Mercedes GLA (2014-2020) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
There's a lot of storage space in the GLA's cabin, although passengers may find the car a little cramped
As the Mercedes GLA SUV is based on the previous generation A-Class hatchback, it carries over that car’s reasonable level of practicality – in the front of the cabin, at least. There are plenty of cubbyholes dotted around the interior and decent-sized door bins, while a large rear window and the elevated driving position improve visibility over the A-Class. The GLA is a five-seater only, as seven-seat layouts are reserved for larger SUVs in the Mercedes range, such as the GLS.
The GLA is quite a long car, measuring 4,417mm long by 1,804mm wide. That makes it longer than the Audi Q3 and the Range Rover Evoque, but slightly shorter than the BMW X1. However, the Mercedes’ low-slung stance – it’s only 1,494mm tall – and the fact that it’s based on a hatchback mean you don’t sit as high up as you do in any of its chief rivals, so the view out of the cabin isn’t as good.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Even though it’s one of the longer cars in its class, the GLA is quite tight for space inside. That lower roofline impedes room slightly, particularly for passengers in the back.
Equally, the combination of small side windows and dark trim makes the cabin feel claustrophobic, while the front seat runners are too close together, which reduces foot space for those in the rear.
The 481-litre boot in the GLA is 61 litres bigger than those in the Audi Q3 and the Range Rover Evoque, although it’s a little shy of the 505 litres in the BMW X1. Fold the Mercedes’ rear seats down flat and you end up with 1,235 litres of space, which is less than the maximum boot capacity in its three main rivals, so that’s worth considering if you regularly transport big loads.
In this review
- 1Mercedes GLA (2014-2020) reviewThe Mercedes GLA combines A-Class engineering with fashionable crossover SUV styling
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Mercedes GLA is available with a choice of petrol engines - but it's merely average to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe entry-level GLA is cheap to run, although it's more expensive to buy than its rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologySharp looks help the GLA to stand out from the crowd, although it's smaller than most of its rivals
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThere's a lot of storage space in the GLA's cabin, although passengers may find the car a little cramped
- 6Reliability and SafetyOwners rate Mercedes' reliability and build quality highly, and the GLA has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating