Mercedes GLA (2014-2020) review - Interior, design and technology

Sharp looks help the GLA to stand out from the crowd, although it's smaller than most of its rivals

Unlike its tall, SUV-inspired rivals, the Mercedes GLA looks like a family hatchback on stilts – and that’s exactly what it is. While the large headlamps, bold grille and curved roofline are reminiscent of the A-Class hatchback.

There are a few rugged elements to the GLA, such as the plastic body cladding and wheelarches, which mark it out as an SUV. The Urban Edition model comes with 18-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels, LED high performance headlamps and Night package gloss black trim with aluminum roof rails, while AMG Line versions feature 19-inch alloys, AMG bodystyling and ARTICO man-made leather-trimmed sports seats.

The GLA’s interior follows on from the A-Class, as the dash has been inspired by the company’s old SLS AMG supercar. It features racy-looking dials and a tablet-style display for the infotainment system, which features on other Mercedes models.

The large bezel design on this screen is now starting to look a little dated, but the interior is all solidly screwed together. Generally speaking, plenty of high-grade materials are used, although some of the plastics lower down on the dashboard look and feel a little low-rent.

The downside is that unlike in other compact SUVs, you don’t sit particularly high in the GLA due to its low-slung stance. The narrow windscreen and thick A-pillars mean occupants feel a little hemmed in, just as they do in the A-Class.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

A larger eight-inch screen is standard across the range. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, and both are easy to access via the system’s clearly laid out menus and neat graphics. A simplified version of the brand’s COMAND rotary controller is located on the transmission tunnel and it’s fairly simple to use.

Sat-nav is available on AMG Line variants, but all models feature a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth and 2 USB ports.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    GLA 180 Urban Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,775

Most Economical

  • Name
    GLA 200d Sport 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,100

Fastest

  • Name
    GLA 250 4Matic AMG Line Edition 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £34,585

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