Family Car Review: 2015 Mercedes GLA

By Paul Karchut of Family Wheels on October 21, 2015

The basics:

Base price: $37,200 + taxes
As tested: $44,200 + taxes
Highway fuel economy: 7.4-8.1 L/100 kms
City fuel economy: 9.8-10.5 L/100 kms
Competition: Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X1
Made in: Germany

The millennial generation – the latest generation to start having kids – is a picky one. And when it comes to cars, they so often want it all: a sporty drive that looks cool, can handle a bit of off-roading and hauls all their stuff… at a reasonable price. It’s a tall order but car companies are rising to the occasion and new for 2015 is Mercedes’ kick at the can – the GLA.

It shares the same underpinnings as the CLA sedan and B-series hatchback – the company’s other entry-level offerings. With better off-road capability and more aggressive styling, it has the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 squarely in its sights. But will trying to do it all have it come up short, especially for hauling around a family? We loaded the GLA full of camping gear, a dog and a car seat for a weekend of tenting to see how it would do. Check-out our video review for a full run-down of what makes the GLA stand-out and what came-up short.

Family Wheels pros:

  • a raft of safety features come standard on base model
  • driver position very comfortable
  • good visibility
  • good balance between road comfort and off-road capability
  • surprising cargo capacity

Family Wheels cons:

  • limited rear leg room for backseat passengers (especially when tall people are sitting up front)
  • needs premium fuel
  • central entertainment system not particularly intuitive (touch screen would be better)
  • not all android phones couple properly to it

Family Wheels target: one to two child families. Younger kids better because of the shortage of rear leg-room

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5

Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels trunk test score: 4/5

Family Wheels driveability score: 4/5

Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5

Family Wheels value score: 4/5

~ Thanks to Lone Star Mercedes in Calgary for lending us the vehicle for the weekend.

~ Paul Karchut is an award-winning journalist based out of Calgary. For reviews, giveaways or to contact Paul, visit FamilyWheels.ca or find him on Twitter: @FamilyWheels.


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