Mercedes’ GLA250 is their best ever entrant entry-level crossover sweepstakes.
It is good looking, has a stylish interior of sufficiently high quality not to undermine the brand’s value, and is pleasant to drive. Mercedes has emphasized refinement over sportiness in the 250 model; for those who need thrills there are the AMG-ified -35 and -45 models. Ride quality is excellent for the class, it is quiet, and body control acceptable. The 2-liter turbo has enough power and torque, and the 8sp transmission shuffles ratios seamlessly. The AWD model starts at just under $40,000, but you’ll need a few essentials to appreciate the overall package, including the Premium package that brings twin 10.25in screens smart key entry and a few other doodads.
Picking color and trim is essential, for the highly styled cockpit really benefits from the right choices. Likewise, the GLA250’s exterior, which can be a bit innocuous in basic color with the standard 18in wheels. There is an inherent goodness to how this Mercedes drives; the emphasis on smooth, untroubled progress seems apropos something from the hallowed German company, and the amount of cutting-edge tech, including enhanced navigation through the MBUX infotainment system, really well calibrated driver aids and other slickness does elevate it above more mainstream competitors. But, as has been the case with European cars for decades, all of these desirable goodies are optional, and a well-equipped GLA250 lives much closer to $50,000. However, in an age when a loaded Toyota RAV4 can cost $40,000, this doesn’t seem greedy. And the pleasure of owning something with the 3-pointed star on the prow has in no way diminished over the decades.
EPA Ratings: 25/34/28mpg
0-60 mph: 6.3sec P
rice as tested: $42,645
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