2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Pros

  • One of the most entertaining crossovers in the class
  • Returns respectable mileage considering its performance
  • High clearance and optional all-wheel drive lend some all-weather capability
  • Long list of available tech and safety features on the GLA 45

Cons

  • Firm ride quality can grow tiresome on rough roads
  • Automatic transmission operates awkwardly in stop-and-go situations
  • Not much legroom, headroom or cargo room
  • Road and wind noise is abundant


Which GLA-Class does Edmunds recommend?

The base-level GLA250 comes with a generous features list, but we'd still want to add the Premium package for its satellite radio, keyless entry, heated seats and blind-spot monitoring, and the Multimedia package for its voice-controlled navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. For frequent highway commuting, we might also opt for the Driver Assistance package, which bundles adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

The 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA-Class makes a smart choice if you want a luxury crossover that moves, parks and economizes fuel like a compact sedan. The high-performance GLA 45 trim, meanwhile, is in a class by itself.  

Based on Mercedes' budget-friendly CLA sedan, the GLA crossover delivers athletic handling and big smiles on narrow, twisting roads. Most Benzes lean toward stately power and control, but the GLA is one of the more fun, raucous models in the lineup. Both the GLA250 and AMG GLA 45 also offer powerful engines, good real-world fuel economy (29 and 26 mpg combined, respectively), a full complement of convenience and connected technology, and a long list of luxury and safety features.

For 2018, the GLA carries over mostly unchanged, but there's a subtle new look to the front and rear bumpers and new wheel designs. The gauge cluster design is new, and a rearview camera and 8-inch display are now standard equipment.

The GLA's inherent weaknesses, however, haven't changed. The ride is still rougher than you'd expect of a Mercedes, sporty or not. There's not much headroom or legroom, or much cargo space. And though the GLA250's four-cylinder engine sounds strong and performs well, the accompanying automatic transmission responds slowly to pedal inputs, especially in the default Eco mode. The AMG GLA 45 has a more responsive transmission to go along with its big increase in horsepower. 

The GLA's relatively high cost doesn't help its case. Similar models from BMW, Audi and Lexus, while not much bigger or roomier, offer a greater level of refinement for the same price or less. Even the Infiniti QX30, essentially a GLA in Infiniti clothing, offers better ride quality and (slightly) better transmission tuning.

Though the GLA wears a Mercedes star, it's worth considering its rivals before making a final decision. The GLA 45 is something else entirely. It shares most of the GLA's basic flaws, but blistering speed and performance tend to overshadow its blemishes. There's nothing else like it in the class.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is offered in three trim levels: GLA250, GLA250 4Matic, and AMG GLA 45. The GLA250 comes with a 208-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a decent feature list that includes power-adjustable front seats, a power liftgate, Bluetooth and a 7-inch central display. The GLA250 4Matic version adds all-wheel drive and hill descent control. The AMG GLA 45 shares the same basic feature set, but with a more powerful engine and other high-performance upgrades.

The GLA250 starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (208 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque), a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Key standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, power-adjustable driver seat, three performance driving modes, imitation leather upholstery, and a 60/40-split folding rear seatback with a center pass-through.

Tech features include an 8-inch central display with a dial-and-button control array, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio, an SD card reader and two USB ports. Certain features of Mercedes' Mbrace telematics system (including a Wi-Fi hotspot and concierge services) are available on a subscription basis.

The all-wheel-drive GLA250 4Matic model adds some all-weather and light off-road capability with hill descent control and an off-road status monitor that analyzes steering angle, tilt angle and grade percentage.

Several option packages are available for the GLA250. The Premium package bundles blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, and hands-free liftgate open and close, while the Interior package adds leather upholstery, sport seats and ambient cabin lighting. The Multimedia package includes a navigation system, voice controls, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and real-time satellite traffic and weather information.

Adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist are available in the Driver Assistance package, a Convenience package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a new Parking Assist package adds a surround-view camera and a self-parking system.

The AMG Line Exterior package offers a high-performance look with 19-inch AMG wheels, AMG body styling and a black headliner. The Night package further enhances this look with black wheels, trim and side mirror caps.

Stand-alone options include several package items (blind-spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, for example) as well as upgrades that include a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, ambient cabin lighting, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The AMG GLA 45 comes with all-wheel drive and the GLA250's standard features, but with significantly more power (375 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque) from the same engine. It's further distinguished with 19-inch wheels, a sport exhaust, sport-tuned suspension and steering, upgraded brakes, LED headlights and a power passenger seat. The GLA 45's options largely mirror those of the GLA250, but there are a couple of exclusive additions.

