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The Most Disappointing New Car You Should Avoid at All Costs

At the end of the day, owner satisfaction is the only metric that matters when shopping for a car. If the owners are happy and don’t regret buying the car, then the car has done its job. This can’t be said for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA, though, which is the most disappointing new car on the market.

Why the Mercedes-Benz GLA is disappointing

As Consumer Reports found, the Mercedes-Benz GLA has the lowest owner satisfaction score out of all the 2020 model year cars. There are a lot of reasons why the GLA is disappointing, but the main reason is value.

Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car brand, and many of its cars are not only expensive, but they’re also beloved. So, when someone buys a Mercedes, they typically go into the purchase expecting luxury and quality among other things. That’s part of the reason why they’re willing to pay a lot of money for their car compared to what the more affordable competition offer.

However, like Consumer Reports said, with a $40,000 realistic price tag, GLA owners “aren’t getting a whole lot of car for the money.” The GLA is a crossover SUV, and compared to its competitors, it doesn’t really offer much for the price tag. 

Paying for the status

Mercedes-Benz GLA on display at Auto Expo 2020
The Mercedes-Benz GLA | Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

Consumer Reports says that unlike many other Mercedes-Benz cars, Mercedes actually stripped a lot of luxury features away from the GLA in order for it to be more affordable. That’s not to say that Mercedes created a beater that’s worth $40,000, though. The GLA does have some luxury features, such as great handling and maneuverability as well as a fuel-efficient engine that gets 26 MPG combined.

However, other aspects that make a Mercedes what it is are missing from the GLA. Consumer Reports says that luxurious comfort features such as having a quiet and smooth ride are simply not present in the GLA. It has a premium-looking interior, but it doesn’t feel that way. 

On top of that, Consumer Reports mentions that the GLA doesn’t give its passengers much headroom nor is its infotainment system as high-quality as a Mercedes-Benz infotainment system should be. Combine those facts with the reality that other compact crossovers that are better than the GLA in most ways that exist, and the GLA becomes extremely disappointing for its $40,000 price tag.

In essence, like Consumer Reports said, if someone buys a GLA, it’s almost as if they’re buying the SUV just to have a Mercedes-Benz logo on it. There are better options in the segment, and that’s ultimately why the GLA is such a disappointment for owners.

How disappointed are Mercedes-Benz GLA owners?

Consumer Reports ultimately gave the GLA a 1 out of 5 for owner satisfaction as well as last place in terms of owner satisfaction for new cars. And, just like Consumer Reports found in its review of the GLA, owners felt similarly about the car. 

The Mercedes-Benz GLA got good scores for its styling and its driving experience, but in terms of its value and its comfort, it got very low scores. The GLA definitely has the fast and cool appeal of a Mercedes-Benz, but on the inside, it’s the opposite. 

Additionally, Consumer Reports asked owners whether or not they’d buy their luxury crossover SUV again. The GLA was in last place as just 41 percent of owners said that they would. For comparison, the Volvo XC40 was in first place with 83 percent of owners saying that they would. 

That statistic shows that by taking away the luxury inside the GLA, Mercedes-Benz created an SUV that simply isn’t worth the price tag. It’s not the worst car in the world as Consumer Reports gave it an overall rating of 61 out of 100, but it’s certainly the most disappointing new car that you can buy.