Mercedes-Benz GLA Class vs GLC Class

Oct 14, 2021 | The Hub | 0 comments

Both these luxury compact crossovers offer great practicality and a luxury driving experience all at a relatively affordable price tag. While a GLC is more expensive, purchasing this over a GLA will most likely make you a happier customer in the longer term, and we’re going to explain why. We’ll be looking at the interior, exterior and driving experience as a whole, from models in the 2021 model year. 

Mercedes-Benz GLA

The Mercedes GLA is the smallest in the SUV range and is more of a compact SUV than a crossover, but still offers more space than previous models.

The exterior

The new GLA certainly has a dominant front with its grille and wider wheel base. You can get optional LED lights that are also available in multi-beam with high beam function. They’re available in both matte and satin paint finishes, but the only disadvantage with getting matte is that scratches will show up easier. 


The whole car amounts to 41 metres, and the wheelbase is identical to the Mercedes B class and A class. This model also presents itself as a lot more SUV inspired in this latest update thanks to the crossover wheel arches, and 17-20 inch wheels for the standard model and 19-21 inches for the AMG model. 

There’s normal steel suspension available as well as adaptive suspension in addition to chrome or dark styling around the windows. The tail lights follow the modern horizontal shape and there are lots of chrome design elements including the exhaust. This model also comes with keyless entry, but you can also open and close it with your smartphone.

The interior

The classic leather finish makes a reappearance that is soft to the touch and also cruelty free. Aluminum pedals are also evident, with carbon fibre finishing here and there on the doors too. There are multiple options of fabric to choose from for seat finishes, including fabric, a fabric and leather mix and microfibre in the AMG line. 


In the Mercedes GLA you sit five inches higher than in the Mercedes A class, making it feel very much like a grown up SUV while still maintaining comfort. The interior also comes with two screens; the standard being both 7 inch and the second option being one 7 inch and one 10.25inch, and the 3rd with both being 10.25 inches. The screens are very responsive and of course offer both ApplyPlay and AnroidAuto. 

The rear seats are very spacious, with lots of legroom for passengers and a good amount of headroom too. The capacity in the boot ranges from 435 to 1430 litres with maximum set up, with additional storage located under the boot and to the sides. 

The Drive:

The GLA 250, which has a turbocharged 2.0L, 4 cylinder engine, will probably be the most universally sold. This vehicle is built perfectly for harsh regions and climates with its all wheel drive, but for driving around the city it isn’t so crucial if you decide to buy it or not. The acceleration is fairly powerful, with the vehicle being able to get to its top speed in seven seconds. There are also a lot of smart safety features such as the blind spot sensors which alert you when a car is overtaking, and automated braking. 


While the Mercedes GLA does come in various drive modes, including sport and offroad, it’s definitely best suited to the motorway due to its commanding driving position and wide open windscreen.

In comparison to the previous Mercedes GLA’s, they didn’t so much feel like an SUV, whereas now there’s definitely a more grown up essence to it. This is very similar to the Mercedes GLB, and feels sportier and easier to drive thanks to the shorter wheel base found on both vehicles. But all in all it gives families access to a great family car. 


Mercedes-Benz GLC

The GLC 300 is one of the most famous and common SUV’s on the market and is the main competitor to the BMW X3.

The exterior

The exterior is equipped with daytime running lights as well as new headlamps with standard LED and optional multi beam LED. The standard model line has a fin like grille whereas the AMG models come with a diamond pin grille. Also as standard is the automated brake assistance, and cruise control got an update with the new 2021 model and there’s also new trailer maneuvering assist.

In total the car measures out at 183 inches in length and wheels begin from 17-19 inches with the normal GLC specs, and in the AMG line wheels are available in 19-20 inches. The GLC 63 even goes up to 21 inches. The overall design is very elegant, with chrome finishes and a swooping L shaped back. In the rear the main update was to the rear lights which modernised them with a round design.

As for suspension there’s a lot to choose from depending on the model, including a standard suspension, a more substantial one for off road situations, sport suspension which is lower, and more sophisticated suspension choices such as adaptive suspension and air suspension for extra. Not many other competitors offer these more sophisticated suspension options, so it’s definitely a unique selling point for this car. 


The interior

Focussing on the GLC 300, we have high quality leather combined with a matte wood inlet which gives the car a classic look. Mercedes also offers one of the widest choices of varied, more sustainable interior materials for seats and other finishes than any other car manufacturer. You automatically have an upright SUV seating position which is somewhat similar to the BMW X3 in height and overall positioning. The new steering wheel and screens certainly add to the more sophisticated interior look compared to its predecessor too. The vehicle, like all Mercedes SUV’s now, comes with an MBUX voice feature, much like Siri, where you can set a destination, open and close the sunroof or change the temperature.Just like on the GLA, you can set the option to see your fuel economy or GPS while driving on the digital gauge display. The sound system is at a very high level too, providing you with crisp and crystal clear sound whether you are listening to music or even a podcast. Excitingly, you can also select an option to enable seat massages, along with ambient lighting too. The rearview camera is one of the most sophisticated available, which even allows you to view the direction of your wheels, in case you’re going into a car wash and need to judge your vehicle’s positioning. 

Gaps in the back seats help give passengers more leg room. As for the boot, extra features include being able to lock the extra storage compartment where your spare wheel is kept, and a sliding cover rather than a parcel shelf to offer a very clean solution. The boot with the normal seating area measures 90cm in length,just over 1m in width and 40cm to the top cover and 75cm overall. When all the rear seats are down, the boots measure at just less than 1m 80cm in length, making this a very versatile and practical car.

The drive

The engines come as mild hybrid systems, meaning they’ll come with a battery that is larger than a normal car battery and the eco mode will be drawn back so there’s more attention towards increased power, rather than better fuel economy, especially in the sport mode.

Again, the blindspot sensors come with this model too, and the suspension options all remain the same, when choosing the air suspension though, you’ll get the ultimate in comfort. The steering is very light, with a new digital infotainment system in front of you which gives you a more modern and sophisticated experience when driving the car. This model also comes with lane assist, making it perfect for relaxing long motorway journeys. 


Mercedes Benz have been renowned for their increasing quality over the past few years. In 2021, the GLA received an average reliability score of 70/100 while according to consumer reports, the GLC is the most reliable out of the Mercedes SUV range. The Mercedes GLC may not be so sporty, but it provides a very comfortable and smooth ride, which is exactly what you want for longer journeys.

The questions you need to ask yourself to decide between the two though are; how much money are you willing to spend? How much space do you need? How much space do you have to park? How do you feel about the build quality and comfort?

We have various Mercedes Benz SUV’s in stock in Essex including the GLA and GLC, all available to buy using different car finance options. Reserve your used Mercedes SUV online today with London Motor Company.

Don’t forget to check out our other blog posts too:
How to finance your new used car

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