Mercedes GLA hybrid engines, drive & performance
Running on electric power, the Mercedes GLA 250 e is quiet and refined. The petrol engine is a bit noisy, however
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The GLA is at its best running on electric power, which is perfectly straightforward thanks to its usable range. The tiny 1.3-litre petrol engine can be noisy at times, especially under hard acceleration. Things quieten down at a cruise, however.
Taking things easier actually suits the GLA's personality. The integration of the engine and electric motor is smooth, with the car switching between the two almost imperceptibly. The steering is direct and the gearbox is slick; the system works away in the background, just as it should.
But this isn't the kind of car you'll relish throwing down your favourite back road. The GLA is more adept at town driving and motorway cruising than being driven flat out. The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system provides plenty of grip when you need it, offering extra security in inclement weather.
Mercedes GLA 250 e 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
Thanks to its combined power output of 215bhp, the Mercedes GLA plug-in hybrid feels brisk in a straight line. Using the engine and electric motor, it'll do 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds – the kind of time that not too long ago was the preserve of hot hatchbacks and sports cars.
Even if you run the car purely in Electric mode, it feels sprightly enough away from junctions and traffic lights. It's easy to avoid using the engine, too; provided there's enough energy in the cells, the GLA will prioritise the battery unless you put your foot to the floor.
As you might imagine, given this car's similarities with the plug-in hybrid A-Class, the GLA feels a lot like that car but with a slightly raised ride height. This means it has a greater tendency to lean during faster changes of direction, although on the whole it feels safe and secure.
The gearbox works well, switching up and down at just the right time. In Electric mode you can even take control of the regenerative braking using the paddles on the steering wheel.
The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system offers lots of grip, and while the ride has a firm edge on the AMG Line model's 19-inch wheels, it's not bad enough to be a dealbreaker.
In This Review
- 1VerdictAnother 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
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe Mercedes GLA 250 e plug-in hybrid is very efficient on paper and has a generous electric range
- 3Running costsThe Mercedes GLA 250 e makes a lot of sense for company-car users; private buyers will have to be a bit more careful with the options list, however
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingRunning on electric power, the Mercedes GLA 250 e is quiet and refined. The petrol engine is a bit noisy, however
- 5Interior & comfortOnly available in luxurious Exclusive Edition guise, the Mercedes GLA 250 e is a comfortable and well equipped SUV
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Mercedes GLA 250 e is more spacious and practical than the previous version of the GLA, but some plug-in hybrid rivals offer greater versatility
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Mercedes GLA 250 e is likely to be reliable and safe, but we've no official data on either front just yet