage space now we don’t have a spare tire in this vehicle at all we do have a cargo divider right down here this is where you’ll find the tow hook and you can store some additional small items down there the well-designed cargo area in this mercy helps us get eight out of ten points when it comes to

my exclusive trunk comfort index now I do wish this had a spare tire because that is something I’d like if I do appreciate both the power tailgate and a helper handle we have there let’s start off our interior tour with this optional panoramic moon or if you can see it as two separate panels right there with one panel above the rear seats and one panel above the fronts now the cover is not completely opaque so it does let quite a lot of light in personally that gives me a headache up front we have 4-way adjustable headrests they are adjustable forward and aft manually and electrically

up and down we also have height adjustable shoulder belts fro the driver and the front passenger unlike Audi’s q3 leather is not standard in the GLS these are NB techs or imitation leather seats unlike other Mercedes products where the front door panels are primarily soft touch plastics we do have some hard touch plastics in this ivory section right down here now this ivory insert is a soft touch plastic and all the black portions of the store panel are soft as well one thing you’ll notice in basically every vehicle in this category is that the doors are a bit smaller than the next size

category up that means with this front seat adjusted for me at 6 feet tall you can see where this B pillar is in the car and that’s where my elbow would be hitting you’ll notice the armrest is quite a bit in front of that right over here in terms of overall style the GLA borrows very heavily from the CLA which is Mercedes small sedan so we do have this large soft touch upper section of the dashboard it can optionally be done in stitched imitation leather and our model has the optional wood trim right here which is definitely an option that I would get it really dresses the cabin up

quite a bit we have these very interesting circular air vents I really like them because you can easily point them in every direction and you can turn them off by rotating them sideways in that fashion over on the passenger side we have a fairly small glove compartment right here I was not able to fit a tablet computer inside in the center of the dashboard we have a center channel speaker and then this little area right here is actually the analog readout for the front parking sensors it will show you little LED bars as you approach an object that gives you both a visual and an auditory

reference now one of the big thing that’s changing for 2016 is that instead of this relatively small infotainment screen this is just over five inches we are getting a 7-inch infotainment screen which is considerably better looking than this we also will have a standard iPod interface in that model and that’s not something we have in the model we’re taking a look at here now again the 2015 model starts out with this relatively small screen we basically just have basic audio commands phone interface and certain system options inside system this is also where you will find things like

your off-road display and your consumption for fuel economy although the larger screen will be standard for 2016 navigation will remain optional moving down from that you can see we have those three large air vents right there and you’ll notice that we do not have keyless go in the 2015 model that will be a change for 2016 as well where we will get keyless go standard below that you’ll

see the controls for this mercedes-benz infotainment system right here we have certain direct access buttons for radio navigation if we had that option in the vehicle disk this also controls your media functions like bluetooth and your USB and iPod interface if you have it telephone mute system options dedicated phone hang up in pickup buttons we also have dedicated track forward and backward buttons because we don’t get those in the steering wheel this is a volume knob with an on/off button and then we get a keypad right over here for a telephone and a few other uses in the

system we also have a few other options down here we have an off-road enable and disable option this controls the all the drive system and basically tells the car you’re going to be doing some more challenging things with your auto drive system this button switches between economy sport and manual modes that allows you to use paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel in a true manual mode you can’t engage them of course an economy or in sport but it will revert back to drive we have our hazard light button our eco enable/disable button Park sense disable button

and a hill descent control button another big change for 2016 is what you see right down here the 2015 model includes a partial automatic climate control system that is single zone so right over here we actually control the temperature with this particular knob over here but then we have to manually control the fan speed and which air vents the air is coming out of now the system will

control the damper settings automatically to maintain you at the selected temperature behind that is where you’ll find the 12-volt power outlet and an ashtray or storage cubby right there and then moving behind that we have the first of our cupholders this is the largest right here this was easily able to accommodate large takeout drinks and this section is also removable so that we can put other large items in there right behind that cover moving on back from that we have the control knob for our command infotainment system this is one of the more basic control knobs that

