To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X1. But it costs extra on the GLA.
Both the X1 and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
The X1’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GLA’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLA.
There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The GLA’ 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.
The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (228 vs. 208) than the GLA250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the GLA45 AMG (22 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The X1 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the GLA250 are solid, not vented.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the GLA.
The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLA250 suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The X1’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.4% to 43.6%) than the GLA’ (60% to 40%). This gives the X1 more stable handling and braking.
For greater off-road capability the X1 has a 2.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA45 AMG (7.2 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The X1 has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (101 vs. 91).
The X1 has 3.6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 4 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom and 4 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The GLA’ rear seats don’t recline.
The X1 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (17.8 vs. 14.9 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X1’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GLA doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The X1 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X1 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
On extremely cold Winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.