The 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is a tricky car to place in the market, but those who love the thrill of throwing a hot hatch around will probably enjoy the fiery subcompact crossover. It's also quite luxurious and has loads of standard tech and comforts that you'd expect of the brand. It's not the only car of this type, though, and you'll find similar in rivals like the BMW X2 M35i and Mini John Cooper Works Countryman. The AMG GLA 35 has good specs, with 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from a turbo-four engine, and it will turn heads thanks to sophisticated AMG styling. It's not particularly spacious - not much in the segment is - but it's the most affordable model in the performance SUV range. If you're not ready to give up your life of fun but need a little extra practicality or errands or perhaps the start of a family, then the AMG GLA 35 might be the ideal choice.
There are no changes for the new Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 SUV other than a slight increase in price. The 2023 AMG GLA 35 costs around $2,000 more this year.
It may be the entry point to the SUV range that wears AMG branding, but the price of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is still pretty high, with the MSRP set at $49,500. This doesn't include the $1,150 destination charge.
However, you may want to consider throwing on some of the optional extras, such as the $950 Premium Package or $1,300 Multimedia Package. The Driver Assistance Package is a must if you plan on using the GLA as a family car, and it will only cost you $1,700. The price of the $3,270 AMG Performance Seat Package may be a bit hard to swallow, but if you want to push the crossover to its limits, you'll appreciate the multi-contour performance seats.
Mercedes is a master at delivering comfortable and stylish interiors, but when it puts a focus on performance, a high-tech and easy-to-manage cockpit is the result.
There are no surprises when it comes to the interior of the GLA 35. It is as luxurious and well-appointed as any other vehicle in the brand's lineup. This top-end version cin the GLA range comes with fewer options in terms of upholstery, but it still covers all the bases with either MB-Tex or leather. There is a decent amount of space for a car this size, even at the back, and the lack of clutter on the dashboard helps make it feel even more accommodating. The cockpit setup also ensures that accessing the controls is an effortless task. If you want the interior to really to serve the performance purpose, then you can opt for AMG Performance seats, but ticking the box for the leather upholstery and panorama roof is a must.
While it may be the smallest AMG SUV out there, the GLA can still comfortably seat four average-sized adults without a fuss. The sloping roofline means that taller folks may not want to duck down a bit as they climb into the back, but it's perfectly fine for smaller folk. If you're only putting kids in the rear, then there's enough interior space for a fifth passenger. The doors open wide, and the step-in height assists with entry and exit. Outward visibility is good thanks to the ride height and a highly adjustable driver's seat.
You would expect a crossover or SUV to really lean into the idea of practicality, but the GLA 35 only has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats. This is well below average for the segment. Folding the rear seats down expands the trunk volume to 50.5 cu-ft. On the plus side, loading cargo is easy thanks to the height of the floor, and the optional hand-free access is a real convenience. Small-item storage is more than adequate for a vehicle of this size, with pockets in every door, a total of four cupholders split between the front and rear, a glove compartment, and a spacious armrest cubby.
|Mercedes-AMG GLA 35||BMW X2||Mini John Cooper Works Countryman|
|5 Seater||5 Seater||5 Seater|
|40.8 in. front|
38.1 in. rear
|39.8 in. front|
37.0 in. rear
|40.5 in. front |
38.3 in. rear
|41.1 in. front|
38.4 in. rear
|40.3 in. front|
36.7 in. rear
|40.4 in. front |
37.6 in. rear
|15.4 ft³ - 54.1 ft³||21.6 ft³ - 50.1 ft³||17.6 ft³ - 47.6 ft³|
While leather may not come as standard, the MB-Tex synthetic materials are still very luxurious and comfortable. These are available in a variety of interior colors, including Neva Grey/Black or Black with microfiber inserts and red stitching. All the leather options add $1,450 to the bill and offer you color choices that include Black, Bahia Brown, Titanium Grey/Black, and Classic Red/Black.
As for accent trim inside the cabin, there are four to choose from, with Carbon Structure and Brushed aluminum being free, while Natural Grain Brown Linden or Brown Walnut cost $325. You can have an AMG leather-wrapped steering wheel, too, for $400, Nappa/microfiber for $500, or just microfiber for $600.
