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In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLA SUV - Interior & comfort

Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system is just as convincing in the GLA

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

If you've seen the interior of a Mercedes A-Class or CLA, there are few surprises here, because the same MBUX digital instruments and infotainment screen have been carried over wholesale.

What is different is the feeling of space and airiness, because the GLA's stretched proportions mean occupants now sit higher up, surrounded by more glass. The suspension works well at keeping bumps isolated from the interior, and the front seats are comfortable with lots of scope for adjustment.

Mercedes GLA dashboard

While we might have seen the MBUX setup before, that's no bad thing, as it’s the best infotainment in the class. It has clear graphics, an intuitive interface and excellent smartphone connectivity, along with the ability to understand 'natural' voice commands. This is especially the case in the top 'Widescreen' version, which includes two 10.25-inch screens side-by-side. In earlier examples, lesser versions make do with two seven-inch or one seven-inch and one 10.25-inch display, with bezels that somewhat spoil the effect. However, as part of the 2023 facelift, the Widescreen arrangement was made standard across the board, while the graphics were made even slicker and the awkward touchpad controller was ditched to make it touchscreen only.

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Elsewhere, the dashboard is more upright than in Mercedes' lower-slung models, and it's punctuated by round turbine-style air vents that look pleasingly upmarket. Strips of ambient lighting also add to the interior's cosy feel, especially at dusk. 

Equipment

The trim levels available, and the kit they comes with, have chopped and changed a bit over the years that the GLA has been on sale. At the time of writing (Autumn 2023), the range started with Sport Executive trim, and this version came with 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, LED headlights with active high-beam assist, a powered tailgate, climate control, keyless entry and go, heated front seats in man-made leather and the twin-screen infotainment system with DAB radio, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 100W sound system.

The next rung on the ladder is AMG Line Executive trim, which gives you 19-inch wheels, sportier body styling, privacy glass, sports seats and wireless phone charging, while on top of that, AMG Line Premium trim adds uopgraded air-con, an upgraded sound system boosted to 225W, and ‘augmented reality’ for the navigation which displays a video picture of the road ahead and overlays graphics showing you precisely where to turn. After that, AMG Line Premium Plus adds 20-inch wheels, more sophisticated headlights, a panoramic roof, powered front seats with memory function, and 360-degree parking cameras.

Options

Spend an extra £1,500 and you can add the Driving Assistance pack, which not only increases safety but should make life easier for long-distance drivers. Extra tech includes adaptive cruise control that can also help steer the car in its lane, self-parking, and steering that can intervene to help avoid collisions.

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