The Mercedes Benz GLA250 was first introduced in 2013 as a raised-up A-Class. The GLA didn’t fare all that well because people somewhat deemed it to be neither an SUV nor a hatchback. The second generation of the GLA was introduced in 2019 which did help make the GLA nameplate better. So, is Mercedes GLA 250 a good car?
The 1st generation GLA250 is not really a good car because it does not feel like an SUV, nor does it feel like a hatchback. It does not benefit from anything besides a slightly taller ride height. The 2nd generation of the GLA is much better as it finally looks and feels like a true compact SUV should and therefore is a really good car.
Both these generations use an almost identical 2.0L inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. They also rely on the 7-speed auto which means that the powertrains are really similar. The design of the GLA is much better with the 2nd generation because the 1st gen GLA looks slightly weird.
Reliability is also better with the second generation of the GLA, but we are going to mention the most common GLA issues. Values of these are also decent, but it makes more sense to buy the 2nd generation model. They are slightly more practical than the cars on which they are based, but still nothing out of the ordinary.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 – The powertrain
The 1st generation of the GLA250 uses a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 211hp and is available in either RWD or 4MATIC AWD system. The 2nd generation of the GLA250 uses very much the same engine, but the power is raised to 224hp respectively. It also comes in either AWD 4MATIC or RWD form.
4MATIC models usually cost about $2,000 more than the RWD version. Both of these come with Mercedes proprietary dual-clutch transmissions, but the 1st gen GLA gets the 7-speed while the 2nd generation gets the 9-speed box. Transmission is smooth and seamless and fits the character of the GLA really well.
Efficiency is also a strong point for these engines given the fact that they are 200hp+ engines after all. You can expect between 30MPG and 35MPG if you are conscious about fuel consumption. All in all, the powertrain is one of the best aspects of both of these.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 – Design and chassis
The 1st generation of the GLA looks like a slightly raised-up version of the 1st gen GLA while the 2nd generation of the GLA250 looks much better. The design differences between these two are even more apparent in the interior as the 2nd generation of the GLA looks way better.
The suspension and chassis tuning of both of these is primarily focused on comfort which is apparent the moment you take the first turn. It is not an off-roader and most people don’t expect it to be. All in all, if you want a more dynamic experience, you will have to go for one of the AMG versions.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 – Reliability and common issues
The 1st generation of the GLA250 is not the most reliable Mercedes SUV yet while the current model is much better. Either way, both of these require timely and thorough preventive maintenance, otherwise, they will cause all sorts of issues.
The most common issues with these are related to the engine, the engine cooling system, the transmission, and the equipment. As mentioned a few times in this article, the 1st generation of the GLA is a lot more troubling, but the 1stgen facelift is better. However, if you want the most trouble-free experience, you will have to go for the current GLA.
Mercedes Benz GLA250 – Value and practicality
Value-wise, the 2013 and up GLA250 can now be had for a really tempting price. You should consider one if you are able to find it at a decent price. However, the 2nd generation is a lot more expensive as it is still the newest GLA money can buy. Therefore, it takes quite a bit of a premium to go for the current GLA over the 1st one, but it is worth the money.
Practicality is where these two beat the A-Class on which they are based, but don’t do it in a way that makes any mentionable difference. They do offer enough space for up to four adults and the trunk space is mediocre. Visibility is better thanks to a raised ride height which also favors easy entry.
Is the Mercedes Benz GLA a family car?
The Mercedes Benz GLA is a fairly decent family car because it offers enough space for up to four adults. Furthermore, it is also a really safe car because it enjoys a stellar 5-star crash safety rating. This is the case for both GLA generations and that is why many people are using it as a family car. However, the GLB is a better family car and it does not cost that much more than the GLA.
When it comes to ease of entry and family-friendly features, the GLA has got you covered. It comes with lots of USB charging ports, cubby spaces, and interior amenities that fit a family car character really well.
How long can a Mercedes GLA last?
It may not be the best Mercedes SUV of all time, but no one can argue that the GLA is not able to last a long time. There are many examples of the 1st gen GLA out there with a few hundred thousand miles which means that it should last a long time without needing major overhauls.
However, these examples have been kept in optimal condition since the car first came out. If you are after a used GLA, be sure to go for one that has all the service and maintenance history records intact.
Why do people like the Mercedes GLA?
The Mercedes Benz GLA-Class resides in one of, if not the most popular car segment, the compact luxury crossover/compact SUV. The reason why people love these cars so much is because they combine luxury, visibility, practicality, and a slightly raised up driving position for a similar price to an entry-level hatchback.
As such, almost everyone will rather go for a GLA over an A-Class, myself included.