2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
  • 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
Other years
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for Sale
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$24,777 - $36,495

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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

7.1 / 10

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.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class models

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.

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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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Overall7.1 / 10

Consumer reviews

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

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love the Lowrider
GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Updated Jan 2020 - After 18 months, like this car better than when we purchased it. Would prefer more headroom (believe a sunroof, which we don't have, provides more). Needs an interior lock/unlock key on passenger side. Long trips - i.e. RTP NC to Pittsburgh round trip - firm ride but comfortable and when you arrive after 9 hours on the road, you are NOT beaten up - very appreciative of that. Gas mileage still good - used oil the first 2-3K miles - since then zero oil consumption. No mechanical issues or electrical/infotainment concerns - knock on wood (which is attractive by the way). Car drives and handles well - both AC and heat are good - esp AC in the South. Would buy a new one (and probably will looking at how sharp the 2021's are...). Original Purchase: Key things: 1. Premium gas (offset by really good gas mileage). 2. Lower height than most SUV's and crossovers 3. Learn how to use the throttle correctly to moderate turbo. 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. Believe any excess noise due to run-flat tires. Reviews also said car was jerky. It is correct that between 1600 and about 1900 RPM there is some turbo lag to be managed by the driver in automatic mode (i.re. not shifting manually). 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.
Loving my GLA 250 4MATIC
GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
I recently purchased my 2018 GLA 4MATIC after having a hard top Miata for a few years. I LOVED my Miata but it was time for a more luxurious ride. I first looked at the Volvo XC40 and while I really liked the car, there was a huge blind spot and none of the dealers within a 100 mile radius had any in stock and I would have to order one and wait until the new year for it to arrive. No instant gratification there! Then I started to consider the GLA, the Audi Q3 and the BMW 1 & 3. I test drove the GLA and really liked it but thought I'd look at the other brands before purchasing. The Audi didn't have Apple Car Play and that was a deal breaker. And I have never liked BMWs (I know I'm weird) so after looking at them in Palo Alto, I crossed them off my list without a test drive. (I sat in both the 1 & 3 and didn't like the interior on either - both felt cheap and cramped.) I decided on the GLA 250 4MATIC and I've had it for a month. I really like the way it drives and handles. I like a car to go and pick up quickly, so I was concerned it wouldn't be zippy enough, but that isn't an issue. The front is very comfy and I love the support the seats offer as well as the layout. The tech systems was very easy and intuitive and I'm not a techie so I was worried about that, but again, not an issue. I'm short and the head room isn't the greatest but I have the first seat position button set to very low and the second button set to where I drive, so entering and exiting isn't an issue. The back seat is small and I wouldn't want to sit there, but I don't have to, and I rarely have passengers in the back. As for the cargo space, don't buy this car if you're looking to haul big or large items - it's not built or meant for that. I love this car and it fits my lifestyle perfectly - beautiful exterior and interior, great ride, great pick up, and I think it handles great. Also, the dealer experience at MB surpassed all the others except Audi - they were very good as well. Bottom line, I'd totally buy this car again.
I really enjoy this vehicle.
GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
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. Update: Now that I have about 26,000 miles, I continue to enjoy having the vehicle. All of the things I wrote about the car above remain my feelings about the vehicle. I have two cars. When it cane time to replace my other car, I bought another Mercedes Benz (a convertible). Even though Mercedes cars are not cheap, I believe they are worth the money because they provide a feeling of enhanced safety, comfort, and happiness. Update: At 30,000 miles, what I wrote about the vehicle remains true. It has chugged along very nicely as it took care of the important tasks of taking me back and forth to work, to get healthcare, to visit family, and to shop for food during the pandemic. When I bought the vehicle. I did not expect the healthcare I would need or a pandemic. But the vehicle has handled these challenges very well. With about 32,000 miles on it, the vehicle is still a joy to own and drive. Now I use it as a backup to my daily driver — another Mercedes Benz. I do not work for Mercedes. But this is how I feel.
Sexy little car
GLA 250 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
I love the way this car looks, I think it’s really the prettiest car on the road. Mine is midnight blue with white leather interior and it makes me smile every time I see it! I paid way more than the regular MSRP, I probably should have bargained a bit on the price but I was so excited about the car I didn’t bother. It has all the bells and whistles, very fun car and I feel incredibly safe in this thing. I feel like it knows when I want to turn, the handelling is almost intuitive it’s so smooth. It feels like it floats instead of drives and I would say it is way quieter than any car I have ever driven aside from a Prius. It took me a while to get used to the shifter, I kept using this instrument to signal instead of shift. Of course nothing happens when I do that, it’s all safe, just frustrating to get used to a shifter like this. It does have a few dash board rattles occasionally, not great for a car this expensive. But it’s usually only on rough pavement. It’s a lot smaller than it looks on the inside. Coming from driving a true mid sized suv this feels like a sedan. I leased it in case I would feel it’s too small for my daily needs, but really my only complaint is that I may want to get the AMG as I love speed and though this car is faster than any other 4 cycle coming from my previous car that was 264 hp this feels slow. Sport mode definitely helps a lot though and when I’m not feeling thrifty about gas consumption this definitely gives it a big boost!! My butt gets a little numb on long drives so I bought a gel cushion and that is definitely the way to go! Over all I give it 4 stars. For five it would need to be a little bigger (more head room), a little faster, and more padding on the seats. Everything else is pretty great, I’m very happy with it.


Our experts like the GLA-Class models:

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.

More about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview

The Used 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 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).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 4MATIC is priced between $24,777 and$36,495 with odometer readings between 8941 and51837 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA 250 is priced between $27,500 and$27,990 with odometer readings between 19556 and32078 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 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 43 used and CPO 2018 GLA-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,777 and mileage as low as 8941 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

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

Find a used Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $22,827.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $20,494.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $23,882.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,765.

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