2020 Porsche Macan vs. 2020 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Macan has standard Multi-collision Brake System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GLA doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Macan. But it costs extra on the GLA.

Both the Macan 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 and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The Porsche Macan weighs 759 to 1266 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The Macan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The battery on the Macan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Macan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GLA’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Macan’s reliability 24 points higher than the GLA.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Macan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 40 more horsepower (248 vs. 208) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Macan S’ standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 140 more horsepower (348 vs. 208) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Macan GTS’ standard 2.9 turbo V6 produces 167 more horsepower (375 vs. 208) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Macan Turbo’s standard 2.9 turbo V6 produces 226 more horsepower (434 vs. 208) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Macan has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (19.8 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Macan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:

Macan

Macan S

Macan Turbo

Macan Turbo opt.

GLA

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

15.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

14 inches

14.6 inches

11.6 inches

The Macan’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 Macan offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The GLA doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Macan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (F:265/40R21 & R:295/35R21 vs. 235/50R18).

The Macan’s optional 265/40R21 front and 295/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLA’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Macan offers optional 21-inch wheels. The GLA’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Macan 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 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The Macan offers an optional 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.

The Macan has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Macan’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The GLA doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Macan’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the GLA (110.5 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Macan is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the GLA.

For greater off-road capability the Macan has a 2.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (8 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the Macan to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Macan’s minimum ground clearance is 3.7 inches higher than on the GLA (9 vs. 5.3 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Macan 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.

Cargo Capacity

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The Macan has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (17.6 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Macan has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (52.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Macan has a 4409 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Macan 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.

The engine in the Macan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the GLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked fifth.

Ergonomics

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The Macan’s optional 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Macan 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 Macan offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Macan with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The GLA’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Macan and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The Macan 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 Macan 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 Macan’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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Macan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Macan with a number “5” insurance rate while the GLA is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Macan is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the Macan than the GLA, including $398 less for a water pump, $198 less for a starter, $134 less for fuel injection, $25 less for a fuel pump and $349 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/07/10

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche Macan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLA isn't recommended.

The Macan was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2020. The GLA has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Porsche Macan outsold the Mercedes GLA by 530 units during 2019.

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