Mercedes has clear back button this does toggle up down side to side it rotates around and clicks to enter next that knob we find two relatively small cup holders right here these were not able to accommodate large take out sodas behind that we have a softly padded center armrest it does not ratchet into position like other models but it does slide forward and backward now if we open that

one up you’ll see that we have a relatively small storage compartment that’s pretty average in this segment it’s just about the same size as you find in the Audi or in the Range Rover over on the driver’s side we have this four needle instrument cluster with a speedometer right over here on the right hand side now if we did have the radar cruise control activated in this system it would light up a series of LEDs right along that ring right there showing you what your set speed was you also have a fuel gauge over there a tachometer on the right and the engine temperature gauge in the

center we have a color LCD giving us trip computer information as well as transmission position indication and our temperature gauge right there the display is controlled via this joystick button arrangement on the left side of the steering wheel we have up down side to side okay and a back button right now we’re on the audio options and we can use this to go track forward and backward

that’s how you would do that from the steering wheel otherwise there are no dedicated track buttons we can move side to side and get our telephone interface right now we don’t have a phone connected with the system you can also see our driver assistance systems and get an assistance graphic to tell you what they’re up to we can also see our service messages and our tire pressure in

the vehicle if you so desire right there you can see the tire pressure is fairly high in this particular vehicle we also have vehicle settings where we can adjust our instrument cluster vehicle lighting etc like most luxury manufacturers Mercedes loves putting stalks on the steering column so on the right-hand side here we have our transmission selections so down for drive up for reverse one

notch up or one notch down for neutral depending on what gear you’re in we press the button at the end for Park on the right-hand side is where you’ll find the turn signal stalk that also has your windshield wiper controls and the down here we have the stock for our cruise control this knob right here controls the distance between you and the car in front if you do get the radar cruise

control option acceleration/deceleration resume and cancel zooming out to the steering wheel you can see it is this very attractive three folks new rule with very aggressive sport grips on the top right there that is something that I missed in the Audi q3 we also have shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel up on the right and down on the left we have dedicated phone hang up pick up

mute buttons volume up/down button and a voice command button that does nothing in our particular model we also have this perforated grip section on the steering wheel right over there and you can see that it is a round 3 spoke design one thing missing on the Audi q3 we r memory positions for the driver’s seat and you can see we have a three position memory right over here and

interestingly enough we also have a three position memory for the front passenger seat another interesting twist right here is that we do have those electric power headrests again that’s how you

control them right there on the door now the four-way adjustable lumbar support is not right here on the door it is actually on the seat itself acceleration in the GLA 250 is excellent it’s one of the best in this particular segment especially when you’re comparing base engines and this is the base engine in the GLA we ran from 0 to 60 in six point six seconds which is a decent amount faster

than for instance the q3 now that is only a hair faster than the BMW x1 with the 2 litre turbocharged engine and their 8-speed automatic transmission but that’s going to be a little bit different for 2016 because the x1 and 2016 will be a front wheel drive vehicle we aren’t sure how that will perform and of course we do have the GLA 45 AMG which will do 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds for 2015 and 4.3 seconds for 2016 now to put that in perspective 4.3 seconds zero to 60 is seriously fast the last BMW m235i I tested wasn’t able to go from 0 to 60 that fast in the two-wheel drive model when it comes to breaking I’m going to have to split the score just a little bit because fade-resistance is excellent in this model and gets even better if you get the performance package however braking

distances are not as short as some of the other performance entries in the segment because of the tire size william 235 with tires miss vehicle you will find wider tires in certain other that said handling is absolutely excellent in the GLA and it’s all down to the field because even though we don’t have the same absolute grip numbers we do in for instance the q3 that we recently tested or in

the upper level terms of the BMW x1 the feel of this vehicle is incredibly good the steering is also pretty quick in the GLA it takes a little bit of getting used to that means that when you turn the

steering wheel a little bit the front wheels turn an awful lot in relation and compared to other vehicles out on the market makes a lot easier to drive this car in a sporty fashion now the downside

again of course is when you start really pushing this in the corners you can feel that we don’t have the same kind of grip that we get in the q3 or certain versions of the x1 I haven’t been talking too

