2021 BMW X4 M vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/08/08

The X4 M’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X4 M 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 AMG GLA doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The X4 M has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X4 M offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the X4 M’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 AMG GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the X4 M’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mercedes AMG GLA has a metal gas tank.

Both the X4 M and the AMG 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

The BMW X4 M weighs 1133 pounds more than the Mercedes AMG GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The X4 M’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X4 M for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the AMG GLA.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The X4 M’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 98 more horsepower (473 vs. 375) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 350) than the AMG GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The X4 M Competition’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 128 more horsepower (503 vs. 375) and 119 lbs.-ft. more torque (469 vs. 350) than the AMG GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the X4 M Competition is faster than the Mercedes AMG GLA:

X4 M

AMG GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8 sec

10.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.6 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

12.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

109 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the X4 M’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X4 M’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The AMG GLA doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X4 M has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the AMG GLA (17.2 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X4 M, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the AMG GLA.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X4 M’s brake rotors are larger than those on the AMG GLA:

X4 M

AMG GLA

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

The X4 M stops shorter than the AMG GLA:

X4 M

AMG GLA

70 to 0 MPH

147 feet

151 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X4 M has larger standard tires than the AMG GLA (F:245/45R20 & R:265/45R20 vs. 235/40R20). The X4 M Competition’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the AMG GLA (F:255/40R21 & R:265/40R21 vs. 235/40R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X4 M has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the AMG GLA. The X4 M Competition’s 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the AMG GLA.

The X4 M 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 AMG 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. Some tire options on the AMG GLA don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X4 M’s wheelbase is 6.5 inches longer than on the AMG GLA (112.8 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X4 M is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the AMG GLA.

The X4 M’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the AMG GLA’s (60% to 40%). This gives the X4 M more stable handling and braking.

The X4 M Competition handles at .97 G’s, while the AMG GLA 45 pulls only .96 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X4 M has a 3.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA (8.1 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the X4 M to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The X4 M has 6.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the AMG GLA (97.8 vs. 91).

The X4 M has 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG GLA.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X4 M’s rear seats recline. The AMG GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The X4 M has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the AMG GLA with its rear seat up (18.5 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The X4 M has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the AMG GLA with its rear seat folded (50.5 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The X4 M uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The AMG 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 X4 M is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the AMG GLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The X4 M 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 AMG GLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X4 M detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X4 M has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X4 M also has standard 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 X4 M has standard extendable sun visors. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the X4 M 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 AMG GLA’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X4 M has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the AMG GLA. The X4 M also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the AMG GLA.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the X4 M keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the X4 M’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the X4 M offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The X4 M’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The AMG GLA doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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