2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class


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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Performance Review


Performance: 7.0

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA's performance earns mixed reviews. The GLA has agile handling and gets good fuel economy, but it can be slow to accelerate from a standstill, and its ride is stiff.

  • "Most Benzes lean toward stately power and control, but the GLA is one of the more fun and raucous models in the Mercedes lineup." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "… it's a bit peaky and feels unrefined for a Mercedes engine." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "The turbocharger needs time to spool up, so when driven with a light right foot, the GLA feels more sluggish than its performance numbers suggest. The dual-clutch transmission is no help, either—it lurches from gear to gear, particularly in the Comfort driving mode. Even when Sport mode is engaged, the gearbox continues to exhibit a certain unpredictability, but it's less noticeable since engine speeds hang higher in the rev range." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes standard in the GLA. This engine has sufficient power, especially at higher speeds, though it takes a while to accelerate from a stop. Another knock on this Benz is that the transmission struggles to find the right gear at times.

The base 2020 GLA delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That's above average for a luxury subcompact SUV. Models with all-wheel drive earn 1 less mpg in the city and 3 less mpg on the highway.

  • The GLA250's turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 208 horsepower and mates to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive (4Matic) is optional. While that doesn't sound like meaningful muscle, the powertrain does a remarkable job of pulling the GLA250 around so long as you keep up the revs. During light-footed, around-town driving, the GLA feels sluggish." -- Car and Driver
  • "The GLA 250's transmission also isn't very smooth and responds slowly to requests for more power." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "On the highway and at higher speeds, the GLA can feel a bit twitchy -- another consequence of its smaller size and wheelbase. ... Some turbo lag can be felt, especially when you floor it from a rolling stop. We also wished for a touch more refinement from the 7-speed twin-clutch automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

The GLA doesn't focus on comfort as much as many other Mercedes models do and concentrates instead on driver engagement. However, the ride may be too harsh for some shoppers. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • The effects of the firm suspension are a rough ride over uneven roads and the odd choppy highway ride. … Around town, the light steering aids maneuverability, so the compromise is acceptable." -- Car and Driver
  • "Given the modest width and length of the 2019 GLA250, it feels about as stable and planted as it’s possible to be. These dimensions make it easy to park, helped by the light steering.” -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The GLA's steering is nicely weighted whether driving around town or being pushed on a mountain road. It errs on the lighter side, but it's precise and linear with sharp turn-in. You can feel the road through the steering wheel." -- Edmunds (2019)
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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

MSRP: $34,250 - $36,250

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