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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA is refined, lively, and expected to be more reliable than most competitors. With a cramped back seat and limited cargo space, though, it ranks near the bottom of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines
  • Outstanding handling
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Class-leading predicted reliability rating 
  • Small back seats
  • Low cargo capacity

New for 2017

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available
  • Remote start became standard

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
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

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Overview

Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA a Good Used SUV?

From the front seats, the 2017 GLA is a delightful luxury subcompact SUV. Attributes like agile handling and a lively engine make it enjoyable to drive, and its cushy front seats make it comfortable on long rides. Other perks of the GLA include a high predicted reliability rating, above-average fuel economy, and an attractive list of standard tech and safety features. However, this is not a good SUV for you if you regularly transport tall passengers in the back, or need a lot of cargo space.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mercedes-Benz GLA review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 20 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

Based on more than 150 listings on our used car site, the average price of a GLA is $29,900. Various factors affect pricing, including the vehicle’s optional features, condition, and mileage. GLA250 prices range from a low of $25,000 to a high of $34,000. Expect to pay closer to $43,000 for the range-topping AMG GLA45.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Cost to Own?

Over the course of five years, we estimate you'll pay close to $30,000 to insure, fuel, repair, and maintain a 2017 Mercedes GLA. That's higher than the class average by about $1,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GLA?

The 2018 GLA may cost about $3,500 more than the average 2017 GLA listing price, but it comes with some enticing changes that make it worth considering. The 2018 model year marks a midcycle refresh for the GLA. Mercedes revamped the exterior with new styling, bumpers, and wheels, but its changes are more than just cosmetic. The cargo capacity behind the seats has grown by more than 2 cubic feet, so you can now pack an additional carry-on suitcase. More standard features were also added, including a rearview camera and an 8-inch infotainment display. Out of the two, the 2018 GLA as the better buy.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLA »

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 is the only model in our new luxury subcompact SUV rankings with a price that’s about the same as a 2017 GLA, but this is no bargain basement option. The QX30’s cabin has an array of first-class features and upgrades, and its warranty is longer than that of most rivals. Pricing starts just under $30,000.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

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

Mercedes introduced the GLA in 2015, and then proceeded to add enhancements over the succeeding model years. For example, dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start became standard for 2016, and enhanced smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) became available for 2017. Other than these changes to the features list, the GLA (and its scores in our rankings) has changed very little from 2015 to 2017. You can likely save some money by shopping for an older model. 

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GLA »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

The 2017 GLA has a predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power, which is one of the highest ratings in the class.

Read more about GLA reliability »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Recalls

In late 2017, Mercedes issued a sweeping recall on many of its vehicles (including the 2017 GLA) to fix a problem that led to accidental deployment of the driver's air bag. There are two additional recalls for this SUV. One installs an additional fuse for the starter, and another replaces defective air bags in a select few models. Make sure a Mercedes dealer has addressed these recalls before purchasing a 2017 GLA.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz GLA safety recalls »

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

The 2017 GLA comes in three configurations: the front-wheel drive GLA250, the all-wheel drive GLA250 4Matic, and the high-performance AMG GLA45. The AMG model combines sporty components – like a 375-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine – with unique styling elements and a few high-end extras. These models tend to cost about $13,000 more, so most shoppers will want to stick with one of the GLA250 models.

Beyond the drivetrain, the GLA250 and GLA250 4Matic are virtually identical, but some used models may come with upgrades. Out of all the packages available, the Multimedia package is a favorite. It bundles together a larger infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

For added safety features, look for a model with the Premium package (with features such as blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and a Harmon Kardon sound system) or the Driver Assistance package (which includes the Premium package features, plus adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and lane keep assist).

See 2017 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?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA did not undergo crash test analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Every GLA comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a driver drowsiness monitor. Some upgraded models may also come with a rearview camera, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

See GLA safety scores »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA or 2017 BMW X1?

The 2017 BMW X1 is not only the original luxury subcompact SUV, but it's one of the best you can buy. It's fun to drive, with an energetic engine and an athletic suspension system that doesn’t sacrifice ride comfort. You get significantly more room inside the X1, especially when it comes to rear-seat legroom and cargo space. In short, go with the X1 if you can afford its higher price tag.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA or 2017 Audi Q3?

You get more with the GLA than you do with the 2017 Audi Q3. The GLA has more horsepower, a longer list of standard high-tech safety systems, more cargo space behind the rear seats, and more room for passengers than the Q3. The GLA may have a slightly higher price, but it’s a much better value.

Compare the GLA, X1, and Q3 »

2017 GLA Performance

How Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Drive?

The GLA250 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and seven-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is peppier than its 208-horsepower rating implies, reaching 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. The AMG GL45 drops this sprint time to 4.3 seconds, thanks to its 375-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The GLA's nimble handling makes it feel more like driving a large hatchback. That said, the ride can feel a tad harsher than you would expect from a luxury brand. 

Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Get Good Gas Mileage?

The GLA is one of the thriftier subcompact SUVs when it comes to gas mileage. It gets 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is one of the highest ratings in the class.

Read more about GLA performance »

2017 GLA Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 GLA Seat?

The GLA is a 2-row SUV with seating for five. With numerous power adjustments and ample space, the front seats are quite comfortable. The accommodations aren't as pleasant in the back seat, where passengers have little room to stretch out. Synthetic leather is standard, and swanky upgrades such as genuine leather and heated front seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA?

The GLA comes with three upper tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors on the rear outboard seats.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Features

The gauges and displays are easy to read in the GLA, with every edition featuring either a 7- or 8-inch infotainment display. It takes a little practice to get familiar with the interface, which you can operate using a controller mounted on the center console. Still, the system is mostly straightforward. Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, two USB ports, HD Radio, and a CD player are standard. Tech options include a surround-sound system by Harman Kardon and a navigation system.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA specs »

Read more about GLA interior »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz GLA Cargo Space

With a mere 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, the GLA has less room for your gear than most other subcompact SUVs. It's easy to expand this space to load large items, however, thanks to the GLA's standard power liftgate and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Length and Weight

The GLA250 is 14.5 feet long, and AMG editions are about an inch longer. The GLA’s curb weight ranges from 3,296 to 3,457 pounds, depending on the model.

Where Was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Built?

Mercedes built the GLA in Germany.

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