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Crossovers are having a moment right now, and like all classifications of vehicle, the term crossover brings to mind certain attributes that define the vehicle type. A crossover is somewhere between a SUV and a sedan or hatch back. That means it is smaller than an SUV, hitting amid point between SUV and sedan ride height, and providing drivers with a good amount of cargo space. All-in-all, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is more akin to a compact hatchback with some extra ground clearance and available AWD, than a true crossover.

When compared to the competition, the GLA surpasses many in handling and fuel economy, but comes with significantly less interior space and a lower seating position. The GLA comes with 17.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which really isn't much better than what you would find from a sedan. With the seats folded down, the GLA's cargo space is actually less than a VW Golf's.

It's not just a lack of cargo space that makes me question the GLA's classification as a crossover though. The interior generally feels quite confining. The legroom up front is fine, but headroom is a bit less abundant. Visibility really isn't great in the GLA. The seating height is low (which is counter to the reason many people would like a CUV instead of a hatchback or a sedan), the A-pillars are aggressively raked, and the rear-quarter view is compromised.

Ultimately, the GLA offers more ground clearance than most small SUVs, but when it comes to space for passengers and cargo, and the raised ride height that SUV shoppers are searching for, the GLA is surpassed by many of its competitors SUVs and wagons.
 

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but it works for me! Didn't want slow diesel or marginal small petrol engine and by the time others were optioned up to the level of the GLA you might as well go with MB.
 

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Realistically crossovers and nearly all the SUVs are tarted up station wagons while this is of course a hatchback. On the other hand if your selling cars it sounds so much better if you call it an SUV because then instead being used to carry home soon to be soiled diapers its actually going to be used to transport you and your supermodel partner to the Snake River for nude kayaking sessions. Everyone knows this is what SUVs are used for because they saw it in a TV commercial and we all know that TV commercials are an accurate depiction of daily life. >:D
 

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MB can call the GLA45 anything they want, but it certainly is NOT a SUV/CUV. The GLA45 is a hot hatch and is classified in the US as a car. It is MB marketing that is convinced Americans do not like or buy hatchback cars thus its insistence on calling it a SUV… when pigs fly. >:D
 
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When I describe it to people I call it a hatchback. The longer I have it the more it fits me. great gas mileage if I want to drive it that way, great passing ability that I needed, clears dead racoons instead of just possums on the road, useful roof rack, sleeps one, and just got back from a 2,000 mile trip to the ocean and got 30.5 mpg with the wife and all of our stuff for a week. I have only seen one other on the road and that was on a business trip in Atlanta. None in my home state. So if everybody could just keep it down how much of a Swiss army knife this car is.
 

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The GLA is more of a crossover than the GLE Coupe is a coupe. How can it be a coupe if it has more than two doors?
What is a crossover really? A more carlike SUV? a more SUVlike car? Check on both.
 

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I'd call it a functional sports car.

Here, in Mexico, we have a myriad of "topes", aka silent policeman. With the GLA 250 clearance they pose no problem unless you hit one too fast. We have many curvaceous mountain roads albeit with several unexpected potholes.

My car just turned 1500 klicks so was able to kick it up a notch and put it through the ultimate tests of speed and practicality. For me the car is like a kid glove, form fitting and comfortable. It handled the switchback mountain roads like a mountain goat never once being slightly challenged by any other car on the road. And a few tried. After an hour in the mountain we hit the pacific coast highway and the tribulations of small towns and errant drivers. Never once did the car fail to perform like she was bred for the challenge.

After 4 hours of this got out of the car and pulled my 70+ year old body out with no feelings of discomfort. Ya gotta love this car!
 

