2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class


$33,400 MSRP
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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Interior Review


Interior: 7.3

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA features mostly upscale materials and an attractive design. Passenger accommodations are good in the front seats but cramped in the rear. Cargo room is also somewhat limited. The infotainment system functions well once you learn how to use it.

  • The leather bits are decent, and the plastic parts, including some garish color detail options in the AMG model are still not up to a Mercedes standard. In this size category, the new, highly refined Honda Civic looms large in the CLA/GLA-Classes' rearview mirrors." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Inside, the dashboard is covered with supple MB-Tex, featuring red contrast topstitching. The instrument cluster has gotten a minor makeover including a new numeral design, new gauge needles and a chrome frame." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • There are small interior design changes, too, with a leatherette-covered dashboard sporting red contrast stitching, and a new instrument cluster. … Even without wholesale changes, these light interior upgrades do improve major touch points to go along with the cabin's attractive piano black trim and supportive front seats sourced from Recaro. Some cheap-looking plastics remain on the center console, though." -- CNET


The 2018 GLA seats five on standard leatherette upholstery and has a 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Optional upgrades include leather upholstery, heated front seats, and front sport seats. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors and a middle-seat tether anchor. The system has not been evaluated for its ease of use.

The front seats in the GLA are supportive for long trips or spirited driving, and they offer good forward visibility. However, legroom is tight in the second row, and headroom is tighter in models with the sunroof.

  • "The GLA has never been particularly roomy, and the 2018 model is no different. Front-seat occupants don't have much to complain about, especially when seated in the Benz's optional sport seats, but those relegated to the back may feel cramped on longer journeys. Fitting five adults in the GLA makes for an all-too-intimate setting that's unpleasant even for short trips. The panoramic sunroof fitted to the GLA250 4MATIC we drove robbed precious headroom, too." -- Car and Driver
  • "They should also be able to live with the limited interior space. The front seats offer pleasantly firm support and ample adjustability, but rear legroom depends on who's sitting in front. If the driver has long legs, an adult passenger behind is going to be cramped. With shorter folks up front, the back seat is fine for adults." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • A modestly elevated driving position provides excellent forward visibility, but the shallow angle of the tailgate and thick roof pillars impede the view out back. Although there is a lot to like about the front row, the rear quarters are less accommodating and space is distinctly lacking compared with rivals such as the BMW X1 and Acura RDX. For example, the GLA has 27.1 inches of rear legroom and 53.2 inches of rear shoulder room, compared to the X1's 37 inches/55.2 inches and the RDX's 38.3 inches/57.2 inches. Fortunately, there's enough headroom for adult passengers as long as you don't order the sunroof." -- Edmunds (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA include dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, remote start, an infotainment system with an 8-inch display, a rearview camera, push-button start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic emergency braking, and a driver drowsiness monitor.

Optional features include a panoramic moonroof, LED headlights and taillights, ambient cabin lighting, proximity-key entry, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, satellite radio, navigation, voice command activation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera and automatic parking function.

Though the infotainment display can look out of place, it features crisp graphics and quick response times. The system is easy to use via a central control knob, and smartphone integration features add to the system's appeal.

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA specs »

  • "More substantial alterations in tech happen with an 8-inch high-resolution center screen and rearview camera becoming standard. … Handling all the infotainment features is Benz's responsive and intuitive Comand interface, which uses a combination of a central dial and center stack hard buttons to control audio, Bluetooth and navigation. The system cycles between menus quickly, while imagery on the new screen looks clear and crisp. For fans of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, both are optional." -- CNET
  • The optional navigation system's display looks like an aftermarket addition given its location perched high on the dash. On the upside, the screen is easy to read and fairly large. Although it takes a little getting used to, the column-mounted gear selector quickly becomes second nature and frees up valuable, easily accessed storage space on the console." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The freestanding … display holds sway atop the center console and to us is one of the least desirable features of this interior." -- Left Lane News (2016)


The Mercedes-Benz GLA has 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 43.6 cubic feet with them folded. A power liftgate is standard, and optional proximity-key access allows the liftgate to be opened hands-free. The GLA’s cargo volume is low for the class, and a high cargo floor makes loading the trunk difficult.

  • Those of us who find our hands full will appreciate the optional 'Hands-Free Access' that enables the rear hatch to be opened and closed with a foot movement." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Fold the rear seats down and you have 43.6 cubic feet available, which is less than most rivals and indicative of a compact hatchback. The standard power liftgate is nice, but the liftover is set quite high, making it a chore to load heavy luggage." -- Edmunds (2017)
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