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The V60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The GLA doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the V60 and GLA have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The V60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GLA’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The V60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The GLA doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The V60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, 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.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The V60 Inscription has standard CTA Auto Brake 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 V60’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 GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the V60 and the GLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.
The Volvo V60 weighs 615 to 1038 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The V60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).
Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the V60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLA.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the V60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The GLA’s 115-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
The battery on the V60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the V60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GLA’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
The V60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 42 more horsepower (250 vs. 208) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The V60 T8 Polestar’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 207 more horsepower (415 vs. 208) and 236 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the V60 T8 Polestar running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the GLA 250 4MATIC (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 23 city/31 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the V60 Recharge running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the GLA 250 4MATIC (28 city/33 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).
The V60 T8 Polestar can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The GLA must run its internal combustion engine to move.
Regenerative brakes improve the V60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The V60 has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The V60 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.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo V60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the GLA.
For better stopping power the V60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:
The V60’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 V60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GLA 250’s standard 50 series tires. The V60’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the GLA’s optional 45 series tires.
The V60 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.
The V60 offers an available set of manually adjustable shock absorbers. They allow the driver the manually set the shock absorbers to a stiff setting for amateur competitions and return them to lower levels for a comfortable ride on normal streets. This allows the driver to choose between a comfortable ride or excellent handling during competitions. The GLA’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the V60’s wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the GLA (113.1 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the V60 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the GLA.
The V60 Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For greater off-road capability the V60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (5.4 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the V60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The V60 has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (94 vs. 91).
The V60 has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.
The V60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (23.2 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The V60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (50.9 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the V60 easier. The V60’s trunk lift-over height is 26.7 inches, while the GLA’s liftover is 29.5 inches.
The V60’s cargo area is larger than the GLA’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (2nd/1st)
The V60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.
The V60 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 V60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the V60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GLA doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The V60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The GLA doesn’t offer headlight washers.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the V60 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 V60 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights. The V60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
When the V60 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The GLA’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Both the V60 and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The V60 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 V60 Inscription 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 V60’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The V60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the GLA.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the V60 is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the V60 than the GLA, including $413 less for a water pump, $296 less for a muffler, $118 less for front brake pads, $292 less for a starter, $161 less for fuel injection, $211 less for front struts and $786 less for a power steering pump.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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