Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Brilliant dashboard and infotainment
  • MBUX voice-control system excellent
  • Detail and quality ooze premium appeal

The GLA benefits from Mercedes-Benz’s latest incarnation of its excellent MBUX dashboard, which is about as good as they come – regardless of price. There are touchscreen and touchpad interfaces, while saying ‘Hey Mercedes’ allows you to control everything by your voice, as well as ask it Amazon Alexa-like silly questions if you’re bored in traffic.

MBUX lifts voice control to a new level of perfection, but it does not stop the urge to dive into the touchscreen's countless icons, menus, submenus and other sources of distraction.

Elsewhere we like the look of the five turbine-style vents.

For now there are three screen variants:

>> Two 7.0-inch displays
>>
One 7.0-inch and one 10.25-inch display
>> 
Two 10.25-inch displays

AMG interior

Both AMG cars offer a special dial screen display mode called Supersport with a central rev counter and 3D look to the information bars located left and right. You can also call up engine data and a g-force display.

Elsewhere contrasting red stitching and man-made leather are paired with piano black and carbonfibre trim for a performance-focussed look.

The wheel has perforations for extra grip and a flat bottom, with metal shift paddles that operate the gearbox with a satisfying click.

In the GLA 45 the only change really are the yellow highlights, said to recall motor racing heritage, used throughout the cabin such as on the steering wheel.

Comfort

  • Better ride quality than previous-generation GLA
  • Avoid 20-inch wheels if you favour ride comfort
  • Energizing Comfort Control aids longer journeys

All models feature multilink rear suspension rather than the torsion beam you get on cheaper A-Class derivatives – this means the GLA handles bumpy roads well and isolates road noise from the cabin. The GLA250 4Matic rides much better than the previous car, but this can be easily compromised by specifying the large 20-inch wheels. Instead, why not spend your money on the comfort suspension option? This strikes a fine balance between dynamism and luxury.

There's also a cocooning effect generated by the quiet cabin and the excellent seats, plus you also get the Energizing Comfort Control that we’ve enjoyed using in the A-Class – this combines various functions such as the interior lighting, music and seat massage to create a relaxing ambiance in the cabin.

Here you can choose between 10-minute feelgood stunts named freshness, vitality, training, warmth, joy and cosiness are paired with suitable ambient lighting and lounge music.