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The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The GLA doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the Q3 and GLA have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q3 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GLA’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The Q3 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLA doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q3. But it costs extra on the GLA.
To help make backing safer, the Q3’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Q3 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The Audi Q3 weighs 448 to 609 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the GLA’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (228 vs. 208) than the GLA 250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Q3 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q3 has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons).
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLA (5). This means the Q3 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLA every 15,000 miles.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi Q3, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the GLA.
For better stopping power the Q3’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:
The Q3’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 GLA 250 are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (255/40R20 vs. 235/50R18).
The Q3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the GLA; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The Q3 has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 9 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q3’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (23.7 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (48 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
The Q3 has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.
The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The GLA uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Q3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q3 has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLA isn't recommended.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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