much about the Range Rover Evoque but the Evoque tends to be more of a luxurious option in this segment not as fast as this it also doesn’t handle quite as well and doesn’t have the same kind of feel out on the road the one area where the GLA lets us down just a little bit is the ride the ride can be a little bit harsh a little bit crashing under certain conditions especially on broken pavement it

can also get upset on broken pavement in corners and that’s just down to the overall suspension stiffness that we get in this vehicle the suspension is just tuned an awful lot stiffer than most of the entries in this segment and it really shows even though the suspension is relatively stiff the seat actually helps soak up some of the bumps and so as far as comfort goes it’s not really a problem it’s

just that overall suspension feel it can’t feel a little bit unsettled the cabin is a little bit quieter here than in the CLA 250 because it seems like we’re getting a little bit more sound deadening and we can hear less of the engine in this particular model however this is still louder than the x1 the Evoque or the Audi q3 so I’m going to have to give this a b-minus when it comes to overall cabin noise the actual score came in at 72 and a half decibels which was the loudest in this segment fuel economy is absolutely excellent in this vehicle it’s easily the best in this category not just in the epa

scores but also in real world driving I’ve been averaging 25 miles per gallon and I’ve been driving this car like I stole it going up in over a twenty two hundred foot mountain pass every day on my way to work stop and go traffic that sort of thing and I’m still getting very good fuel economy that’s five miles per gallon better than getting in the Audi q3 treating this gently on a one-way trip to

work going over and over that same mountain pass stop and go traffic etc I was able to average 31 miles per gallon which is better than the IPE says you’re going to get the high fuel economy is do as much to the engine as to the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission this transmission is lightning fast in it shifts the ratios are also very very well designed it’s part of why we get such great acceleration in this vehicle but also seventh gear is very high and this engine thanks to its great low-end torque can actually handle that high gear ratio the downside to this particular transmission

however is the shift quality it’s just not as smooth as any of the other automatics in this segment of course if we’re driving this car hard and the shifts are just coming hard and fast like a Gatling

gun in this transmission then you’re not going to notice it when you’re really going to notice the drivability issues with this transmission or with any dual clutch transmission our low-speed travel so if you’re in that stop and go traffic it can feel a little bit herky-jerky when you’re stopping and when you’re going and sometimes down shifts can feel a little bit less elegant however mercedes-

benz has gone back to the drawing board with the software and this is actually much more refined than the CLA 250 that I recently reviewed you can check out that review on my channel as well hopefully 2016 will bring further tweaks and further improvements to this transmission but as it is this is definitely one not below the dual clutch transmissions that we find in Volkswagen and

Audi products however it is still a very good duelist for 2015 starts at thirty-one thousand three hundred dollars and 2016 pricing has yet to be announced however we do get some additional standard features for that 2016 model year so I do expect the pricing to increase likely around $1,000 or so if you want the GLA 45 AMG that will start at 48 thousand three hundred dollars and I

do expect that price tag to also increase for the 2016 model year before we go over the changes for 2016 let’s go over the 2015 model that you’ll find right now on the dealer Lots if you want leather

that will add seventeen hundred dollars if you want climate control that would be the two zone automatic climate control system also bundled with heated seats and the XM satellite radio option along with the media interface that will be $2,300 all peel drive adds two thousand the Sport Package with improved braking adds twenty two hundred the radar cruise control package we have on this model is $2,500 that also adds blind spot information as well as Lane keep assistance if you want navigation that is quite an expensive option and it bundles the backup camera at $2,400

although pricing has yet to be announced for 2016 and it will be a little bit more expensive than 2015 the value proposition will actually go up because we do get some standard feature equipment that really improves things in the base GLA model we get standard dual zone climate control the keyless start system the seven-inch LCD that for 2015 was only bundled with one of those

expensive packages we also get pre wiring for the aftermarket Garmin navigation system there are two different nav systems available in this vehicle one is an aftermarket added Garmin

navigation system and it integrates with that LCD the other one is the factory navigation system which is fairly expensive we also get a standard iPod and media interface and the extending thigh cushion for the driver seat if you’re really after the utmost and feature content you will notice that leather and the xenon headlamps are still optional for the 2016 model year our model as tested rang in at forty one thousand two hundred dollars and key takeaways here are that this model lacks leather it lacks navigation the iPod interface the two zone climate control and keyless start of

