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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 old 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 old 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 old GLA has a metal gas tank.
Both the Tucson and the old 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 and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The old 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 old 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 old 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 old GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the old GLA’s (7 vs. 5 years).
Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tucson for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the old GLA.
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.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Tucson has a standard 150-amp alternator. The old GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson first among compact SUVs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The old GLA isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th, 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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 15 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Tucson uses regular unleaded gasoline. The old GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Tucson has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the old GLA (16.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Tucson stops shorter than the old GLA:
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the old 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 old 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.
The Tucson has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The old GLA’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the old GLA.
The Tucson’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58% to 42%) than the old 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 old GLA 250’s (34.9 feet vs. 36 feet).
For greater off-road capability the Tucson has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the old GLA (6.4 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the Tucson to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Tucson has 11.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the old GLA (102.2 vs. 91).
The Tucson has 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the old GLA.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tucson’s rear seats recline. The old GLA’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the old 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 old GLA with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
The Tucson’s cargo area is larger than the old GLA’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (2nd/1st)
The Tucson has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The old 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 old 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 old 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 old 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 old 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 old 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 old GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Tucson and the old 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 old 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 old 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 old GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Tucson will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Tucson will retain 47.11% to 48.69% of its original price after five years, while the old GLA only retains 46.18% to 46.86%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the old GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the old GLA, including $576 less for a water pump, $265 less for a muffler, $187 less for front brake pads, $404 less for a starter, $259 less for fuel injection, $233 less for a fuel pump, $248 less for front struts, $93 less for a timing belt/chain and $744 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 $6445 to $11328 less than for the Mercedes old GLA.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Hyundai Tucson, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Mercedes old GLA isn't recommended.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the Mercedes old GLA by over six to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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