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Why Lease The GLA?

Mercedes-Benz GLA Review 2021

The GLA may be the smallest SUV in the Mercedes-Benz range, but this practical family car has a lot going for it.

With its compact SUV credentials, impressive interior space, improved practicality and high levels of comfort and refinement, the GLA rivals the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 in the competitive small SUV market.

Our Mercedes-Benz GLA review covers:

Mercedes-Benz GLA Key Features

  • Sharp exterior style with gaping front grille and classy LED headlights
  • Modern interior with plush materials and MBUX infotainment system
  • Wide range of petrol, diesel engines and plug-in hybrid engines 
  • 495-litre boot with 60/40 split rear seats
  • Nine trim levels available from the entry-level Sport to the sportier AMG Line Premium Plus

Design and Practicality

Based on the popular A-Class, the GLA boasts a distinct character of its own. The second-generation model boasts a sharper, more focused exterior design, with its gaping front grille and new LED headlights. It is also 11cm taller than its predecessor, with its wheelbase extended by 30mm to make it more practical inside. 


Space at the front is generous with seat and steering wheel adjustment for the driver. Rear legroom is comparable to the Audi Q3, although headroom can be tight on cars with the panoramic glass roof. There are also plenty of storage options to boost practicality, including large door pockets, deep cupholders, a decent-sized glovebox and storage under the centre armrest. 

At the rear, the GLA's split rear seats fold in a 60/40 configuration, although the Q3 and BMW X1 are more practical with their 40/20/40 arrangement. Its 495-litre boot (445-litres on plug-in hybrid models) also doesn't quite match up to the Q3 or X1 but offers more space than the Range Rover Evoque. Thankfully, its practical square shape means you'll have no trouble loading in a folded baby buggy, with its height-adjustable boot floor boasting no load lip.

Interior and Trims

Inside, the GLA boasts a modern interior with plush materials on the dashboard and the doors and digital display screens behind the steering wheel instead of traditional analogue dials. Overall, the interior quality is high, but some scratchy, hard plastics are to be found, unlike the X1 and Volvo XC40. However, the user-friendly MBUX infotainment system is amongst the best in the business and can be controlled by using the touchscreen, a touchpad, or voice controls. 

There are nine trim levels to choose from, starting with the entry-level Sport through to the bolder-looking AMG Line Premium Plus. 

Entry-level Sport versions include LED headlights, a reversing camera, a seven-inch touchscreen display and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard. The Sport Executive trim adds more technology, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration, wireless charging, and parking sensors. 

Plug-in hybrid versions are only offered with Exclusive trim levels, while the sporty AMG Line Executive, Premium and Premium Plus trim levels offer more luxury and tech enhancements, including a park assist system, interior ambient lighting, and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Power and Performance

Under the bonnet, the GLA comes with a mix of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid variant.


Petrol options include the GLA 180 and 200 versions, powered by a 1.3-litre petrol unit for 134bhp and 161bhp, respectively. A sportier GLA 250 variant is also available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine for a more potent 221bhp. 

Diesel options include the GLA 200d with 148bhp or the GLA 250d with 187bhp. Four-wheel-drive is available on the diesel variants, and every GLA comes with an automatic gearbox.

As expected, the most efficient option is the 250e plug-in hybrid, which combines 1.3-litre petrol power with an electric motor to deliver 215bhp. This can take you up to 37 miles on pure electric power, which is further than rivals such as the X1 xDrive25e and Volvo XC40 Recharge T5, which offer 31 and 28 miles, respectively.

Out on the road, the GLA's high ride height means the body leans over a fair bit in corners but still feels more controlled than the Range Rover Evoque or Volvo XC40. Around town, the GLA's steering is light enough to dart in and out of busy city traffic, while the suspension easily irons out bumps and potholes.

The GLA offers a quiet and relaxing ride on the motorway, but if you are after fun and excitement, then the BMW X2 remains a top choice.

Leasing vs Buying

Prices for the new Mercedes-Benz GLA start from £35,000.00 OTR* or to lease from £375.20 per month.

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the new Mercedes-Benz GLA? Car leasing offers many benefits over buying outright with a bank loan or dealer finance. Nationwide Vehicle Contracts work directly with the Mercedes-Benz dealer network to provide a great lease deal on a GLA, with the full manufacturer's warranty, road tax, breakdown and delivery direct to your door (exclusions apply), all included in the price. 

*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and typically includes one year’s road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Always check with the manufacturer. 

Customer Reviews

Mercedes-Benz GLA
Average Rating Based on 110 reviews
3.9 out of 5

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  • Performance
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  • Value For Money
4.7 out of 5
Clare Mercedes-Benz GLA GLA 200 AMG Line Auto

Comfort, level of equipment, quality of finish, driving height and exterior finish are all of the highest quality.

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4.9 out of 5
Neil Mercedes-Benz GLA GLA 200 Sport Executive Auto

We both love this car. Drives like a dream, comfortable & excellent tech. Best car we've had.

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4.9 out of 5
Paul Mercedes-Benz GLA GLA 200 AMG Line Auto

overall very pleased with the car.. a considerably nice step up from our last Mercedes which we leased from you, which was also an excellent vehicle. Would definitely recommend this vehicle and being automatic makes driving enjoyable. Probably the next car to lease in a few years time could be the same car but a type of electric.

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4.9 out of 5
Martha Mercedes-Benz GLA GLA 200 AMG Line Executive Auto

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5.0 out of 5
Beverly Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

I have a Mercedes GL 200. Sunroof, special wheels, night pack. Push button close of boot. It's got everything. Really pleased and happy with it. I got a great deal too. So thank you.

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4.4 out of 5
Elizabeth Mercedes-Benz GLA GLA 200 AMG Line Auto

Really like car but customer service from Nationwide very poor.

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4.3 out of 5
Vivien Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

It is a lovely comfortable drive, stylish exterior a really lovely car

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4.7 out of 5
Steven Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

No dislikes with the vehicle, we are very happy with it.

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4.1 out of 5
Aaron Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

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3.4 out of 5
Manoj Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

The vehicle for being a new model has no DAB radio system which is extremely disappointing and if i could give this vehicle back now i would but i still have 2 more years on my lease agreement ..

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3.6 out of 5
Kevin Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

I like the car but I never buy/lease the same car again.

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4.9 out of 5
Embedzai Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

It’s an excellent vehicle and very efficient

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3.1 out of 5
Simon Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

Too expensive - lacks boot space

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4.1 out of 5
Philip Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto *Incl. Night Pack*

Nice looking, comfortable drive and easy handling. A bit of luxury at an affordable price.

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4.7 out of 5
Neil Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line Edition Plus Auto

Love it just wish I had chose a shorter contract so I can get a new one next year

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