2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class 220 d owner review

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Review written by:
S H
PROS
  • Perfect size for the city
  • Great fuel economy
  • Reliablity
CONS
  • Diesel can be noisy
  • Not very fast
  • Expensive servicing

About the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

S H purchased this Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class new with additional options for $54,000 (including all on-road costs). S H would buy this car again because: “In the past five years I haven’t had a single issue with the car. I have been very impressed with the quality and reliability of the GLA. Despite being a cheaper Mercedes-Benz, the car has lived up to its manufacturer’s reputation.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

The purchase included three years of free servicing with Mercedes-Benz. In the past five years the car has been very reliable. There have been no mechanical issues at all. I have just recently replaced the 12 volt battery as a precaution due to the vehicle’s age.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

This was my first “premium” car purchase. I was very excited to purchase a Mercedes-Benz due to the brand cache and reputation.

I have found owning a Mercedes-Benz is no different to owning any other car, however sometimes people look at you differently or make assumptions about you when they find out what you drive. The dealership experience has always been very friendly and helpful and I have always been treated well when taking the car for service.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

The purchase experience was fairly easy as I had done a lot of research on the web before stepping foot into the dealership. I had a clear idea of what model and features I wanted before I walked in and asked for a test drive.

I had initially planned to order a 200CDI but was advised to wait an extra month or so until the refreshed 220d was released that had a spec and power increase. It was refreshing to have a car dealer listen to my requirements and not try to send me home with their showroom stock.

The after care experience has been excellent. Services were generally completed within 2 hours of dropping off the car and it would return washed and vacuumed. Most of the time I would just wait in the showroom reading the news and enjoying a free coffee and a pastry!

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

At the time of purchase, my GLA was very well equipped for the price, in comparison to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

At $54,000 this was the most expensive car I had ever purchased and so I was expecting to get as many premium features as possible. The only feature that I wish had been included is the Distronic radar cruise control. Overall I am very happy with the price and features of the GLA.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

As a diesel, the performance is not really the selling point of the car. When the windows are down you can hear a faint whistle from the turbo as you put your foot down on the accelerator, but don’t be fooled as this is no race car. The economy is the outstanding feature.

When near-new, I was able to get almost 1000km out of a full tank when on a long trip. In city driving, the car uses more fuel, but being a diesel you don’t find yourself filling up as often as the petrol versions. I have found that depending on driving style the car uses about 6-7.0 litres per 100km.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

In 2016, Android Auto and Apple Carplay were the latest and greatest thing to have.

The 220d included these as standard. As the car has gotten older, I find myself relying on Apple Maps a lot more as the in-built Garmin GPS maps have slowly gone out of date. The cruise control is one of the most overlooked features on this car. The car will maintain a constant speed with the accelerator and the brakes.

Unlike older systems, the car will not overspeed when going down hills. The automated parallel and reverse parking function has been faultless, often squeezing me into tiny spots that I would never fit into on my own.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Initially I was expecting a more comfortable ride, being a Mercedes-Benz, however as the GLA is marketed as an “Off Road” vehicle it seems as if the ride has been tuned to be a bit stiffer than a regular C-Class.

My GLA is a front-wheel drive and has never been off-road and I would have liked the option for a comfort tuned suspension from the factory. The seating however mostly makes up for the ride.

The seats are great and include lots of adjustment points in the lumbar and thigh sections to reduce fatigue on long trips. As far as handling, the GLA has a larger turning circle than similar cars of its size, so getting into tight car parks or garages can take some practice and patience.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

Despite some of the negative commentary around the GLA not being a ‘proper’ Mercedes-Benz or an ‘entry-level’ car, I have been very impressed over the last five years of ownership. The car has been reliable, economical, comfortable and safe. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Mercedes-Benz in the future.

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Ratings
Overall8.5
Show Breakdown
Technology 8.5
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 6.9
Price & Features 8.5
Purchase & Aftercare 9.1
Performance & Economy 8.1
Ownership Experience 8.5
Top Line Specs
4.5L
130kW
118g
Not tested
View all specifications