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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello-

I am considering an all wheel drive GLA250 and was hoping people in the forum may be able to give me their thoughts on any issues they've had with the GLA, any regrets purchasing one, other cars they considered, and perhaps most importantly the safety and reliability of the car. Also would be interested to hear how it handles in the snow given I live in New England. Finally if there are any Mount Bikers out there I would love to get your thoughts on hauling bikes and gear. I'm currently driving a 8 year old Subaru outback and also considering the BMW Q3 and Acura RDX.


Thank you in advance.
 

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I have had my GLA250 since last November. I live in NE Massachusetts and given the crappy winter we had, I think she performed well in the snow. I had no problems getting out of my parking space during those 2" snow storms and driving in the snow with the 4Matic was great. I've had no real issues. Some say the cabin noise is excessive, but it really doesn't bother me. It handles well, has plenty of get up and go and looks great. I looked at the Audi A3, though I didn't test drive one and test drove a BMW X1. The X1 just didn't seem to have the acceleration that the GLA had and I liked the GLA's look better. The only thing I have heard that might concern you is that the sunroof won't open with a roof rack installed.
 

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The only thing I have heard that might concern you is that the sunroof won't open with a roof rack installed.
I thought that was only true with the OEM roof rack. There are threads in here for Thule rack with aero bars working fine: http://www.glaowners.com/forum/mercedes-benz-gla-general-discussion/3786-sunroof-roof-rack-2.html

As for the car - I came from a Subaru WRX 5-speed. I wanted something that felt fun and quick, but was a bit more grown up. Obviously, the interior noise and fit/finish is much improved over Subaru. I think if you're coming from an E-class or something, plan accordingly. But for some of us, it's a decent upgrade. ;) I love this car.
 
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DO IT!

I purchased my GLA in February. Even though we don't have a lot of snow down here in VA, we do have a lot of sand. I have taken mine off road and it was brilliant. I also looked at the Audi A3 and the BMW x3. Being a previous Merc owner, the decision was an easy one.

I haven't had any problems with my vehicles, just a couple of annoyances. I absolutely despise the eco "start, stop" function that cuts off the engine at stoplights. (this isn't a fault on the vehicle, just a driver's preference). I also had to take the car into the dealership for a rattle, which turned out to be a loose bolt in the cup holder. Other than that, I love my car. Put it in sport mode and it is a completely different beast. You will be pleasantly surprised.

The only thing I have heard that might concern you is that the sunroof won't open with a roof rack installed.
I recently bought an aftermarket THULE rack for my surfboards and my sunroof operates beautifully...
 

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I carry six mt bikes (I teach a course at helocal college) on my GLA (no sunroof). Aftermarket Thule aerobars on top, Saris Bones 3-bike on the hatch.

Be looking for snow tires if you live in New England.
 

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I carry six mt bikes (I teach a course at helocal college) on my GLA (no sunroof). Aftermarket Thule aerobars on top, Saris Bones 3-bike on the hatch.

Be looking for snow tires if you live in New England.
That is hardcore! Probably the most amount of bikes i've seen on a vehicle the size of a GLA.

How does the added weight feel when driving?
 

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I live in Mansfield Mass, originally from Berkshire county, and go back & forth to Western Mass a few times a mth.

I do a lot outdoors - running, triathlons, fishing, hiking, other sports - and have owned a WRX, Volvo AWD S40, and Mitsubishi Ralliart hatch.

The GLA is the perfect size. Way better mileage than any of the cars I mentioned above (I consistently get 30+ on highway, 28+ everywhere else). Clearance is awesome. Skid plates, undercarriage plates are beefy.

I've got the 4Matic. Only had it for about a mth, so can't speak on the snow. I'm on dirt roads a lot though and this car handles great, like I said clearance is key. Being in New England, 4Matic is basically your only option, and don't go for the sport pkg - it's lower to the ground.

Major plus - I can fit my 52cm Cannondale with the seats folded down, and I don't even have to remove the front wheel.

I'm generally driving around in ECO mode, but if I know I've got a few ramps/intersections or need some juice pulling out, I tap it into Sport mode. The pickup is nasty.

I was dead set on a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and it was a massive disappointment after I test drove it. Man, am I glad I bought this!! Way better car, great sight lines, performance, mpg, and even got some ruggedness. Solid value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you and Clarification

Thank you for the responses so far. They're very helpful and appreciated. Just one clarification- I looked at the Audi and not BMW Q3 (Brain cramp). Also, how do people like the shifter on the steering column? Thank you again!
 

