Mercedes GLA SUV - Interior & comfort
Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system is just as convincing in the GLA
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. 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.
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. The fully electric, heated and cooled front seats are excellent, but it's disappointing there's no climate control or heated seats in the back as standard, and a powered tailgate is optional too.
Available with GLA 200 and 200 d, the entry-level Sport trim gets 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and MBUX with twin seven-inch displays. Upgrading to Sport Executive for £1,500 adds all-round parking sensors, smartphone integration, wireless charging and a 10.25-inch central display, which will be a worthwhile upgrade for most buyers.
AMG Line gives the GLA a more aggressive look inside and out, including 19-inch alloys, privacy glass and Artico leather sports seats with red stitching. The AMG Line Executive version adds the same extra kit as the Sport Executive trim, while AMG Line Premium brings keyless entry, an improved sound system, ambient lighting, and twin 10.25-inch screens with augmented reality navigation. The headlights are also uprated with adaptive LED technology, and there are extra luxury features like a panoramic sunroof.
Buyers can also opt for an Exclusive Edition trim, including the AMG body kit, tinted glass and metallic paint, as well as carbon-fibre interior trim, a sports steering wheel with metal gearshift paddles and sports seats.
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.