The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class proves that even Mercedes isn't immune to temptation. With the market for compact crossover SUVs exploding, and the thirst for prestige brands growing as well, Mercedes needed an entry in the compact crossover niche, so the GLA was born.
The "A" in GLA indicates that this is a member of Mercedes' smallest size class. And it hints (accurately) that much of the GLA's engineering is shared with the smallest four-door the company sells in the United States, the CLA sedan.
Budget-friendliness may be an odd concept for American Mercedes buyers, but the company has contended for decades in many smaller vehicle classes in Europe and elsewhere. The GLA still carries hints of Mercedes overengineering even if it doesn't show up on the bottom line of the window sticker. Well, at least before options.
Shaped something like a well-worn Converse Chuck Taylor, the GLA-Class possesses familiar Mercedes styling cues, including a giant three-pointed star in the middle of its grille. Unfortunately those floppy shoe stylings cover a relatively tiny passenger compartment. Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are all tightly limited. And cargo room sits between not-very-much and negligible.
Yes, the standard interior is upholstered in MB-Tex, a synthetic leather. Leather, however, is a zero-dollar option as long as you don't count the required Premium and Interior packages that accompany it and add $4,600 to the bottom line.
There are two distinct GLA-Class models. The one that's advertised with a low, Honda-like starting price is the GLA250, powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at a modest 208 horsepower that drives the front wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. A version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is also available.
Well above the GLA250 is the GLA 45 AMG that comes from Mercedes in-house tuning shop, AMG. Using the same basic engine but with the turbo wick turned to "insane," the 2.0-liter-four slams out an astonishing 355 hp. It's enough, Mercedes says, to rocket the all-wheel-drive GLA 45 AMG to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. It's louder and ruder than the GLA250, and the suspension can be punishingly stiff, but if having the quickest small crossover matters to you, here it is.
Both GLAs handle well and ride firm. The expected Mercedes refinement simply isn't there, but fuel economy is about average. The basic GLA250 is EPA-rated at 29 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway). The GLA 45 AMG knocks out 26 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway).
Making sense of the compact crossover market is tough, but you can count on Edmunds to clear things up for you and get you a great deal.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is offered in the following submodels: AMG GLA 45 4MATIC, SUV. Available styles include GLA 250 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and AMG GLA 45 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). GLA-Class models are available with a 2.0 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 375 hp, depending on engine type. The 2018 GLA-Class comes with front wheel drive or all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The 2018 GLA-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 GLA-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 GLA-Class 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 GLA-Class.
Review This vehicle is very comfortable to drive. Even in cold weather, the heating system keeps the vehicle comfortable. After about 1500 miles, I have had no trouble with it at all. The styling of the exterior makes me smile. It is a cute, stylish SUV.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
Exterior Colors: Cirrus White, Night Black, Mountain Grey Metallic, Lunar Blue Metallic , Jupiter Red, Polar Silver Metallic, Universe Blue Metallic, Canyon Beige Metallic, designo Mountain Grey Magno, Cocoa Brown Metallic, Cosmos Black Metallic, Northern Lights Violet Metallic, Kryptonite Green Metallic, South Seas Blue Metallic, designo Mountain Grey MAGNO
Interior Colors: Black leather, Black MB-Tex leatherette, Beige MB-Tex leatherette, Sahara Beige MB-Tex leatherette, Sahara Beige/Black leather, Nut Brown leather, Ash MB-Tex leatherette, Crystal Grey MB-Tex leatherette, Ash Grey leather, Brown Leather/Fabric leatherette/cloth, Black MB-Tex/DINAMICA w/Red Stitching leatherette/suede, Black/Red Cut leather, Brown leather, Black MB-Tex/DINAMICA w/Yellow Accents leatherette/suede
Popular Features: Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Automatic Emergency Braking, Aux Audio Inputs, Bluetooth, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Power Driver Seat, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Pre-collision safety system, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, AWD/4WD, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Back-up camera, Remote Start, Heated seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Upgraded Stereo, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Headlights, Navigation, Keyless Entry/Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Leather Seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Parking sensors
Engine/Mechanics: 4 cylinders
Transmission: AUTOMATED_MANUAL, AUTOMATIC
Fuel Types: premium unleaded (required)
Drivetrains: all wheel drive, front wheel drive
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.