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Considering this car as a first car for my soon to be 16 year old daughter. Actually, the car would be dually shared for a few years between my wife and daughter, as my wife works for the school system where our daughter attends, so on most days since they'd both be headed to the same location. Afterwards once our daughter graduated from high school and attended college, the vehicle would prob. exclusively be our daughter's car.

Any thoughts or recommendations at all by anyone that purchased this car as a first vehicle for their child?

We've found one locally at a dealer that deals almost exclusively with Mercedes and a few other foreign car makes. Roughly $23k. Approx. 36,000 miles on it. One owner. Pretty much flawless as far as no issues / chips on the body, and the interior is nearly flawless as well. 2018 model.

Do the GLA-250 4Matics hold their value well over the years? I've been pretty much exclusively a Nissan or Honda guy all throughout my life and don't have any personal experience with Mercedes.

Any thoughts either positive or negative are much appreciated in helping us have a little additional info. to consider.

Thanks in advance!
 

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German (and other European cars generally depreciate quickly, mostly since people are afraid to own them outside of warranty. IMHO this is foolishness. Others may agree or disagree.

What I do know, having taught many how to drive, is that there are subtle things about the layout and response characteristics of European cars that encourage the driver to become better. Japanese cars are more apt to wrap you in an embryonic chamber that lulls you into inattentive behavior and thus poorer driving skills.

The GLA has significant blind spots down both sides. Proper road awareness handles this but is probably too much to expect from a new driver. Blind spot assist is mandatory on this car, again IMHO. If you have yellow (or orange ... I'm color blind) arrows on the side view mirrors that light up when you stop then you have this option.
 

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Nice plan to have your wife and daughter share until she's in college. She should gain a lot of mature insight as she herself matures as a driver. Our 2018 GLA 4W is my wife's daily and she very much enjoys it and I feel it's a safe vehicle for her. And as my wife is petite the somewhat lower 'crossover' stance is better for her than a higher entry full SUV.
It should be ample for your daughter to haul her dorm things ... well, I actually had to borrow a Yukon for my daughter's freshman stuff. o_O
I agree with Wayne that German vehicle depreciation is primarily from maintenance cost fears but the alternating year A & B schedules pretty well spell out what it's going to take. And I find that Mercedes reliability is back up there with the best.
My wife had Lexus for many years and although very nice cushy leather it was indeed a very insulating ride. But we took a GLA test drive in Winter over some very potholed backroads and my wife felt it soaked them up very well (Comfort drive more). That was the clincher for the northern procurement and liked so well got a 2018 FWD for down south.
All the best with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice plan to have your wife and daughter share until she's in college. She should gain a lot of mature insight as she herself matures as a driver. Our 2018 GLA 4W is my wife's daily and she very much enjoys it and I feel it's a safe vehicle for her. And as my wife is petite the somewhat lower 'crossover' stance is better for her than a higher entry full SUV.
It should be ample for your daughter to haul her dorm things ... well, I actually had to borrow a Yukon for my daughter's freshman stuff. o_O
I agree with Wayne that German vehicle depreciation is primarily from maintenance cost fears but the alternating year A & B schedules pretty well spell out what it's going to take. And I find that Mercedes reliability is back up there with the best.
My wife had Lexus for many years and although very nice cushy leather it was indeed a very insulating ride. But we took a GLA test drive in Winter over some very potholed backroads and my wife felt it soaked them up very well (Comfort drive more). That was the clincher for the northern procurement and liked so well got a 2018 FWD for down south.
All the best with your decision.
I really do appreciate your comments and insight. My wife would continue to keep her 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid (just rolled over to 300,000 miles) and alternate she / my daughter driving between the Camry and the GLA-250 to school / work / volleyball practice for our daughter / etc. Our daughter is very tall (just a hair under 6'0") and she fits very well with ample head room in the GLA-250. I'm 6'1" and fit just fine in the vehicle we test drove as well. I drive a 2019 Honda CRV Touring (after finally trading my 2000 Nissan Maxima with just under 300,000 miles on it in Dec. 2018). We keep cars forever as you may be able to tell. :)

We've checked the CarFax report and the car has never been wrecked, has had regular maintenance completed, and is a one-owner (was leased for about a year).

Back to the comparison between my Honda CRV Touring, the Camry Hybrid, and the GLA-250, our daughter was leaning towards something in-between the size of the CRV and the Camry, and the GLA-250 fits nicely in the middle of those 2 cars in terms of size/feel while driving. She says my CRV feels massive to her when driving/parking. The GLA-250 would likely be a good size/feel to her in-between the CRV/Camry.

Thanks again for your detailed response. I really do appreciate the info!
 

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I think it would be a great first car for a teen. I just bought a new GLA last week and have a 13-year-old son. He will definitely be learning to drive in this car, and we will share it until he's 18 and ready to go off to college. At that point (2025), I'll likely buy a new car and give him this GLA. It's easy to drive, very safe, and great fuel economy.
 

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btw: We've most always opted for leather seating but even our almost-loaded 4Matic came with MB-Tex (aka vinyl). But this vinyl has come a very long way in quality from eons past. At a glance you would never know it's not leather and actually compares comparably in appearance and feel to my Audi's leather (which is much more tight pored and firm than Lexus). And given today's more cheaply dyed denim stain transfer it's particularly handy to just wipe clean. Not to mention anything a college student(s) could throw at it. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Thanks for all of the input / info. We ended up purchasing the 2018 GLA-250 and are very, very pleased with it thus far. Thanks again everyone!
 

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Great to hear. Enjoy the drive and we look forward to your continued participation and thoughts on the car.
 

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Thanks very much! Lots to read in the owner manual to figure out all of the bells and whistles but we're getting there and enjoying the vehicle thus far. I'm a little concerned over the potentially high maintenance costs that seem to typically associated with Mercedes, but we'll see.
 

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Typical maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations are easy DIYs and a great thing to teach a new driver. The same for air and cabin filters.

Parts can be expensive at MB but purchasing them there gives an opportunity to develop a relationship. If you order oil filters a half dozen at a time you can negotiate special rates and the parts manager will remember you. Ask questions (crush washer, O ring, torque values). Let them take your new driver under their wing.

If available, you can order parts on line from your dealer at prices that are better and if you opt for counter pick up you save shipping costs and maintain personal contacts.

Then there's always the option of ordering MB parts on line from third party sources for significant savings.

And for major service there is an argument for going to Indies (many have factory training although it could be out of date for the GLA) although MB can offer you a loaner car and can generally stand behind their work more substantially.

I imagine you have a factory warranty attached to your car right now. When that expires there are also several extended warranty companies out there if you need to sleep better at night.

Speaking from experience the first car is your best shot at supplying a proper education (an HPDE is a great idea IMHO).

Anyway, a lot of the above is probably redundant and supplied here in the "just in case" category.
 

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Depending on what options were specc'd, you might find this useful - if you hold down the little picture of the car on the centre console stack, it'll turn on the 360/reverse camera. For a new driver who isnt yet familiar with the car dimensions this can greatly reduce stress going through toll booths, parking lot gates, etc.

Other non obvious thing is if you stab the brake when halted it'll put on the eletric parking brake, and automatically take it off when you apply the gas - useful if stopped at the lights, etc.

I would second the need for blind spot monitoring. The pillars are very obstructive in this car. I have one merge near me where the lanes come in together at a very peculiar angle and the A pillar consistently blocks my view of potential oncoming traffic. Ugh.

We bought our 250 in 2017 and specc'd just about everything. Overall I'd say it's a highly competent, reasonable comfortable, somewhat boring little car. Which is probably exactly what you want for a learner.
 
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