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Mercedes-Benz isn’t exactly known for affordable automobiles. The German brand produces high-quality luxury vehicles. That luxury often comes at a high price. The cheapest Mercedes-Benz SUV has plenty of strengths. Here are some of its weaknesses.

Everything wrong with the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

A white 2023 Mercedes Benz GLA Class small SUV is parked.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class | Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes’ most affordable SUV is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. It gets plenty right, but it’s far from perfect. The GLA has several weaknesses that will cause some consumers to go for alternatives.

One of the main gripes that drivers have with the cheapest Mercedes-Benz SUV is that the best features are reserved for upper trim levels or come as options. So, the base model is relatively affordable, but the most affordable version is far from the most satisfying version to drive and own.

Another issue with the GLA is its road noise. Many luxury SUVs have quiet cabins. The GLA subcompact SUV has too much road noise for a luxury model in the eyes of some consumers.

Finally, the last big problem that consumers have with the cheapest Mercedes-Benz SUV is a lack of cargo space. Subcompact SUVs aren’t typically built for lugging around loads of cargo, but the GLA-Class’ cargo area is exceptionally small.

Now that we’ve run through the reasons to pass on the GLA let’s assess why some drivers consider it their top pick in the segment. Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Why some drivers love the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

One of the many reasons that drivers love the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is its oh-so-smooth ride quality. It has a superior ride comfort to many of its rivals. The subcompact luxury SUV also has comfortable seats. The best thing about the GLA-Class is its affordable pricing. It’s cheap enough for most consumers as the entry-level Benz SUV.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA-CLassStarting MSRP
GLA 250 SUV$37,500
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class pricing.

Mercedes-Benz vehicles are notoriously expensive to the average consumer. Though they offer elite comfort and performance, they’re far too pricey for many Americans. The GLA allows drivers to experience Mercedes-Benz luxury and comfort without breaking the bank. Furthermore, upper trim levels offer exhilarating performance specs and additional creature comforts.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 SUV specs

Base Engine 2.0-Liter Inline Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
Power Output221 Horsepower, 258 LB-FT of Torque
MPG24 City, 34 Highway
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class specs.

The GLA-Class is one of the best options in its segment for the money. It rivals competitors like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 for the top spot. The subcompact luxury SUV may have shortcomings but delivers solid value for the cheapest Mercedes-Benz SUV.

What is the best subcompact luxury SUV?

An orange BMW X1 subcompact luxury SUV is driving.
The BMW X1 | BMW

Is the Cheapest Midsize Mercedes-Benz SUV a Hidden Gem at $60k? 

Though the term ‘best’ is subjective, plenty of experts and automotive publications have reached a consensus on the best subcompact luxury SUV of 2023. The BMW X1 is almost unanimously the winner in its segment despite stiff competition. Furthermore, the nameplate isn’t new to being the best.

BMW vehicles aren’t the most reliable or the least expensive to maintain, but when it comes to comfort and driving dynamics, they deliver. The BMW X1 xDrive28i starts at $39,100. It uses a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-cylinder engine to make 241 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The subcompact SUV achieves 25 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.