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The Tucson has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The GLA doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
To help make backing safer, the Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate’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.
Compared to metal, the Tucson’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 Tucson and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLA has not been tested, yet.
The Tucson comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The GLA’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Tucson 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the GLA’s (7 vs. 5 years).
There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tucson’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson second among small 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 Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 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 Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 7 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Tucson uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Tucson has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tucson has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 14.8 gallons).
The Tucson stops shorter than the GLA:
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (245/45R19 vs. 235/50R18).
The Tucson 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.
The Tucson has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The GLA 250 suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLA.
The Tucson’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58% to 42%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Tucson more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the GLA 250’s (34.9 feet vs. 36 feet). The Tucson’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the AMG GLA 45’s (34.9 feet vs. 36.1 feet).
For greater off-road capability the Tucson has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA 45 (6.4 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the Tucson to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Tucson’s minimum ground clearance is 1.1 inches higher than on the GLA 250 (6.4 vs. 5.3 inches).
The Tucson has 11.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (102.2 vs. 91).
The Tucson has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 3.8 inches more rear headroom, 11.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tucson’s rear seats recline. The GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (31 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
The Tucson’s cargo area is larger than the GLA’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (2nd/1st)
The Tucson has a 1500 lbs. standard towing capacity (2000 lbs. with 2.4-liter engine). The GLA has no towing capacity.
The Tucson’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.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Tucson 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 Tucson’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 standard on the Tucson Ultimate 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 Tucson Limited offers optional 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 Tucson has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Tucson and the GLA offer available heated front seats. The Tucson Ultimate also has standard 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 Tucson Ultimate 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 Tucson Limited/Ultimate’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 Tucson owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tucson will cost $270 to $2765 less than the GLA over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the GLA, including $570 less for a water pump, $262 less for a muffler, $170 less for front brake pads, $399 less for a starter, $256 less for fuel injection, $230 less for a fuel pump, $246 less for front struts, $92 less for a timing belt/chain and $737 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Tucson will be $11485 to $20205 less than for the Mercedes GLA.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the Mercedes GLA by almost six to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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