Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - October 22, 2020

Now more than ever, automakers are trying to offer crossovers and SUVs of all sizes to ensure consumers have plenty of choices to explore. Mercedes-Benz has plenty for consumers to choose from.

The smallest offering is the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, which is all new for the 2021 model year. Classified as a subcompact crossover, the GLA also happens to be their most affordable utility vehicle. Meanwhile, the compact Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class receives more features for the 2021 model year.

In this comparison, we’ll look at the differences and similarities between the two models to help you decide which one is the better option for you.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class & Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class »

What the GLA-Class Gets Right

The Mercedes GLA-Class is more affordable than the GLC-Class. Pricing for the GLA 250 starts at $37,225 including destination, while the GLC costs $43,495. That’s a substantial difference of $6,270.

Additionally, the GLA will continue to save buyers money in the long run with better fuel economy ratings. The GLA is rated at an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon combined, which is three better than the GLC.

While the majority of consumers will find the GLC’s size to be a better fit, drivers that live in urban areas with tight roads will appreciate the GLA’s smaller proportions. The GLA is nearly 10 inches shorter in length, 3 inches shorter in width, and roughly an inch shorter in height.

What the GLC-Class Gets Right

Thanks to its larger size, the Mercedes GLC-Class offers more interior space than the GLA. With the rear seats in place, the GLC offers 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space. This expands to 56.5 with them folded. The most the GLA can hold is 50.5 cubic feet.

When it comes to performance, the GLC has the edge. Both come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as standard. In the GLC, the engine makes 255 horsepower, 34 more than GLA.

At the top of the range, the AMG GLC 63 comes with a twin-turbo V8 that makes 469 hp. The most powerful trim in the GLA lineup is the AMG GLA 35 that comes with an updated version of the base engine with 302 hp.

As the more expensive vehicle, the GLC comes with more standard features than the GLA. Heated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, a 115-volt outlet, and a universal garage door opener are standard on the GLC and not on the GLA.

Subcompact or Compact?

Choosing between the Mercedes GLA and the Mercedes GLC really comes down to one thing – how big do you want your crossover to be? Both are offered with similar features, designs, and powertrains. While size is one of the major differences, another one is price, as the GLA is far more affordable than the GLC.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

While the all-new Mercedes GLA-Class is better than before, the Mercedes GLC-Class’ size, performance, and slightly more extensive list of standard features should be the better overall choice for the majority of consumers.

The GLC is more expensive than the GLA, but it brings more standard features and provides families with room to grow. The GLA is best for couples, single consumers, and empty nesters that don’t need the extra space.

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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