Is Mercedes GLA bigger than A-Class?

The Mercedes Benz GLA is based on the A-Class platform which means that these two are identical when it comes to key factors such as engines, technology, interior design, efficiency, and reliability. However, the GLA is indeed bigger than the A-Class in more ways than one.

The GLA offers a raised-up driving position and it feels more substantial behind the wheel when compared to the A-Class. The GLA also offers more seating space both behind the wheel and in all the other seats. The Cargo area is far from class-leading for both of these, but the GLA does offer a bit more.

The GLA is also a few hundred pounds heavier than the A-Class and you are definitely going to notice that behind the wheel, especially during cornering. Both the A-Class and the GLA are rated for similar fuel economy results, but the A-Class should be slightly more economical in the real world.

As mentioned, these two are really similar. So much so, that on paper, they almost feel like the same car. In reality, they are very different, so be sure to read this article to find out which of these two premium luxury Mercedes cars is the one to get.

Mercedes Benz GLA – More of Mercedes

The previous generation of the GLA was not all that well-received because it was not a true SUV version of the A-Class. However, the new GLA tends to gather a lot more interest and most people deem it to be a completely different car from the A-Class.

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At first glance, you might not even believe that these two are indeed based on the same platform because one is an SUV and the other one is available either as a hatchback, or a sedan. The GLA offers more space all around, it also offers better visibility, a more commanding driving position, mild off-roading capabilities, and is more desirable.

The GLA starts at $36,400 and is available with the very same engines as the A-Class. The GLA is a better family car as it offers easier entry and exit and the raised-up position makes it easier for you to place the car through tight city streets and narrow parking lots.

The GLA was never intended to do any serious off-roading, but it is more capable than the A-Class which is likely never going to see mud or dirt. The GLA ticks more boxes when compared to the A-Class and that’s why the reason why the GLA sells a lot better than the A-Class.

Mercedes Benz A – The entry-level Mercedes

The A-Class starts at $33,950 which is a significant discount when compared to the GLA. For the price difference you are able to equip the A-Class with all the necessary options which means that a well-specified A-Class costs more or less the same as an entry-level GLA, so why are more people buying the GLA?

It’s because the GLA is a crossover/subcompact SUV and this segment is on fire right now. Even so, it’s still difficult to pick the GLA over the A-Class, especially because the A-Class looks better, is more dynamic, and is available in two different body shapes.

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Granted, in the US you are only getting the sedan version while both the sedan and the hatchback are available in other markets. The A-Class is quieter, better for long-distance cruising, and potentially more efficient.

The reality of it is that you are getting more value for money with the A-Class, but people are still going to prefer the GLA, both because it offers a raised-up driving position and because it offers more space and practicality.

Entry-level Mercedes Benz cars

There are four different entry-level Mercedes cars currently being sold in the US, the A-Class sedan, the CLA Coupe, the GLA crossover SUV, and the GLB, the smallest Mercedes family SUV. The newest of the bunch, the GLB costs $38,600 while the most stylish CLA costs $38,200.

All four of these are based on the same platform which means that they are positioned under the Mercedes Benz C-Class and the Mercedes Benz GLC-Class. An entry-level Mercedes was practically a joke before the latest A-Class model arrived because older A-Class, GLA, and CLA models were unworthy of the Mercedes badge.

This generation offers a significant step up both in luxury and quality which makes them in line with the rest of the Mercedes line-up. All four of these offer substance and are really desirable, so much so that they are the best-selling Mercedes models.

FAQ Section

Is the GLA safer than the A-Class?

Both the A-Class and the GLA are equally as safe because they are built on the same platform and they both benefit from the same active safety features such as pre-sense, automatic braking, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

All industry-leading crash testing organizations awarded both of these with a stellar 5-star safety rating which means that safety should not be an issue if you option the cars out correctly.

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Is the GLB bigger than the GLA?

The GLB is indeed bigger than the GLA, but the differences are not huge. The GLB utilizes a more classic boxy SUV shape, and Mercedes says that the GLB is a true family SUV. However, as previously stated the size differences between these two are relatively marginal.

The GLB offers 40.7 inches of front headroom while the GLA offers 39 inches. The GLB offers 0.4 inches more legroom for the front passengers as well. The GLB also offers a larger trunk and is even available with a third row of seats which is only reserved for small children.

Is the CLA more sporty to drive than the A-Class?

The CLA is indeed positioned as a more driver-focused option of the bunch, especially in AMG form. The A-Class is not even available with the all-out AMG 35/45 package because that package is reserved for the CLA. All in all, the CLA is a lot more dynamic and also better looking.

The CLA is also lower to the ground and it offers a slightly lower roofline. It is rather obvious that Mercedes positioned the CLA as the most dynamic feeling entry-level Mercedes coupe sedan while the A-Class is more of a regular sedan.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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