The AMG Dynamic Plus package includes adaptive dampers, a limited-slip differential, a Race driving mode and a higher top speed. Meanwhile, a new AMG Performance Studio package is a fierce styling upgrade that includes 20-inch wheels, body kit, a rear spoiler, sport seats, and various components trimmed in black and yellow. A handful of other packages offer aesthetic enhancements inside and out.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4Matic (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

Driving

4.0
The GLA250 uniquely blends straight-line performance and sharp handling with an elevated ground clearance for rutted roads or the occasional field you might drive through. It's like a powerful Subaru XV Crosstrek. Unfortunately, the throttle and transmission don't respond as quickly as we'd like.

Acceleration

4.0
Sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. Much quicker than an Audi Q3; about equal to slightly larger luxury SUVs. The 208-hp turbo four-cylinder feels energetic, but acceleration around town is hampered by sluggish throttle and transmission.

Braking

4.5
Came to a stop from 60 mph in 105 feet, which is excellent even for a vehicle with summer tires. After repeated stops, distances stayed short, but pedal response diminished.

Steering

4.5
The GLA's steering is nicely weighted whether around town or when pushing it on our mountain road. It errs on the lighter side, but it's precise and linear with sharp turn-in. You can feel the road through the steering wheel.

Handling

5.0
The GLA doesn't handle like an SUV. It feels more like a nimble hatchback. There's less tugging on the steering wheel in the all-wheel-drive GLA 45. Well-managed body lean, plenty of tire grip and a well-tuned stability control system.

Drivability

2.0
Severe gas pedal lag in the default E mode along with a slow-to-engage seven-speed transmission equals a car that is frustrating to drive at low speeds. Selecting S or manual mode is slightly better, but these are reasons to avoid this car.

Off-road

4.0
Eight inches of ground clearance is more than most small SUVs or hatchbacks have. AWD includes hill descent control, an off-road transmission mode and special COMAND displays (wheel angle, compass). AWD sends up to 50 percent of torque to rear wheels.

Comfort

3.0
The GLA's suspension, wheels and tires send far more impact harshness into the cabin during around-town driving than we've come to expect from luxury cars. The poor ride quality is a big reason why the GLA fails to earn a higher rating.

Seat comfort

3.5
The GLA's seats offer nice side bolstering and, despite being quite cushy, offer good long-distance support. Mercedes' MB-Tex faux leather looks and feels like the real thing and breathes decently. The driver's seat could use more thigh support.

Ride comfort

2.0
The GLA is flat out unpleasant in a city filled with potholes, expansion joints and uneven concrete pavement. Low speeds are not its friend, but as speeds rise, the highway ride is well-damped and comfortable over distances.

Noise & vibration

3.0
There's some elevated wind noise around the large side mirrors. This certainly isn't the usual Mercedes vault, but it nevertheless has the sort of quietness expected of a luxury-branded car.

Interior

3.0
Though we appreciate Mercedes' intuitive COMAND electronics interface, the GLA's interior is otherwise compromised functionally. Space and visibility are the same as in a compact hatchback, but you're paying a price that's closer to that of a luxury compact SUV.

Ease of use

4.5
The GLA's interior is deceptively simple and remarkably easy to use, with a large infotainment screen, clear gauges and an easy knob- and button-based climate control system. The gear-selector stalk is a love-it-or-hate-it item.

Getting in/getting out

3.0
If you struggle with the climb up into an SUV's higher seat, the GLA may have appeal thanks to its lower stance. The lower height means loading kids in the back is similar to loading them in a car.

Roominess

2.0
The backseat has minimal legroom compared to an SUV's, and headroom is significantly hindered by the optional panoramic sunroof. The rear seat doesn't recline or slide. Tall occupants up front may feel as if their heads are up against the roof.

Visibility

2.0
If you're looking for that tall, commanding view indicative of an SUV, look elsewhere. The GLA's seating position is low, the windshield pillars are aggressively raked, and the rear quarter view is compromised. Good thing a rearview camera comes standard.

Quality

3.0
Everything you touch (stalks, switches, steering wheel) comes from the same high-quality parts bin as most other Mercedes models. Yet the trim pieces are harder and more plastic-feeling than in other Mercedes models and similarly priced SUVs.

Utility

3
It might look like an active lifestyle car or play one on TV, but you can't pack a lot of activity into the GLA. Tidy cargo space can accommodate a couple pieces of luggage or outdoor gear, and with all-wheel drive you could wheel to remote camping. Pack wisely.

Technology

Decent bit of tech even at the base level, including an 8-inch display, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system and a five-year trial of Mbrace Connect telematics services (which includes an optional Wi-Fi hotspot). Satellite radio, navigation and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system are options.

