Let's get to the fun stuff first -- this car accelerates and corners like a Mercedes should, quick off the start or merging on a highway, handling winding roads, and comfortably using the cruise control to increase speed 5 mph at a time. When you step on the gas, it feels like the engine is gently pullling you along. Even with cruise set at 75 through the mountains of WV, there's no lurching between gears. Panoramic sun roof and shade is nice. The GLA is definitely more hatchback than SUV, though, when it comes to size and fit. Cargo area is small, back seats are smaller, and even front head & leg room is slight. Reliabilty has been an issue: an electronic part failed, causing a complete electrical failure that would have cost $2400 to replace if the car wasn't under warranty. Tires replaced after 25,000 miles, mostly highway, dealership said I was lucky to get 20k from them because they're soft rubber for performance. So plan on $800 every 20k for new tires. Entertainment system is unnecessarily complicated, and the iPad looking thing on the dash (that looks like a last minute addition) is NOT a touch screen, so it's all buttons and knobs. Electronic safety systems have quit on me 5-7 times in the last 15 months, but they work fine when the car is re-started later. Overall, I'd expect better reliability for this level of engineering. Would not buy in the future.
Looks are unique- definitely a head turner. Expected it to be much more expensive! Love this car. I've owned several Volvo's, a BMW, a Porsche, domestics, & other MB's. This has been the best value, by far!!
I have taken the GLA45 on road trips and the track. It is the best vehicle I have ever driven which includes some BMW M models. It has carried kayaks and paddle boards, been down some graded dirt roads and done a track day. It did everything superbly. I only used the Sport+ setting on the track, not even race. The dual clutch shifts seamlessly and almost no roll. I have the adaptive suspension, too. It is very quick but does have a pedal delay which is some really odd programming. The turbo will come on strong but smoothly. I like having a unique car. The only negatives for me are in the technology. The computer is complex and takes a lot of time to program and look for stuff. The car is new so I cannot comment on reliability but hopefully it will be average. I strongly recommend this car as a performance vehicle that can multitask, too. It is a lot of car for the money. If you want one you will want to limit options and I would offer ten percent less than the sticker. Mercedes overloads the options like a luxury cruiser which can add $25k and makes it a super expensive hot hatch. They also tend not to carry many colors outside of the gray scale. So, it you want red or blue and under $60k you will have to look far and wide. Most will be $65k and up and in black, gray, silver or white. However, if you love driving and need a crossover-hatch-SUV this is the best!
My wife and I love this car; it is luxury inside and out. The GLA sits high and is very comfortable; MPG is very good; handling is great; it has plenty of power; and it has a lot of storage space. I compared the GLA with the Lincoln, BMW, and Audi and we picked the GLA. Some of the supposed experts knock the GLA because it doesn't fit into a certain category; who cares. Just look at the reviews of the people who own the GLA. For my wife and I , it is perfect.