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Also, how do people like the shifter on the steering column?
At first I was like "this is weird, reminds me of my 1992 ford ranger I had in high school."

But now I realize how much sense it makes, esp on a 3-point turn, or any turn where you have to lift out of the seat to get a better view of the back. Generally one hand stays on the wheel, and you use the other hand to shift transmission...but with this, your steering wheel hand can also tap the shifter.

Shifting into park is still weird for me though.
 

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Shifting into park is still weird for me though

I totally agree. I have just gotten into the habit of making sure the vehicle is stopped and then gently open the drivers door and it automatically puts it in park. it's weird but it works.
 

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Or use the HOLD feature. While in HOLD and you remove the key it automatically puts it on park.
 

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It's good to know their are aftermarket roof rack options that work with the sunroof. When I used to ski I had a Thule rack and it was good.

I'm happy to see so many people satisfied with their GLAs. There are little annoyances, but overall I think it's a fantastic car.
 

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Jk77, do you think the 4matic would be best for your climate? As to the shifter I had minimal adjustment when changing from my E to the ML; could never remember the button at the end to put in park.
 

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For me, the car is just plain awesome but I think there is one major issue that I am still quite uneasy about.

It is the B-Pillar and the blind spot that comes with it. Sure, you can spend a bit and get the Blind Spot Assist but my 45 didn't come with it. I had a few close calls when I filtered to a different lane and even though I turn my head to check my blind spot, the B-Pillar blocks the view and I get a honk.

I had to go online to google for the best way to re-set my side mirrors to minimise any blind spots but am still getting used to it. I have this niggling feeling in my head that an accident is just waiting to happen.

For the record, I am 6 feet tall and I sit like how I was taught in the BMW Advance Driving course, hands at 10-to-2, arms slightly bent, top of head is 4 fingers from the ceiling, blah blah blah. The side of my head is slightly ahead of the B-pillar so whenever I turn my head, my vision is blocked by that B-pillar.

Take a test drive and see if it affects you or not.
 

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For me, the car is just plain awesome but I think there is one major issue that I am still quite uneasy about.

It is the B-Pillar and the blind spot that comes with it. Sure, you can spend a bit and get the Blind Spot Assist but my 45 didn't come with it. I had a few close calls when I filtered to a different lane and even though I turn my head to check my blind spot, the B-Pillar blocks the view and I get a honk.

I had to go online to google for the best way to re-set my side mirrors to minimise any blind spots but am still getting used to it. I have this niggling feeling in my head that an accident is just waiting to happen.

For the record, I am 6 feet tall and I sit like how I was taught in the BMW Advance Driving course, hands at 10-to-2, arms slightly bent, top of head is 4 fingers from the ceiling, blah blah blah. The side of my head is slightly ahead of the B-pillar so whenever I turn my head, my vision is blocked by that B-pillar.

Take a test drive and see if it affects you or not.
I dont want to be pedantic but your hands on the steering wheel should be 3 and 9 and your hands should be able to flop over the top of the steering wheel...;)...in Australia that is
 

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It is the B-Pillar and the blind spot that comes with it.
Funny...I actually think the sight lines on the car are just plain awesome. I'm small though - 5'6".

Many cars don't have a trunk window that wraps around. The gla's does - if even just a little bit. Makes it easier down by that c pillar. Plus the rear door's glass goes all the way to the c pillar, and the c pillar isn't that beefy.

C pillar has been a problem for me on previous cars. B pillar on the gla - I can easily look through the rear passenger glass. Might just be because I'm smaller.
 

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I dont want to be pedantic but your hands on the steering wheel should be 3 and 9 and your hands should be able to flop over the top of the steering wheel...;)...in Australia that is
Yes you are right, 9 & 3. What was I thinking! :)

And my hands are close enough to flop over the top of the steering wheel. Basically my posture is upright, thus the B-pillar affects me quite a bit. :(
 

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I have always used my mirrors...adjust your mirrors as far out as they will go and try that, if your not happy move them in a tad......you shouldnt be able to see the side of your car:)
 

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9 & 3 vs 10 & 2
Not trying to steal the thread but thought I'd point out I was taught 10 & 2 in the day and, habits being habits, will continue to do so. However with the advent of airbags 9/3 would be a better habit to get into methinks.
 

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B-Pillar doesn't bother me in this car either, I actually thought it isn't that bad at all.

Might help to play around with the seat position too.
 
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