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Who cares what they call it. I like it better than I liked my CLA and I liked that a lot.
I totally agree! Who cares what category it falls into... :)
 

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Nude Kayaking SUVs

Realistically crossovers and nearly all the SUVs are tarted up station wagons while this is of course a hatchback. On the other hand if your selling cars it sounds so much better if you call it an SUV because then instead being used to carry home soon to be soiled diapers its actually going to be used to transport you and your supermodel partner to the Snake River for nude kayaking sessions. Everyone knows this is what SUVs are used for because they saw it in a TV commercial and we all know that TV commercials are an accurate depiction of daily life. >:D
Pity I missed the Snake River / Nude Kayaking commercial. No wonder SUVs sell well. ;)
 

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I don't care what they call it

For me, I did not get the GLA for cargo space or for rear passenger seat room. I will almost never have back seat riders and I cant imagine I would need more space than laying down the seats. If I need to carry a dresser or something large, I would not want to do it in my Mercedes anyway. You do make EXCELLENT points about the GLA and I know each of them to be true. But if those deficiencies dont make a difference to you, all else is ok.
 

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It's pretty good in the utility department too if you're not afraid to actually put stuff in it. With a stack of lumber on the roof racks and tools in the trunk, I don't really miss not having a truck 99% of the time.
 

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For me, I did not get the GLA for cargo space or for rear passenger seat room. I will almost never have back seat riders and I cant imagine I would need more space than laying down the seats. If I need to carry a dresser or something large, I would not want to do it in my Mercedes anyway. You do make EXCELLENT points about the GLA and I know each of them to be true. But if those deficiencies dont make a difference to you, all else is ok.
I agree. It's rare we'll have rear seat riders other than our pup. However, I was a bit surprised after we took delivery and adjusted the seats to our liking. There was more leg room on the back seat than our 2012 C-Class. Even more when my shorter wife is driving.
 

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Traded in my 2011 Subaru WRX STI Hatchback for this car. I'm not complaining one bit. What a difference! Comfort mode is nice! Yes it sits a bit taller than the STI Hatchback, but its not bothersome. I love hatchback type of cars and after test driving a GLA I was sold.
I have 100 less HP now, but the 7 speed Transmission is really quick on sports mode.

Its the coolest HB if it falls in that category, and the coolest crossover if it falls in that category. I'm calling it a "CrossHatchOver" for now. :)
 

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BTW, I'm 6'2" and the pillars do not bother me one bit. I adjust my mirrors so that I'm looking at the road and not the side of my car. My peripheral vision is flawless at times, so being able to glance behind me is a easy task. I had to double check in the subaru WRX STI also. The GLA is not the only car with blindspots.
 

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Yeah really, the need for a back seat went out when they got rid of the drive-in theatres!
 

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Just picked this up last night...couldn't agree more with most of the posts. I passed by the GTI and WRX because optioned you're better off with the classy Merc. Sits low, but not as low as my BRZ did, and the seats are way more comfy :D
 

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At times manufacturers try different approaches to their new releases in order to stir things up a little to attract people's attention. However, at certain occasions their innovations fail to deliver as promised. Nevertheless, a factor or two might still be fulfilled and that is what inspires them to go further.
 

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We just bought a 2016 GLA250 a few weeks ago. Our SUV search included the Mazda CX-5, Toyota Rav4, and few others in that category. Mercedes or any European vehicle for that matter was never in the running. We just wanted something large enough for the wife, dog and I to travel around Texas in that was very fuel efficient. I stumbled upon the GLA because my Autotrader search criteria was set for a new or used 2015 or newer SUV that got 30+ mpg and was less than 30K and had under 20k miles on it. This search popped up a couple of 2015 GLA250s in the area. In the pictures, they looked so much sportier, elegant and unique than anything else we had looked at. We went and test drove one and enjoyed it. We test drove our other leading contenders a second time and found them to be relatively plain and boring by comparison. They were definitely more practical, but being a family of three including the dog, we decided maybe "not as practical" was an option for us. We test drove a GLA for the second time just to make sure and we liked it even more, which was the opposite impression from all the other second test drives. That sealed the deal for us. We were able to negotiate an great price on a new 2016 and have not looked back since. The mileage is great, the utility is enough for our needs and the dealer in our area is incredible. Anyway, I thought the way we ended up with a GLA was pretty unique and wanted to share the story.

Jeff
 

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You've all probably figured this out already, but if you take out the curious piece that hides from view the contents of your rear storage area, rear visibility improves.
 
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