course some of those complaints again are mitigated in the 2016 model year and I would probably wait if it was up to me now the 2016 model year vehicles will be landing at dealers in October I’m

told so only about two months after this video is being shot a well-equipped model with all the options that I’ve been talking about so far but not quite fully loaded will set you back forty eight thousand dollars that is one of the more expensive options in this segment the first competitor is probably the easiest one to get out of the way and that would be the MINI Countryman although the GLA is relatively small on the inside for this category the countryman is smaller smaller on the outside it’s also smaller on the inside the countryman is also less expensive it’s right around ten

thousand dollars less or so of course we get less power in the countryman less room and the interior is not as nice one of the key differences here really is that the MINI Countryman is not a luxury vehicle it’s more of a premium vehicle and that is quite different because all of the vehicles in this immediate segment you are paying a premium over your average entry level crossover like a

Hyundai Tucson or a 40 skate you’re paying that premium for the brand that is an important distinction because versus vehicles like the MINI Countryman or like alternatives along the lines of a Volkswagen Tiguan or Ford Escape or a Hyundai Tucson you are paying for the additional refinement as well as the brand in this category of SUV on the opposite end of the spectrum we have the

Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Evoque can be around $8,000 more expensive than this vehicle depending on how you configure it now the more options you add to the GLA the closer it really gets to that evoke in terms of overall price as I’ve said before the big difference between the Evoque and the other entries in this segment is the amount of customization you can do in the evoke you have an awful lot more control over the interior color palette the hides you get etc the evoke does feel a little bit more premium on the cabin inside of course a lot of people also associate

the Range Rover brand with a slightly higher status than mercedes banz SUVs the evokes new 9-speed automatic transmission helps it be peppier than it was in the past however it is still a hair slower than the model we tested right here of course there is also the GLA 45 AMG which has no Range Rover Evoque comparison both the Evoque and the GLA 250 are tuned a little bit on the

stiff side in terms of suspension tuning you will find the q3 and the x1 to be a hair softer although I have complained about the mercedes-benz 7-speed dual-clutch transmission there are a few

valid complaints about the ZF nine speed that we find in the Range Rover as well although I would say the Lincoln MKC the Lexus NX and the volvo xc60 are not true competitors to the GLA I would say that they are a little bit better value we do get more room on the inside we also find a few more standard features that we don’t get in this particular model for right about the same price

now they aren’t going to start quite as low as this but once you start adding options they’re going to be relatively close the MK C is the closest in terms of exterior size to this and the Lexus NX and

xc60 are a decent amount larger all of the MK SC xc60 and NX do offer more power than we get in the GLA the GLA is likely going to be faster certainly faster than the most recent Lincoln Volvo or Lexus’s that we test it we then have the Audi q3 which I think is my favorite entry in this particular segment by a very small hair that’s largely because it’s much more practical on the inside we

get more rear seat room we get a little bit more front seat room I was able to more comfortably fit child seats in the back of that vehicle and I think its cargo area was a little bit more practical as

well now on the downside the q3 is a lot slower than the model we’re taking a look at here and there’s no corollary to the GLA 45 AMG at this point now he has announced that there will be an RS q3 available in Europe but it’s not coming to the US at this time all of the GLA is faster than the q3 and it’s also a little bit lighter the q3 out handles the GLA hands down the suspension is also a

little bit easier to live with even though the q3 out handles this its suspension is actually a little bit softer a little bit less punishing most versions of the q3 you’ll find on dealer lots have incredibly

wide tires they’re 255 with tyres now that probably accounts for the poor fuel economy we had in that q3 it was decently lower than the GLA that we’re testing right here but handling was actually almost as good as the GLA 45 in terms of feel and in terms of absolute grip I actually think it’s a little bit better than the GLA 45 now the GLA 45 does not get wider tires there’s still 235 with tires

which is two steps narrower than what we find in the q3 at those upper end trims however they are grippier summer tyres now of course you can’t add grippy or summer tyres to your Audi q3 and it will then handle better than any version of the GLA ultimately the decision then comes down to whether you want the faster acceleration and the more attractive styling whether

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