2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs. 2020 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/08

To help make backing safer, the Stelvio’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 Stelvio’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 Stelvio 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 all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and driver alert monitors.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio weighs 561 to 843 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Reliability

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The engine in the Stelvio has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the GLA has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The battery on the Stelvio is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Stelvio’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GLA’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 72 more horsepower (280 vs. 208) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (306 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is faster than the Mercedes GLA:

Stelvio

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.3 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/08

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Stelvio has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (16.9 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Stelvio

GLA

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

11.6 inches

The Stelvio’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the GLA are solid, not vented.

The Stelvio stops shorter than the GLA:

Stelvio

GLA

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Stelvio’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (255/45R20 vs. 235/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Stelvio offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GLA’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Stelvio 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 its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Stelvio offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The GLA’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stelvio’s wheelbase is 4.6 inches longer than on the GLA (110.9 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Stelvio is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the GLA.

The Stelvio’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Stelvio more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Stelvio has a 2.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (8.1 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the Stelvio to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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

Stelvio

GLA

Full-Throttle

72 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

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The Stelvio has 6.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (97.6 vs. 91).

The Stelvio has .2 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

The front step up height for the Stelvio is 1.4 inches lower than the GLA (17” vs. 18.4”). The Stelvio’s rear step up height is 1.5 inches lower than the GLA’s (18” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Stelvio has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (18.5 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Stelvio has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

The Stelvio’s cargo area is larger than the GLA’s in almost every dimension:

Stelvio

GLA

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

39.4”/72.5”

31.6”/63”

Max Width

46.5”

41.8”

Min Width

36.7”

41”

Height

28”

28.3”

Towing

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/08

The Stelvio has a 3000 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Stelvio 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.

The engine in the Stelvio is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the GLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Stelvio’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The GLA doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Stelvio’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GLA’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Stelvio to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GLA doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Stelvio offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The GLA doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Stelvio 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 see further while navigating curves, the Stelvio has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Stelvio has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Stelvio and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The Stelvio also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLA.

On extremely cold winter days, the Stelvio’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.

The Stelvio offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The GLA doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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