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The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s optional 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.
For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XT5 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 XT5 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 XT5 Premium Luxury/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.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The GLA doesn’t offer a night vision system.
To help make backing safer, the XT5 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 XT5 and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The Cadillac XT5 weighs 575 to 1192 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XT5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLA has not been tested, yet.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XT5 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 XT5’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 XT5’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XT5 has a standard 170-amp alternator (155-amp - XT5 V6 without Towing Package). The GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
The XT5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 29 more horsepower (237 vs. 208) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 102 more horsepower (310 vs. 208) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac XT5 V6 is faster than the Mercedes GLA:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT5’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 XT5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine for maximum performance). The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The XT5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (19.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XT5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 6.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (21.7 vs. 14.8 gallons).
The XT5 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 XT5 higher (6 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLA (5). This means the XT5 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 XT5, 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 XT5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:
The XT5’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.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GLA’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The Cadillac XT5’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLA only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
The XT5 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 XT5 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 XT5’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the GLA (112.5 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT5 is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the GLA.
For greater off-road capability the XT5 has a 2.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (7.8 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the XT5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The front grille of the XT5 (except V6) 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.
As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the XT5 AWD is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC (68 vs. 70 dB).
The XT5 has 13.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (104.5 vs. 91).
The XT5 has 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 5.1 inches more rear legroom and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the XT5’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.
The XT5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The XT5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (63 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLA doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The XT5 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.
The XT5 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 XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 XT5’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The GLA does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The XT5 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 XT5 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.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the XT5 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 XT5 has standard 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 XT5 has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the XT5 with available tilt-down mirrors 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.
The XT5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the GLA. The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLA.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the XT5 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 XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard 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.
Insurance will cost less for the XT5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the XT5 with a number “8” insurance rate while the GLA is rated higher at a number “10” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XT5 is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the XT5 than the GLA, including $379 less for a water pump, $123 less for front brake pads, $341 less for a starter, $131 less for fuel injection, $189 less for a fuel pump, $267 less for front struts and $402 less for a power steering pump.
The Cadillac XT5 outsold the Mercedes GLA by over two to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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