Audio & navigation

Voice-controlled navigation comes in the optional Multimedia package. There's also an optional Garmin Map Pilot SD card-based system. A six-speaker sound system is standard; a 12-speaker Harman Kardon upgrade is optional.

Smartphone integration

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered as part of the optional Multimedia package.

Driver aids

Offers most common driver aids but ties them up in different option bundles. A rearview camera and automatic emergency braking are standard, but blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise and parking assist come in separate packages.

Voice control

Navigation with voice control comes with the Multimedia package, which also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms for voice commands.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

2018 GLA really good but just short of great
Joe Hemberger,03/01/2018
Good quality for a small cross over. Has a rattle in the left side of dash and TPMS problem. That should not happen in a new vehicle.
I really enjoy this vehicle.
George,11/08/2017
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. After 7800 miles I continue to enjoy this vehicle. The Apple CarPlay deserves mention. It makes finding where you are going relatively easy since there is a clear map with verbal directions as well as directions pictured on the GPS map. I ordered all of the safety features available. The car has stopped itself to prevent getting too close to the vehicle in front of my vehicle. The vehicle provides an audible signal and a visible warning to warn me not to change lanes. This is especially helpful when driving on a dark road. When my back was not feeling fine for a day or two, the supportive seats were helpful. In short, I like the style, comfort, and practicality of the vehicle.
Love the Lowrider
jbrooks,07/02/2018
Key things: 1. Premium gas (offset by really good gas mileage). 2. Lower than most SUV's and crossovers 3. Learn how to use the throttle correctly. We shopped everything - Ford Edge Titanium | BMW X1 and X2 | Volvo XC 40 | Audi Q3 | Subaru Outback | Chevrolet Equinox. Looked for five star safety (US or Europe). Reviews said car was loud. We don't find it any louder than our other cars. Maybe a little quieter. Reviews also said car was jerky. It is correct that between 1600 and about 1900 RPM there is some turbo lag to manage in automatic mode. Brakes are excellent and steering, despite steer by wire, appears to have good feel and is on point. AC fan control is via up and down buttons - would prefer a dial...Apple car play works as it should. There are a lot of customization options available..Front seats are very comfortable - back seats are comfortable for me - 6' tall much taller and there could be an issue! We did a "test packing" at our dealer - we loaded suitcases with the back seats up and then loaded - with the seat down - we stored 4 standard suitcases, four other cases, two backbacks, a dog crate and some other this and that. Of course, while we are the dealership, we did the same load test in the GLC as well. Got a good end of model year closeout price so very pleased.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$35,400
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
208 hp @ 5500 rpm
MSRP
$33,400
MPG
24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
208 hp @ 5500 rpm
MSRP
$50,600
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
375 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite GLA-Class safety features:

Active Brake Assist
Uses radar to detect vehicles and objects ahead and applies autonomous braking if necessary.
Distance Pilot Distronic
Maintains a set distance from the car ahead of you when the cruise control is set on the highway.
Lane Keeping Assist
Monitors road markings and helps detect unintended lane drifting. Alerts driver by vibrating the steering wheel.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for Sale

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2018 GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
6,984 miles
Used 2018
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
GLA 250 4MATIC
List$34,734
Est.Loan: $632/mo
View Details
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2018 GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
18,350 miles
Used 2018
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
GLA 250 4MATIC
List$33,724
Est.Loan: $614/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
MERCEDES-BENZ GLA 250 4MATIC ** CLEAN CARFAX ** ONE OWNER ** MEMORY SEATS ** AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHTS ** BLUETOOTH ** PUSH BUTTON START ** SUNROOF ** SOS ** BACK UP CAMERA ** HEATED SEATS ** AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL ** LEATHER SEATS ** NAVIGATION ** OUR VEHICLES RECEIVE QUALITY INSPECTIONS AND ARE SERVICED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS..STOHLMAN HAS BEEN SERVING THE AREA FOR OVER 80 YEARS.
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 2018 GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
6,381 miles
Used 2018
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
GLA 250 4MATIC
List$34,998
Est.Loan: $637/mo
View Details

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More about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

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: GLA-Class SUV, GLA-Class AMG GLA 45 4MATIC. Available styles include GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), GLA 250 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and AMG GLA 45 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).

What do people think of 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 4.5 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.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

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.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

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.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class?
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class AMG GLA 45 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class AMG GLA 45 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for sale near. There are currently 4 new 2018 GLA-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $36,025 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Can't find a new 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,461.

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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.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class lease specials