Now much more SUV-like, the new GLA is a fraction shorter overall than the previous version and the roofline is a little lower it has grown inside in pretty much every direction, most noticeably in the rear legroom. Most importantly for the target audience it feels considerably more substantial and imposing, which is what SUV buyers seemingly want in their cars. Mercedes is typically very strong on seat comfort, ergonomics and all the rest and the GLA delivers on the expectations here. The boot is adequate rather than huge, the high floor at least making loading easy even if it restricts load space.
For the non-AMG models Mercedes offers two versions of its ‘comfort’ suspension package, our GLA220d test car having the lowered version fitted to more expensive models. In combination with the bigger 19-inch wheel option on these models we’d dispute that description, the GLA thudding unpleasantly into bumps and delivering an unpleasantly stiff ride, at least at town speeds. This is at odds with otherwise excellent refinement. AMG versions get their own suspension settings, which by experience of the GLA45 S version
are even harsher, especially on the bigger wheels these models feature. There’s a degree of logic here when you realise the GLA is intended as the more sporting, youthful option compared with its GLB brother but the comfort found in bigger Mercedes is noticeable in its absence.