2020 Jeep Cherokee 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 2019/10/14

The Cherokee 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop 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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and front and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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Jeep’s powertrain warranty covers the Cherokee 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.

There are over 6 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the GLA 250:

Cherokee

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.3 MPH

89.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Jeep Cherokee 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 Cherokee has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 250’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Cherokee has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA 45 AMG’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons).

The Cherokee 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 Jeep Cherokee, 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 Cherokee’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:

Cherokee

GLA

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

The Cherokee stops shorter than the GLA:

Cherokee

GLA

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (245/65R17 vs. 235/50R18).

The Cherokee 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 Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare 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 Cherokee’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The GLA doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLA.

The Cherokee’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the GLA’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Cherokee more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a 3.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA 45 (7.9 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 3.4 inches higher than on the GLA 250 (8.7 vs. 5.3 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) 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 Cherokee Overland offers available 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 while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Cherokee Limited 4x4 is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC (69 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 12.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (103.5 vs. 91).

The Cherokee has 1 inch more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear headroom, 13.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

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

The front step up height for the Cherokee is .5 inches lower than the GLA (17.9” vs. 18.4”). The Cherokee’s rear step up height is 1.4 inches lower than the GLA’s (18.1” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (54.7 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

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

Cherokee

GLA

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.9”/67.6”

31.6”/63”

Max Width

49.2”

41.8”

Min Width

39.4”

41”

Height

28.8”

28.3”

Towing

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The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Cherokee 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.

Ergonomics

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The Cherokee’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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee Limited/Overland/Trailhawk 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 Cherokee Overland has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Cherokee Limited also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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

Both the Cherokee and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland also has standard 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 Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) 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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee 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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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the GLA because it costs $55 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Cherokee than the GLA, including $479 less for a water pump, $104 less for front brake pads, $224 less for a starter, $379 less for fuel injection, $131 less for front struts and $839 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 2019/10/14

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Mercedes GLA by almost 10 to one during 2018.

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