2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/13

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s 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 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear 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 Equinox 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.

To help make backing safer, the Equinox (except L/LS)’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 Equinox’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 Equinox and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLA has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Equinox 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Equinox’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLA’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The GLA isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (252 vs. 208) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the GLA 250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the GLA 250:

Equinox

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/13

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox AWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the GLA 250 4MATIC Auto (25 city/30 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Equinox uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. engine for maximum performance). The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (14.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Equinox 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.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl., 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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The Equinox stops much shorter than the GLA:

Equinox

GLA

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The Equinox 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 Equinox LS/LT/Premier 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The Equinox’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Equinox more stable handling and braking.

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a 3.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA 45 (7.9 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Equinox’s minimum ground clearance is 2.6 inches higher than on the GLA 250 (7.9 vs. 5.3 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Equinox 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 Equinox 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.

Passenger Space

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The Equinox has 12.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (103.2 vs. 91).

The Equinox has 1.6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear headroom, 12.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

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

The front step up height for the Equinox is 1.2 inches lower than the GLA (17.2” vs. 18.4”). The Equinox’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the GLA’s (17.5” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

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

Equinox

GLA

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/67.4”

31.6”/63”

Max Width

53.7”

41.8”

Min Width

40.7”

41”

Height

31”

28.3”

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

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/13

The Equinox has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Equinox’s optional 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 Equinox’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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior keypad. The GLA doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Equinox 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 Equinox’s headlight performance “Good” to “Very Good” (depending on model and options), a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Equinox 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 Equinox has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Equinox 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.

Both the Equinox and the GLA offer available heated front seats. The Equinox Premier 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 Equinox Premier 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 Equinox Premier’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 Equinox (except L/LS) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Equinox owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Equinox 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 Equinox is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the GLA, including $428 less for a water pump, $18 less for front brake pads, $297 less for a starter, $96 less for fuel injection, $274 less for front struts and $568 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/13

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GLA was rated second in its category.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Mercedes GLA by almost 14 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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