Compared to typical hatchbacks, the GLA rides higher, has a more aggressive stance, and looks more purposeful. Front-wheel drive is standard, but Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel drive is available, including hill-descent control and an off-road transmission mode.
A GLA drives much like a small sedan, but offers a more commanding view of the road ahead. The sole drivetrain is a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, driving a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy is estimated at 25 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway with front-drive, or 24/32 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment is quite generous considering the car’s $33,150 price (including destination charge). Features include a power liftgate, roof rails, foglamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/start, HD radio, ambient lighting, and power front seats with MB-Tex (leatherette) upholstery and driver’s memory. Also standard are Bluetooth phone and audio, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch five-spoke wheels, and roof rails. For safety, you get a driver-alertness warning system and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking.