The Mercedes Benz GLA250 is an entry-level executive premium small SUV/crossover made to compete with the likes of the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Volvo XC40. The first generation of the GLA was introduced in 2013 while the second generation came 6 years later and completely reimagined what a true Mercedes luxury small SUV/crossover should be.
As far as reliability is concerned, the 1st generation of the GLA is not as good as the 2nd generation GLA. To be 100% honest, the 2nd generation GLA also isn’t anything to brag about as its reliability results are mediocre at best. The most common GLA250 issues are associated with the engine, the equipment, the fuel system, the electricals, and the steering system.
Most of these can be solved with simple preventive maintenance which is a necessity for a car such as this one. The 1st generation of the GLA is never going to become anything more than what it is now, and that is a compact SUV/crossover that struggles to keep up with its competitors.
If you are in the market for a GLA, it makes perfect sense to save up and buy the current GLA as it is a much better car overall. Either way, be sure to go for a car with all the service records readily available.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 engine issues
The 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine found in the GLA250 is a relatively powerful engine for such a car. With more than 200hp, the GLA250 feels like a VW Golf GTI with a three-pointed star on the hood. This engine is also sophisticated, quiet, and offers surprisingly linear power delivery for a small turbocharged engine. However, it is not the most reliable engine, but most issues it suffers from can be prevented in advance.
The most common engine-related issues are the camshaft failing, oil leaks, and potential issues with the spark plugs. To keep this engine running for a long time, you need to take proper care of it while it is performing adequately.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 equipment issues
The GLA-Class is a true luxury SUV which means that it comes with loads of standard and optional equipment. These include stuff like parking cameras, adaptive cruise, heated seats, parking pilots, large sunroof panels, and so on. All of these are known to fail from time to time because they are complex and there are simply too many of them.
The plastic roof panel positioned between the sunroof and the car’s front windscreen may have not been properly bonded to the car when the GLA left the factory. Mercedes issued a recall because of this which means that some 2013-2019 models do suffer from potentially faulty roof panels.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 fuel system issues
The 2016 refreshed GLA250 suffers from a peculiar issue in which a particle could potentially jam itself between the fuel rail and the fuel injector which can lead to fuel leaks. The biggest possible consequence of this can be an outright fire if the fuel ever reaches hot engine components, which it will if you don’t recognize this early enough.
Mercedes has also issued a recall because of this issue which means that many 2016-2020 GLA250 models were part of this recall. As such, be sure to check if the car you are looking at has been part of that same recall.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 electrical issues
The GLA250 is also no stranger to various software glitches and other forms of electrical issues. The reason why is similar to the one listed in the equipment part of this article. Therefore, maintaining the car in due time could potentially alleviate most of these issues, but don’t go thinking that these aren’t going to happen in some form.
Either way, lower mileage examples are far less likely to suffer from these issues as these issues are commonly found on cars with higher mileage.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 steering system issues
The GLA250 was also part of a recall caused by a faulty steering shaft. The reason why that is that many Mercedes cars from this era were fitted with an incorrect steering shaft borehole which can detach after a while. This hampers the car’s steerability and ultimately makes the car dangerous.
This issue is a widespread one with approximately 100,000 cars affected. Therefore, you need to check if the GLA250 you are looking at has been part of this recall.
Should I buy a Mercedes GLA250?
You should indeed buy a Mercedes GLA250, but only if you can afford one that has been properly taken care of. If you are stretching your budget to buy a high-mileage improperly kept example, you are likely going to spend too much money on maintenance. As such, if you want a GLA250, only go for an example that is worth the trouble.
As far as the 2nd generation of the GLA250 is concerned, it makes more sense to buy one in every way. It may be more expensive, but it is certainly worth it.
How long can a Mercedes GLA250 last?
Virtually all Mercedes models are known to last a long time because they are built to last. It’s no secret that Mercedes makes some of the world’s most indestructible cars and the GLA is one of those cars. This means that you should expect the car to last at least a few hundred thousand miles before needing major overhauls.
Not needing major overhauls does not mean that you don’t need to maintain the car, because you do. All in all, if you do everything right and you are not afraid to pay for it, both of these will last.
Is the Mercedes GLA a family car?
The Mercedes GLA-Class is not really marketed as a family car because that honor goes to the GLB. The GLB-Class is the boxier SUV with more space in each row. Moreover, the GLB is also available with three rows of seating which is not a common trait for a small SUV.
The good thing is that the GLB costs almost as much as the GLA, yet it offers a lot more space. The GLA can cut it for a younger family, but if you want something that can take you and your family on longer journeys for years to come, the GLA is not it.