The second-generation Mercedes GLA offers all types of propulsion, from traditional diesel and petrol engines to PHEV and electric EQA model. W.what is the best choice? Colleagues from the German magazine auto motor und sport drove Mercedes GLA 220 d 4Matic, Mercedes GLA 250 4Matic, Mercedes GLA 250 e and Mercedes EQA 250.
With its various drive concepts, the smallest Mercedes SUV shows that we live in a time of transition. Petrol engines range from the GLA 180 with 136 hp to the robust AMG GLA 45 S 4Matic with 421 hp. The diesel range extends from the 116 bhp GLA 180 d to the 190 bhp GLA 220 d which, like most versions (except GLA 180 d and GLA 250 e), is equipped with front or all-wheel drive.
The second generation of the compact SUV, launched at the end of 2019, is based on the MFA2 front-wheel drive platform, which is also used by the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLB. It is so flexibly designed that it is also suitable for alternative propulsion. The first representative of this species was the plug-in hybrid GLA 250 and with an output of 218 hp, launched in early 2020. Starting this year, the EQA 250 was available as a fourth propulsion variant. The smallest member of the EQ family, which now has five members, bears the marks of electric propulsion but a look at the bodywork and interior leaves no doubt that it is essentially a GLA, also being perceived as such.
The new GLA, with internal code H 247, sells very well. From January to July 2021 it managed to surpass the bestseller GLC with 44,177 units sold in Europe, compared to 43,879 GLC. The fact that the electrified versions of the mercedes GLA 250 e and Mercedes EQA 250 are becoming more and more appreciated not only for their original qualities, but above all for the support received from different governments in Europe.
If we take into account the prices without bonuses, the GLA versions on test range between 45 and 46,000 euros, and the electric EQA is the most expensive, with over 47,000. But with the bonuses from Germany (7,178 euros for the GLA 250 e and 9,570 euros for the EQA 250), the two eco versions become thousands of euros less than their conventional brethren, and in some cases, depending on the distance traveled, the costs of handling are inferior to gasoline or diesel. Among them, we have chosen the popular engines for this test, namely GLA 220 d 4Matic and GLA 250 4Matic.
Mercedes EQA 250
You are happy as soon as you get behind the wheel of the smallest electric Mercedes model, because the quiet power delivery and rapid acceleration are always fascinating. With 8.3 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h, Mercedes EQA it is the slowest of the four models tested, but the torque is also sufficient for overtaking on national roads.
The fact that the maximum speed is limited to 160 km / h and the range (in summer temperatures 412 km, in the test 308 km) decreases to the speed of light if sporty driving can be a problem for those who drive at higher speeds and travel a lot of kilometers on the highway.
But the Mercedes EQA 250 is not meant for this. On the other hand, it’s excellent for commuting and moderate daily mileage, in which case it doesn’t matter that it’s loaded into fast DC stations with only up to 100kW.
Other disadvantages compared to heat engines? Yes, the seat comfort is not that good, passengers have to sit with their knees bent due to the higher floor, under which the 66.5 kWh battery is located, the rear bench no longer slides even in option, the luggage compartment volume has been reduced to 340 liters and the towable load is only 750 kg.
Mercedes GLA 220 d 4Matic
After a day behind the wheel of the GLA 220 d 4Matic, you understand even less than before why diesel is considered endangered. Yes, it is true that diesel is not the quietest representative of this quartet, but the annoying noise as if you have dropped a bag of nails on the asphalt appears only when you accelerate hard, and not at a constant speed, which can reach over 200 km / h.
And it’s wonderful how diesel manages to combine strong torque at low revs with low fuel consumption and emissions (7 l / 100 km, respectively 147 g / km CO2). It goes without saying that, thanks to modern clean-up systems, the exhaust gases are cleaner than ever in the history of the diesel engine.
Thanks to all-wheel drive, the GLA 220 d 4Matic has no traction problems or excessive traction influences in the pleasant direction, and from this point of view it is ahead of the EQA 250 and GLA 250 e.
If you want to save more, choose the front-wheel drive version, which costs 2120 euros less. But it is less equipped than the EQA.
Mercedes GLA 250 4Matic
When switching from diesel to petrol, everyone quickly recognizes the superiority of the diesel engine. The GLA 250’s four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine cannot compete with the thrust of the diesel and, surprisingly, it runs no better.
The 2-liter turbocharged engine of the GLA 250 cannot compete with the thrust of the diesel and, surprisingly, it no longer runs refined.
On average, 8.9 liters of petrol pass through the injectors every 100 km, a considerable amount. On the other hand, the autonomy of 573 km is discreet. And this GLA is only available with automatic transmission. The eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is pleasant and offers precise and fast changes.
Mercedes GLA 250 e
Compared to the EQA, the GLA 250 e has an electrified propulsion system grafted onto the normal body of the GLA. The plug-in hybrid is practical, being able to quickly recharge even at DC stations.
If you don’t have too many kilometers to get to work and back, you can travel with zero emissions. Up to 65 km electrically are possible and, given the 75 kW of power and 330 Nm of torque of the electric motor, the dynamics are discreet.
After starting, with the propulsion system switched on automatically in Comfort mode, the electric operation is suitable and one would be led to believe that the propulsion system is successful.
But then the 1.33-liter turbo engine, developed with Renault, starts with a harsh, intense sound. The consumption in the test, of 7.8 l / 100 km, and the combined range of up to 513 km, are decent, but the comfort of the propulsion is not what expected.
With a volume of 385 liters, the trunk sits between the EQA and conventional versions.
With the bonuses offered, the Mercedes EQA shines not only for the price and is ideal for all those who do not travel long distances regularly. For those who need long journeys every day, the Mercedes GLA 220 d 4Matic diesel is the ideal solution because it offers good dynamics and low consumption.
GLA 250 and offers a decent electric range but the comfort offered by the propulsion is not exceptional and the petrol engine of the Mercedes GLA 250 4Matic has neither the refinement nor the efficiency of diesel.