The older Mercedes GLA was not a family car because it was fairly unpractical considering its size and market positioning. The new generation of the GLA is far better as it utilizes a more family-friendly approach. Mercedes positions the GLB SUV as the entry-level Mercedes SUV, but the reality is that the GLA and the GLB are incredibly similar.
As such, it’s safe to say that the GLA is more than capable of being a well-designed and safe family car. The GLA is indeed the smallest SUV from the Mercedes SUV range and most people deem it to be too small to be a true family car, yet so many primarily younger families still buy the GLA.
A true family car needs to excel at a few very important categories such as safety, practicality, quietness, comfort, and technology. It also needs to be reliable and able to carry people and cargo with relative ease. This means that a huge SUV is not exactly always the right choice, especially if you don’t need 7 seats.
The GLA is indeed safe and sophisticated. It is relatively practical because it does not offer nearly class-leading space for both passengers and cargo area, but if you own a younger family, the GLA is more than enough.
Mercedes Benz GLA – Value, competition, and luxury
Raising a family costs a lot of money, and that’s why many families out there are money-conscious while buying a car. The GLA starts at $36,400 which is relatively affordable given the fact that the GLA does offer a true Mercedes experience while also offering a few class-leading benefits over its competition.
The first benefit the GLA has over the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Volvo XC40 is desirability as most people out there are drawn to the GLA the most. This is because the GLA offers a sophisticated exterior design and a showstopper interior design that is simply a cut above the rest.
Value-wise, a well-optioned out GLA does tend to rise in value over a comparable Q3, XC40, and X1 a lot more, but a well-optioned GLA does beat a well-optioned Q3 any day of the week. Where the Q3 bests the GLA is the practicality as it offers both more seating space and cargo space while the Q3s interior is equally good-looking and arguably even better made.
People who buy the GLA want luxury and that’s the reality of it, and that is also where the GLA seems to excel. It is a Mercedes after all, and we all know that Mercedes does luxury brilliantly.
Mercedes Benz GLA – Practicality and family friendliness
Practicality is not a strong suit of the GLA because the Q3, the XC40, and the BMW X1 offer more cargo space in comparison. However, this is not a dealbreaker if you are satisfied with the amount of space the GLA offers, and most people who buy the GLA are.
Differences such as these seem huge on paper, but in reality, they are not as important. If you own a younger family, there is little to no difference as far as rear seats are concerned, but if you own an older family that consists out of fully grown adults, the GLA is not for you.
Fitting a baby seat in the GLA is fairly easy because the ISOFIX anchors are easily accessible and the rear doors do open wide enough. The GLA can easily fit both the bulky rear-facing seats and the more ordinary front-facing child seats.
The GLA does offer a relatively family-friendly interior which is packed with clever cubby spaces and large rear windows. This makes the GLA feel airy and not all that claustrophobic at the back which is obviously a good thing.
Mercedes GLA – Safety
Safety is arguably the most important aspect when it comes to buying family cars and is something you should never ever skimp on. The good news is that the GLA is an admirably safe car because many leading crash testing organizations rated the GLA with a stellar 5-star rating.
The bad news is that the cars being tested are equipped with all the safety systems Mercedes offers. This means that without these systems the car is not as safe as advertised, but with them, the car tends to cost a lot more money than what you originally expected.
However, it makes sense to equip the GLA with all the safety bells and whistles in order to keep your family safe. These systems do sometimes play a huge difference and are able to save you from accidents and raise your awareness.
Is the GLA a quiet car to travel in?
Quietness is also an important aspect of a true family car, especially if you love taking your family with you on longer journeys. The sounds of the city and the open road can often seem too much for smaller children which can potentially make you less aware of your surroundings while driving.
However, if the car in question is quiet and comfortable without a jittery ride, it means that your children are going to be able to fall asleep a lot more easily. The GLA does not offer double glazed windows, but it is fairly noise isolated while also being comfortable to travel in.
Is the GLA a reliable car?
According to a few online sources, the GLA seems to offer above-average predicted reliability. However, the GLA is still a relatively new car which means that properly assessing long-term reliability is difficult.
All in all, the new GLA is a lot better than the old one and it does seem like it is going to last a long time, just like any other Mercedes if you take good care of it.
Is the Mercedes GLA a desirable car?
The Mercedes GLA is indeed a very popular car, but it does cost a lot of money considering that it only is a subcompact SUV/Crossover. This still enables the GLA to sell really well both from new and as a second-hand market car.
The GLA is more desirable than the Audi Q3, the X1, and the XC40. The GLA is also a newer car than all three of these which means that it attracts the most attention even with car enthusiasts.