2019 BMW X2 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the X2’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.

Compared to metal, the X2’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mercedes GLA has a metal gas tank.

Both the X2 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, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The X2’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X2 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLA.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X2 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The X2’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (228 vs. 208) than the GLA 250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X2 s/xDrive28i is faster than the GLA 250:

 

X2

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X2 M35i gets better fuel mileage than the AMG GLA 45 (23 city/29 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X2’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X2 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X2 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X2 higher (7 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLA (5). This means the X2 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLA every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X2, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the GLA.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X2’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:

 

X2

GLA

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.6 inches

The X2’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.

The X2 stops much shorter than the GLA:

 

X2

GLA

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X2 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The GLA doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The X2 offers an optional 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.

Suspension and Handling

The X2 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLA 250 suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X2 xDrive28i handles at .91 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X2 sDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the GLA 250 4MATIC (25.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X2 has a 2.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA 45 (7.2 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the X2 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X2’s minimum ground clearance is 1.9 inches higher than on the GLA 250 (7.2 vs. 5.3 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X2 xDrive28i is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC:

 

X2

GLA

At idle

37 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The X2 has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (94.1 vs. 91).

The X2 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 9.6 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X2’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the X2 is 1.8 inches lower than the GLA (16.6” vs. 18.4”). The X2’s rear step up height is 2.5 inches lower than the GLA’s (17” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (21.6 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (50.1 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X2’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

The X2 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.

Ergonomics

The X2 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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.

Consumer Reports rated the X2’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X2 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X2 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the X2 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The GLA’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold winter days, the X2’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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X2, 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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