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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA delivers unruffled handling, a supple ride, and lavish interior appointments. However, its cramped rear seats and limited cargo space keep it from reaching the top of our rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp handling, smooth ride
  • High-end interior
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Small cargo bay

New for 2016

  • Standard push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Available 180-degree rearview camera
  • AMG model gained 20 horsepower

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2016 GLA is a good luxury subcompact SUV. Both of its available engines provide excellent turbo power for quick acceleration. The GLA also boasts excellent road manners thanks to its razor-sharp cornering poise and soft suspension. Inside, the GLA’s rich interior is teeming with the quality materials you would expect from Mercedes-Benz. There’s a wide array of standard features, including an assortment of advanced safety tech that you won’t find standard in the competition.

However, a used 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA isn’t for everyone. Its tight rear seats and small cargo capacity make it a poor choice for carting around a full load of people and gear. If you lead an active lifestyle, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The GLA is for those who want a small SUV with big style, excellent performance, and a rich interior.

Why You Can Trust Us

We researched 16 Mercedes-Benz GLA reviews and included information on price, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a complete overview of the 2016 GLA.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

Based on over 130 listings for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA on our site, you can expect to pay between $23,000 and $37,500. The average list price for a 2016 GLA is $28,000. Prices vary with demand and the vehicle’s mileage, packages, and condition.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Cost to Own?

There are other costs to owning a vehicle in addition to the purchase price. The Mercedes-Benz GLA’s gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance costs are on par with those of other luxury subcompact SUVs. Over five years, these expenses will cost you about $28,000. That amounts to around $5,600 per year.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GLA?

A 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA has a starting price of around $33,400, which is about $5,400 higher than the average price of a 2016 GLA. Unlike the 2016 model, the new GLA has more standard features, including remote start, a rearview camera, and an 8-inch high-resolution infotainment display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 360-degree parking camera are now available. The new model also has a refreshed exterior design. If these added features are important to you, splurge for the new model. Otherwise, save your money and get the 2016 GLA.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLA »

There are no new luxury SUVs that can touch the 2016 GLA’s average price of $28,000. If you must have a new vehicle, consider saving money with a model from a nonluxury brand. The GMC Terrain starts at $24,995, and the Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,150. Both models have competent handling and upscale interiors with plenty of space. Also, keep in mind that new cars often have available cash back or financing specials that could make it even easier to load up on features or save extra money.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

The 2016 Mercedes GLA has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about GLA reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Recalls

Mercedes-Benz has issued a recall for inadvertent driver air bag deployment in the 2016 GLA. Make sure this issue has been addressed before you buy.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz GLA safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz GLA Is Best?

The GLA launched for 2015, and there have been several changes to the model since then. For 2016, the GLA gained standard push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 180-degree rearview camera became available. Also, the AMG model gained 20 horsepower. For 2017, a 7-inch display became standard; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available. Unless these features are must-haves, we recommend saving your money and getting a 2016 GLA.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GLA »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz GLA Model Is Right for Me?

For most folks, the GLA 250 SUV is a fine choice. It offers a generous list of standard features, ample engine power, and athletic handling. If you need all-wheel drive, upgrade to the GLA 250 4Matic SUV. The Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is for driving enthusiasts; it has sharper handling and a 167-horsepower boost.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the GLA?

Like most luxury vehicles, the GLA has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A driver drowsiness monitor, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking are standard in the GLA. Blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors are available.

See GLA safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA or 2016 BMW X1?

The BMW X1 stands apart from the rest of the luxury subcompact SUV class. Unlike the GLA, the X1 has roomy rear seats, a spacious cargo hold, and standard all-wheel drive. Still, the X1 shares the GLA’s agile handling, fuel efficiency, and rich interior quality. Although it doesn’t have the GLA’s standard safety features and available engine upgrade, the X1 is a better SUV overall. We named the 2016 BMW X1 our Best Luxury Subcompact SUV for the Money and Best Luxury Subcompact SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA or 2016 Audi Q3?

The Audi Q3 keeps up with the GLA’s handling ability and interior quality. However, the Q3 has worse fuel economy, less standard safety features, and a weaker engine than the GLA. While neither SUV has spacious rear seats, the Q3 is worth considering over the GLA if you need extra cargo space. In the end, either one is a fine luxury subcompact SUV.

Compare the GLA, X1, and Q3 »

2016 GLA Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Drive?

The GLA 250 makes plenty of power from its base 208-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Still, it’s nowhere near as quick as the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, which squeezes 375 horsepower out of a turbo-four of the same size. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard in all models; it doesn’t feel smooth at low speeds.

When it comes to handling, the GLA shines. The steering is light and accurate, but some may find it too responsive, especially compared to the GLA’s softer stablemates. You might expect the GLA to ride harshly given its sharp cornering abilities, but that’s not the case. Instead, the GLA’s suspension helps it float smoothly along. Front-wheel drive comes standard in the GLA 250, though 4Matic all-wheel drive is available (or standard with the AMG GLA 45).

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Get Good Gas Mileage?

The GLA features stop-start technology, which helps improve its fuel economy. With the base engine, expect 24-25 mpg in the city and 31-34 mpg on the highway. The Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is worse on gas: 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Read more about GLA performance »

2016 Model Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 GLA Seat?

The 2016 GLA crossover comes standard with seating for five, leatherette upholstery, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seats lack sufficient legroom for optimal comfort. The base trim has impressive interior materials and attractive styling. Leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, and sport seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

For installing child safety seats, there are two full sets of LATCH connectors on the outboard rear seats and an additional upper tether on the middle rear seat.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Features

The 2016 GLA comes standard with the COMAND infotainment system, which employs a 7-inch display screen, a central control knob, Bluetooth, a USB port, and HD Radio. Push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control are also standard. The mbrace Connect package also comes standard and allows users to access and view details about their car via smartphone integration.

Multimedia upgrades include navigation, an 8-inch display, a Harman Kardon sound system, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, voice recognition, and an SD card reader. Some models feature a panoramic sunroof.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA specs »

Read more about GLA interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz GLA Cargo Space

The GLA has 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 43.6 cubic once you fold down the rear seats. Any way you slice it, that’s one of the smallest cargo holds in the class.

2016 GLA Length and Weight

From front to back, the GLA 250 measures about 14.5 feet. The AMG GLA 45 is about an inch longer than the GLA 250. The curb weight ranges from 3,296 pounds (GLA 250) to 3,457 pounds (AMG GLA 45).

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Built?

The 2016 GLA was manufactured at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Rastatt, Germany.

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