GLA 2020

he GLA250 uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic churning out 258 pound-feet of torque at just 1,250 rpm. While all-wheel-drive models hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, the standout performance feature of any GLA is its hatchback-like handling.  All-wheel drive should be the choice for drivers who deal with weather, and it provides some modest off-roading confidence on dirt paths, for instance.

Inside, the 14-way power front seats make customization easy to the wide buffet of American sizes, but rear seat leg room in the GLA250 is among the worst in the class. Better to use the split-folding rear seats to expand to more than 43 cubic feet of cargo space.

The 2020 GLA comes with automatic emergency braking standard, and optional safety tech such as active lane control and adaptive cruise control. Neither the IIHS or the NHTSA has crash-tested the GLA, despite it being on sale for more than five years.

Standard equipment includes power tailgate, keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, and 18-inch wheels. Leather seats and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are extra. Starting at $35,245 (including $995 destination) we’d add the $2,000 AWD system and the $1,900 Premium package with heated front seats and blind-spot monitors to stay under $40,000 and retain the value proposition of this beginner Benz.