The new GLA is about 5 inches shorter and 8 inches lower than Mercedes-Benz's mainstream compact crossover, the GLK. Compared to your typical hatchback, the GLA rides higher, has a more aggressive stance, and simply looks more purposeful. But that's not just the result of clever styling. Every example carries all-wheel drive with hill-descent control and an off-road transmission mode. (A front-drive version is in the works.) The sole drivetrain is a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder with 208 horsepower and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Standard equipment is rather generous for this price point and includes a power liftgate, HD radio, dual power seats (leatherette) with driver memory, Bluetooth phone and audio, and rain-sensing wipers. The outside gets 18-inch five-spoke wheels and roof rails. For safety, you get a driver alertness warning system and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking.
Most buyers will consider essential the Premium package, which includes automatic dual zone climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, satellite radio, an infotainment control interface and an integrated garage door opener. Premium-equipped models are eligible for the Interior package with leather sport seats and remote window operation; and the Multimedia package, which offers a hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a rearview camera and expanded audio features.
In addition to the GLA250's standard safety technology, the Driver Assistance package gets you adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping alert. For a different look outside, there's the Sport package with AMG wheels and body elements, plus perforated front brakes with painted calipers. Among the handful of individual options are a panoramic sunroof, wood or aluminum interior trim, and a Harman/Kardon surround-sound system.
Considering that all-wheel drive is standard, the GLA250 is fairly complete to begin with for a subcompact luxury crossover. That said, adding the Premium and Interior packages is highly recommended if you want the full Mercedes-Benz experience.
Choose your Mercedes-Benz GLA250 »