Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014-2020) Review logo

Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014-2020) Review

Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image

1/10

Car image

2/10

Car image

3/10

Car image

4/10

Car image

5/10

Car image

6/10

Car image

7/10

Car image

8/10

Car image

9/10

Car image

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

00/10
heycar rating
Below par for a Mercedes

Best bits

  • Cabin feels top-notch
  • Won’t cost a fortune to run
  • Ride quality better than the A-Class

Not so great

  • Unremarkable practicality
  • You’ll sit higher up in most crossover SUVs
  • Automatic gearbox is frustrating

Read by

Mercedes GLA 2014 frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes GLA 2014 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLA 2014 frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLA 2014 leftside exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLA 2014 bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"It might be a bit harsh to say that people only bought the GLA because of its Mercedes-Benz badge on the bonnet, but there’s probably an element of truth there. It’s not as practical as competitors, has an old-fashioned diesel engine and a clumsy automatic gearbox."

Mercedes GLA 2014 frontright exterior

The Mercedes-Benz GLA was the brand’s first attempt at a small SUV. You get a minor increase in ride height compared to the A-Class on which it’s based and some body cladding which makes it look more rugged


Rivals include cars like the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo’s brilliant XC40. But still, the GLA sold in good numbers and, if you’re in the market for a small (yet premium) SUV, it’s likely to be popping up in your searches.


So, is it any good? Well, the interior feels much classier than you’d get in a Nissan Qashqai. From the thick-rimmed steering wheel with the three-pointed star on its centre to the squishy materials on everything you’re likely to touch, it’s a car that feels like a premium product. Like a Tag Heuer watch or a Tesco Finest ready meal.


The inside looks a bit dated, though, compared to newer alternatives - but it did go on sale in 2014, so we can perhaps forgive it that. 


It’s also not a great deal more practical than the old A-Class that it's based upon, meaning you get a lot more in alternatives such as the Audi Q3. You’ll struggle to get much more than the weekly shop in the boot and don’t go expecting to lord it over other traffic. You sit almost as low down as in a hatchback like the, er, A-Class.


One advantage the GLA has is comfort. It’s got a compliant ride, while it’s an easy car to drive around town thanks to its compact dimensions. It’s not so great on faster roads, though - the steering feels wooly and a BMW X1 is more agile.


While the petrol engines are pretty good and won’t cost a fortune to run, the GLA's 2.1-litre diesel is more difficult to recommend. Sure, it’s got plenty of torque which makes for relaxed driving, but the noise it makes is anything but relaxing. It clatters like a much older diesel and you’ll notice a lot of vibration through the steering wheel and pedals, too.


The automatic gearbox isn’t great, either. It’ll hesitate when you want to pull out of a junction or build speed for an overtake. You’d be better with the manual transmission, but they’re fairly rare and having to change gears yourself feels a bit laborious in a so-called premium car.


So, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is a car that’s not without its faults. But a used example does represent good value for money.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Mercedes GLA (2020-) review.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLA right for you?

How much do you want an SUV with that Mercedes-Benz badge? The GLA isn’t without its faults but, if you don’t need anything that’s particularly practical and are willing to compromise, it’s quite an affordable way to get a Mercedes-Benz SUV.

What’s the best Mercedes-Benz GLA model/engine to choose?

The petrol Mercedes-Benz GLA 180 will make the most sense for most buyers. An SE spec model ticks most of the boxes, but you might prefer the blingier looks of Sport or AMG Line models.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLA?

There’s no shortage of very good premium crossovers. You should also look at the BMW X1 (or BMW X2), as well as the Audi Q2 and Audi Q3. Volvo’s XC40 is pricey but a really good alternative to the GLA. You could also consider a Lexus UX or even an Infiniti QX30 (which shared a platform with the GLA). Mainstream competitors include the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen T-Roc.

Learn more

Mercedes GLA 2014 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLA 2014 frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLA 2014 leftside exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLA 2014 bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Mon-Fri 9am-6pm |
Sat & Sun 9am-5pm
Email us at:
hey@heycar.co.uk
Our customers say
“Excellent”
heycar Trustpilot
Copyright 2021 heycar - All rights reserved |
Registered address: 5 New Street Square, London, United Kingdom EC4A 3TW
Copyright 2021 heycar - All rights reserved