In-depth reviews

Mercedes GLA hybrid review

Another small plug-in hybrid SUV that's just the ticket for company-car users; the Mercedes GLA 250 e is fast and efficient, with a great electric range

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 hybrid37 miles202mpg31-32g/km

The Mercedes GLA is one of the brand's newest plug-in hybrid models, as part of an extended push to put electrification into nearly every area of the market by the big German brand. It joins the A-Class hatch and saloon, the C-Class saloon and estate, the CLA four-door coupe, the E-Class saloon and estate, the S-Class luxury car and the GLC and GLE large SUVs with plug-in power.

Rivals for the GLA plug-in hybrid, which is called the GLA 250 e, include the BMW X1 xDrive25e, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Range Rover Evoque PHEV. The latest version got a round of updates to make it more like the A-Class, especially on the inside where it has a top-notch interior and infotainment set-up.

It has some chunkier styling details on the outside to give it the SUV look that modern car buyers love, but it's fundamentally very similar to the A-Class, including having the same engine and electric motor combination.

This means it has a 1.3-litre petrol engine along with the electric motor, which is actually one of the better-engineered plug-in hybrid solutions we've tried - it has a strong pure-electric range, punchy performance when the power sources are combined and smooth transitions between the two. The petrol engine can get a little noisy when pushed, however.

It's efficient, too – which is good news for both private owners and company-car users. Mercedes' claim of just under 202mpg is a decent chunk ahead of most rivals' (although we take these figures with a huge pinch of salt) and its 32g/km of CO2 also undercuts the competition. An absence of first-year road tax and a 10% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating are excellent news for company car drivers, as it's really cheap to run.

The Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid is a bit more practical than the GLA, but the Mercedes has a decent-sized boot despite the addition of a battery. There's also a decent amount of storage inside the cabin and plenty of room for passengers.

Interior quality is up to the standard we've come to expect from modern Mercedes products, and there's plenty of technology to get excited about, especially as you step up through the option packs. However, it's worth sticking to the entry-level car if you're concerned about paying the road-tax surcharge for cars over £40,000.

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...

Most Popular

Complete guide to the Ecotricity Electric Highway charging network
Ecotricity
Your questions answered

Complete guide to the Ecotricity Electric Highway charging network

Need to charge your electric vehicle on the Ecotricity Electric Highway network? Here’s how it works, how much it costs and how to pay
9 Jun 2021
New hybrid VW Transporter van and VW Multivan minibus: pictures and specs
2021 Volkswagen Multivan
Volkswagen Transporter

New hybrid VW Transporter van and VW Multivan minibus: pictures and specs

The new Multivan minibus replaces the Caravelle in Volkswagen's UK line-up and will be available with the eHybrid plug-in powertrain
10 Jun 2021
Are electric bikes and scooters legal in the UK? The law explained
Smart eScooter and eBike
Your questions answered

Are electric bikes and scooters legal in the UK? The law explained

Confused about UK electric bike laws and regulations that extend to motorcycles, scooters and mopeds? We explain all here
2 Jun 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 electric SUV: details, pictures, price and on-sale date
Kia EV6 GT-Line - Exterior
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 electric SUV: details, pictures, price and on-sale date

Kia's flagship electric car is capable of up to 316 miles on a single charge and recharging from 10-80% in just 18 minutes; available to order in the …
17 Jun 2021
Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network
BP Pulse
Your questions answered

Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network

This is how to charge your electric or plug-in hybrid car on the BP Pulse public charging network (formerly known as Polar Plus)
2 Jun 2021
Complete guide to BP Pulse (formerly Chargemaster) home chargers
BP Chargemaster wallbox
Your questions answered

Complete guide to BP Pulse (formerly Chargemaster) home chargers

Everything you need to know about BP Pulse (formerly known as BP Chargemaster) home wallbox chargers for electric and plug-in hybrid cars
3 Jun 2021
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4 GTX review

VW’s first attempt at a performance electric car handles well for a 2.2-tonne SUV and offers decent performance, but has the same infotainment issues …
20 Jun 2021
Rivian R1S seven-seat electric SUV spied testing
Rivian R1S spy shot
News

Rivian R1S seven-seat electric SUV spied testing

The new American electric-car brand's R1S SUV produces up to 750bhp; 400-mile range model expected in 2022
4 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car: emergency services to trial electric model
Tesla Model 3 police car
Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 police car: emergency services to trial electric model

Tesla makes test car available to emergency services for trials as part of government's Road To Zero strategy
17 Jun 2021
Electric car loans and grants in Scotland: a complete guide
Vauxhall Corsa-e and Renault ZOE
Your questions answered

Electric car loans and grants in Scotland: a complete guide

If you live in Scotland and are looking to buy an electric car, there are a number of government schemes to help out
2 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot e-Partner electric van: specs, details and on-sale date
Peugeot e-Partner
Peugeot Partner

New 2021 Peugeot e-Partner electric van: specs, details and on-sale date

The new Peugeot e-Partner electric van is a sister model to the Citroen e-Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo-e; it goes on sale in late 2021
3 Jun 2021
2021 BMW 330e Touring: prices, pictures and specifications
BMW 330e Touring
BMW 3 Series Touring

2021 BMW 330e Touring: prices, pictures and specifications

The plug-in hybrid 330e version of the BMW 3 Series is available in Touring estate guise for greater practicality, with optional four-wheel drive
3 Jun 2021
Electric car sales UK: May 2021 figures show beginning of post-Covid recovery
ID.3 vs Leaf
News

Electric car sales UK: May 2021 figures show beginning of post-Covid recovery

May 2021 saw UK new-car registrations increase by over 674% year-on-year, but totals were still down on pre-pandemic figures
4 Jun 2021
What is a self-charging hybrid?
Lexus hybrid system screen
Your questions answered

What is a self-charging hybrid?

The term 'self-charging hybrid' appears frequently in the advertising and marketing of certain models, but what exactly does it mean? Here, we outline…
2 Jun 2021

More on GLA

New Mercedes GLA hybrid: prices, spec and on-sale date for 250 e plug-in
Mercedes-Benz GLA&CLA 250 e; Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 1,8-1,5 l/100 km, Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 16,1-15,1 kWh/100 km, CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 42-35 g/km Mercedes-Benz GLA&CLA 250
Mercedes-Benz GLA

New Mercedes GLA hybrid: prices, spec and on-sale date for 250 e plug-in

Mercedes GLA 250 e plug-in hybrid SUV arrives with 215bhp power output and 38-mile electric range
3 Mar 2020