2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. Its Competition

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA falls into a compact luxury utility category whose contenders take remarkably varied approaches to small-size SUV-alikes.

The BMW X1 may be the most obvious contender; it's a tall and more traditional utility wagon, versus the GLA's hatchback shape and packaging.

The Range Rover Evoque is even more of an urban style statement than the GLA's aggressive flourishes make it, and it offers a two-door version that's impactical but even longer- and lower-looking.

Its powertrain, however, may be fuel-efficient, but it's also coarse.

Three new contenders entered the category last year as well.

The Audi Q3 is a virtual scale model of the popular Q5, but based on front-wheel-drive mechanicals—as is the GLA.

The Q3 may be the closest direct match in packaging and shape to the newest, smallest Mercedes.

The Lexus NX is a hot seller, with aggressive—even hostile—styling on a traditional SUV shape.

Its compact size slots in seamlessly below Lexus' larger RX, which virtually invented the luxury-SUV category.

And while Ford's luxury brand has struggled over the past decade, the Lincoln MKC is also a compact luxury SUV on the larger end of that category.

But the GLA blends a fun-to-drive character and luxury features into one of the smaller packages in the group, and that may be a winning formula.

There are no contenders, meanwhile, for the hot-rod (or hot-hatch) GLA 45 AMG.

With the Mitsubishi Evo off the market, the closest one is likely the Subaru WRX STI sedan.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class
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2016 Audi Q32016 Audi Q3
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2016 BMW X12016 BMW X1
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2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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2016 Lincoln MKC2016 Lincoln MKC
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2015 Lexus NX 300h2015 Lexus NX
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Quick Specs
The 2016 Mercedes GLA isn't the roomiest of crossovers, but its luxury badge and a double shot of urban attitude give it a distinct appeal.
The 2016 Audi Q3 gives compact luxury SUVs a good name with cozy ride quality and accommodations—but it's not the most space- or fuel-efficient vehicle of its kind.
The 2016 BMW X1 is heavy on sport and light on utility -- a combination that's likely to please a number of buyers.
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque breaks through with a more urban, street-smart style and tones down the off-road chops.
The 2016 MKC doesn't redefine Lincoln on its own, but it's an appealing luxury crossover on far more than the merit of its brand.
With the 2015 NX, Lexus finally has a crossover to take on the mass luxury market--and its striking styling could be a plus.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small SUV 2WDN/ALarge CarsSmall SUV 4WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door GLA 250FrontTrak 4-Door Premium PlusAWD 4-Door xDrive28i5-Door HB SEFWD 4-Door PremierFWD 4-Door
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFour Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySports Activity Vehicle5-DoorSport UtilitySport Utility
Auto-Shift Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. 2016 Audi Q32016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. 2016 BMW X12016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. 2016 Lincoln MKC2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs. 2015 Lexus NX