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

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

Numerous manufacturers have turned to plug-in hybrid power for their cars to reduce CO2 emissions and the Mercedes GLA 250 e is a prime example. It's aimed squarely at company-car drivers, who benefit from lower tax bills thanks to less tailpipe pollution, while private buyers can also enjoy lower running costs. Mercedes has also added plug-in power to its C-Class and E-Class saloons, the bigger GLC and GLE SUVs and even its luxurious S-Class limousine.

Those in the market for the GLA 250 e also have a few other choices, including the BMW X1 xDrive25e, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Range Rover Evoque PHEV. The first rung on Mercedes' SUV ladder, the GLA is based on the A-Class hatchback, so shares much of its technology and interior design, but has more overtly SUV styling for the latest generation.

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 31g/km means it enjoys a 12% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating until at least April 2024, 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 interior, 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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