Every Merc comes with a good list of standard features, but some desirables are left on the options list. Dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, cruise control, and eight-way power front seats with memory are standard fit, and the liftgate is power-operated but can be upgraded with hands-free access.
Other upgrades include heated and ventilated front seats, keyless go, multi-contour front seats, and a head-up display.
There is a 10.25-inch driver-information display and a similar touchscreen for the infotainment, which comprises Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming, and HD Radio. The available packages can add Wi-Fi connectivity, SiriusXM, Navigation, and upgrade the standard six speakers to a 12-speaker Burmester surround sound setup.
|AMG GLA 35|
|Dual-zone climate control|
|Eight-way power front seats with memory|
|Dual 10.25-inch displays|
|Heated and ventilated front seats|
|12-speaker Burmester sound system|
Though not the quickest small SUV on the market, the AMG GLA 35 is rapid and gives you power on demand to cruise on the highway or play around the bends with 50/50 AWD.
Powering the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. This is regulated by an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and directed to the all-wheel drivetrain. While the GLA may not be the sportiest crossover out there, it can launch from 0-60 mph in a brisk 5.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.
Acceleration is steady as you put your foot down, and the light steering picks up weight as the car picks up speed. The suspension is naturally a bit stiff, enabling you to play with the little crossover and test the limits, if that's your thing. The all-wheel-drive setup isn't meant for off-road adventuring but rather to improve traction. Still, this is a Mercedes, so when you aren't throwing it around corners, the GLA is very comfortable, and the excellent build quality keeps out any unwanted wind or road noise. This makes it an ideal companion for the school run, but also a playful partner when you're running errands around town or even making the otherwise tedious commute to and from work.
Small displacement turbocharged engines are generally quite efficient, even when they have a focus on performance, and the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 gets respectable mpg despite being quite heavy with standard all-wheel drive. It can achieve 22/29/25 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles.
Using the ideal gas mileage figures and taking into account the 13.5-gallon fuel capacity, you can expect to travel up to 338 miles between gas station visits.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas |
|22 /29 /25 mpg|
Mercedes didn't submit this pricey performance piece for crash testing, but it has ensured a good helping of standard safety features to let you drive with peace of mind.
There is no official safety review of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and even the regular GLA-Class hasn't been crash tested in a while. Luckily, a fair number of safety features are included as standard. This includes seven airbags, ABS, and electronic stability, along with a rearview camera, blind-spot assist, active brake assist, attention assist, and crosswind assist.
These systems can be further bolstered with active highbeam assist, active steering assist, evasive steering assist, active lane-keep assist, active blind-spot assist, pre-safe plus with sound, Parktronic, and a surround-view camera. An additional two airbags are available for the rear-seat passengers.
|AMG GLA 35|
|Active brake assist|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There have been no recalls for the 2023 AMG GLA 35, nor any for last year's model. So, while there is no rating from the likes of J.D. Power, the reliability of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 promises to be relatively good.
Every new 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is covered by a warranty that is valid for four years/50,000 miles. This includes the powertrain and roadside assistance.
Though it may be an athletic performance crossover, the AMG GLA doesn't try to look like an over-the-top sports car. It has AMG styling, that's true, but it still looks largely like a regular GLA. This includes 19-inch allow wheels and aluminum roof rails. The grille is a prominent Panamericana unit that reveals the AMG DNA. The LED headlights are particularly stylish, featuring LED daytime running lights. The rear end is a little more traditional, but it has LED taillights and a spoiler, with a pair of exhaust outlets poking out from under the bumper. You can throw on a panorama roof if you like, as well as an AMG Night Package or an aerodynamics kit if you want to lean more heavily into the vehicle's performance characteristics.
There aren't many hot hatches left in the USA, and even performance subcompact SUVs are quite rare, which is enough to make the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 stand out. It may not be as enthusiastic as a BMW or Mini, but it is more balanced, with a comfy interior and lots of standard tech. That being said, it's still more engaging than a similar Audi or Volvo. Practicality is not a strong area, with only 15.4 cubic feet on offer, and the rear seats aren't suitable for larger-than-average passengers. But if you are shopping for a spicy crossover that is smaller than most, this one ticks the boxes; if it weren't for the high asking price, we would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in a subcompact SUV.
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