Merging off-road styling cues and hot-hatch driving characteristics, the GLA250 will charm enthusiast drivers more than crossover candidates. A dashtop infotainment screen with available Apple CarPlay and a connected smartphone app is on hand to keep tech buffs happy. In its quest to appeal to as many buyers as possible, the GLA250 sometimes comes across as misguided, sacrificing too much SUV-ness to be a jack-of-all-trades. Rivals such as the BMW X1 and the Lexus NXoffer far roomier cabins and more cargo capacity.
The GLA250 is unchanged for the 2017 model year, but it received some updates in 2016. Push-button start, dual-zone climate control, an optional rearview camera, new selectable drive modes, and adjustable thigh-support cushions for the driver and front passenger were added. A new color—Kryptonite Green metallic—also joined the party. The GLA will receive a cosmetic freshening for 2018.
14-way-power-adjustable driver’s seat
Forward-collision warning with collision-prevention assist
7.0-inch color infotainment screen
The GLA250 starts at $33,775 and offers only one engine-and-transmission combination: a 208-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. For options, we’d choose the panoramic sunroof ($1480), heated front seats ($580), blind-spot monitoring ($550), and the $2300 Sport package. These features put the sticker price at $38,685—less than $40,000 for a Mercedes-Benz with options. At this price, however, the GLA is still lacking passive entry, a backup camera, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The Sport package adds:
Cross-drilled front brakes with painted calipers
Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive (known as “4MATIC” in the Benz marketing world) is a $2000 option, and it pushes the turbo 2.0-liter engine’s power to the ground better than the front-wheel drive.