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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XT4 are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes GLA has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the XT4 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLA doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XT4 Premium/Sport offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLA doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
To help make backing safer, the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport’s 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 XT4 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, 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 and around view monitors.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XT4 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The XT4’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLA’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 2 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XT4’s warranty.
The XT4’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 29 more horsepower (237 vs. 208) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT4’s fuel efficiency. The GLA doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XT4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The XT4 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XT4 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (16.3 vs. 14.8 gallons).
The XT4 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLA doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT4 higher (6 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLA (5). This means the XT4 produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLA every 15,000 miles.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac XT4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the GLA.
The XT4’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 XT4 stops shorter than the GLA:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (245/45R20 vs. 235/50R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GLA’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The XT4 has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The GLA doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The XT4 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.
The XT4 offers an available 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 XT4’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the GLA (109.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT4 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the GLA.
The XT4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.4% to 41.6%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the XT4 more stable handling and braking.
The XT4 Sport AWD handles at .89 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The XT4 Sport AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLA 250 4MATIC (26.3 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .66 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the XT4 has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (6.8 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the XT4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The front grille of the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLA doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The XT4 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLA doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the XT4 Sport AWD is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC:
70 MPH Cruising
The XT4 has 10.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (101.3 vs. 91).
The XT4 has 2.2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 5.6 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
The XT4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (22.5 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The XT4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (48.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
The XT4 has a 2500 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.
The XT4 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.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 10% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked fifth.
The XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The GLA doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport 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.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XT4 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLA only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
Consumer Reports rated the XT4’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport 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 XT4 (except Luxury) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. 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 XT4 has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The GLA’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Both the XT4 and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The XT4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLA.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The GLA doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the XT4’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 XT4 Premium Luxury/Sport offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the GLA.
The Cadillac XT4 outsold the Mercedes GLA by 44% during 2019.
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