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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLA have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Kona doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The GLA’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Kona doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The GLA’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Kona doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The GLA has a standard Post Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Kona 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.
The GLA offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Kona only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
Both the GLA and the Kona have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.
The GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 74 more horsepower (221 vs. 147) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 132) than the Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 46 more horsepower (221 vs. 175) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 195) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the GLA 250 4MATIC Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Kona Limited/Ultimate 4x4 Auto turbo 4 cyl. (24 city/33 hwy vs. 26 city/29 hwy).
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLA’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 Kona doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes GLA, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Kona.
For better traction, the GLA has larger tires than the Kona (235/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).
The GLA’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kona SE’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kona SE. The GLA’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Kona Limited/Ultimate.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the GLA can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Kona doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes GLA has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kona 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The GLA 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 Kona’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The GLA’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 Kona doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLA’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Kona (107.4 inches vs. 102.4 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLA is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Kona.
The design of the Mercedes GLA amounts to more than styling. The GLA has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the Kona (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GLA get better fuel mileage.
The front grille of the GLA uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Kona doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The GLA has 4 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom, 5.1 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kona.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLA’s rear seats recline. The Kona’s rear seats don’t recline.
The GLA has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kona with its rear seat folded (50.5 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLA. The Kona doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GLA has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kona doesn’t offer a power liftgate.
The GLA uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Kona 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.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 52% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.
When three different drivers share the GLA, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Kona doesn’t offer a memory system.
The GLA’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Kona doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The GLA’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Kona has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The GLA’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Kona’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. With the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the GLA the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Kona can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The GLA’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Kona SE/SEL/Limited’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The GLA’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate.
When the GLA 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 Kona’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The GLA’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLA keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Kona doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the GLA’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kona doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The GLA offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Kona.
The GLA’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kona doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
Both the GLA and the Kona offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the GLA has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kona doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The GLA has a 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 Kona doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The GLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Kona doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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