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In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLA SUV - Practicality & boot space

The Mercedes GLA has grown to offer more space for occupants and luggage

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One of the most noticeable changes for the second GLA is its more SUV-like shape. This isn't just a clever visual trick, the new car is 14mm shorter, but 30mm wider and a massive 104mm taller. Its axles have also been pushed 30mm further apart, so interior space is improved in almost every way you care to measure it.

Mercedes GLA interior space & storage

By far the most noticeable increase is in rear legroom, which jumps by 116mm and makes things more comfortable for back seat passengers. There’s still only just enough headroom for tall passengers, but the rear seats can recline to help improve comfort. While the old GLA often felt like an A-Class on steroids, the new model now feels like a proper small SUV, with features like rear seats that can slide back and forth by up to 140mm, making it comfortably spacious enough for a family of four. The middle seat is somewhat cramped, in part because of a transmission tunnel that reduces foot space, but it’s bearable for a short journey.

Boot space

In every conventional petrol version of the GLA, the boot has grown slightly, up to 495 litres from 421 previously, and measuring a handy 85mm wider. Storage is slightly reduced in the diesels, measuring in at 485 litres. This means the GLA is slightly less practical than its rivals, with the BMW X1 offering 505 litres and the Audi Q3's boot measuring 530 litres. With the rear seats folded flat, storage space is increased to 1,430 litres in the petrol models, falling to 1,420 litres in the diesels.

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The GLA 250 e offers slightly less storage space, due to the battery under the boot floor. The higher floor reduces boot space to 445 litres, which increases to 1,385 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Towing

The GLA should satisfy just about anyone with a caravan or trailer because even the entry-level version and 250 e plug-in hybrid can tow a 1,800kg braked trailer. Stepping up to the four-wheel drive diesel extends this to 2,000kg. These are identical figures to the BMW X1.

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