In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLA hybrid review

The Mercedes GLA 250 e has an impressive electric range and is a top choice for company-car buyers

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£39,600 - £42,600
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Premium interior
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Expensive for private buyers
  • Not the most fun to drive
  • Pricey option packs
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid38-39 miles202mpg31-32g/km

The Mercedes GLA 250 e is part of a huge rush from manufacturers in recent years to produce plug-in hybrid versions of their cars, partly as a result of company-car tax rules that mean they’re really cheap to run. The GLA joins the A-Class hatchback and saloon, the C-Class saloon and estate, the CLA four-door coupe, the E-Class saloon and estate, the S-Class luxury limousine and the GLC and GLE large SUVs in getting plug-in power.

There are plenty of rivals for the GLA plug-in from other carmakers, too, including the BMW X1 xDrive25eVolvo XC40 Recharge and Range Rover Evoque PHEV. The GLA is an SUV, but it’s closely related to the A-Class hatchback, and as such gets virtually the same interior (but this isn’t a bad thing, as it’s one of the best in its class).

Like the A-Class plug-in, the GLA uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. It’s a little noisy when pushed, but that’s our only real complaint about the powertrain, because it’s integrated really well, transitions between power sources seamlessly, is punchy and delivers good performance.

It’s also pretty efficient, with up to 202mpg possible if you always use the electric range to its fullest extent, but 40mpg is probably a more realistic ballpark for real-world use, when you can't always immediately top up the battery when it runs down. A low CO2 figure of 32g/km means it an 11% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating, which is great news for company-car buyers – but this GLA should be cheap to run for just about anyone.

Consider a Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid if you want a really practical model of a similar size to the GLA, but the Mercedes still has enough boot space for family life and there’s a good amount of storage for bits and bobs around the luxurious cabin.

It’s not just storage that impresses about the cabin, it’s the quality of the materials and the level of technology here, too. There’s a fantastic infotainment set-up called MBUX inside, with dual screens that wouldn’t look out of place on a car costing twice as much. It’s standard on every version of the GLA 250 e.

Overall, the GLA 250 e is a great effort from Mercedes. The Volvo XC40 is more practical and the BMW X1 more fun to drive, but if you're looking for an alternative to diesel power for your next small family car – or perusing the company-car list for a low-cost option – the GLA 250 e is definitely worthy of your attention. For a more in-depth look at the Mercedes GLA 250 e, take a look at the rest of our detailed review...

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