2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic Review – Tries But Falls Short

The 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic is perhaps catered towards those who are indecisive about going for a rugged, practical crossover or a sporty hot hatchback. The idea of a hybrid between a hatch and crossover is not entirely farfetched and might even sound like the best of both worlds; that’s not the case with the GLA250 as Mercedes actually combined a hatch and mini SUV but brought its shortcomings instead of its advantages.

2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic Review - Tries But Falls Short

The 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic is Like a Compact Hatchback on Steroids

No matter how you look at the 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic, there’s no escaping the fact that it looks like a lifted hatchback; not surprising since the GLA250 shares its platform with the CLA class of sedans. What makes the GLA250 a cross between hatch and mini SUV is the lifted suspension, muscular wheel arches, and overall rugged styling cues, but then you notice the narrow windows, and sporty C pillar then you get the feeling of being in a hatchback; especially when you sit inside the cockpit with its low seating position. Under the hood is a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 208hp and mated to a 7-speed automatic with quick shifting paddle shifts.

The interior on the 2016 GLA250 4Matic is a bit disappointing especially for something coming from a well-known marquee such as Mercedes. The interior lacks polish and refinement with the materials feeling cheap and the infotainment display on the center of the dash looks like an aftermarket add-on with its cartoony graphics. Premium materials are still present however such as optional wood trim, satin-finished metallic trim, and the large analogue gauges. Having admired the mixed-interior quality, after a few hours in the cabin, you’re left with a sore back and stiff legs as unlike a crossover, the interior dimensions are hatchback in proportion. The low seating position to allow for the car-like feel takes its toll on longer drives and the stylish C pillar has a low sill that makes it a hazard on ingress and egress.

Driving the 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA250 4Matic, it’s also a mix; on straight lines, the engine along with the AWD system can propel the GLA250 from 0-60 in just 6.1 seconds giving it hot hatch credits but is immediately taken away by its weight and tall ride height upon reaching the corners. Despite having the optional cross-drilled front brakes, the GLA250 still suffers non-performance car braking distance. Overall, the GLA250 is not a larger hot hatch but more of a smaller mini-SUV with hatch-like characteristics including the negatives.


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