2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2021 Mercedes GLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes GLA doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC60 and GLA have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 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 Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Mercedes doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the GLA. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Both the XC60 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The Volvo XC60 weighs 410 to 690 pounds more than the Mercedes GLA. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLA has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 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.

Engine

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The XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 29 more horsepower (250 vs. 221) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 95 more horsepower (316 vs. 221) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 179 more horsepower (400 vs. 221) and 214 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 194 more horsepower (415 vs. 221) and 236 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 258) than the GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the GLA:

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

GLA

MPG

FWD

250 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

AWD

250 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The GLA must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (18.5 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 6.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLA (18.8 vs. 12.7 gallons).

The XC60 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLA:

XC60 T5

XC60 T8 P. E.

GLA

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The XC60’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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLA (265/35R22 vs. 235/55R18).

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series 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 XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The GLA’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The XC60 T5/T6 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharge) 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. Some tire options on the GLA don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’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 XC60’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the GLA (112.8 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the GLA.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has .5 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 15.4 cubic feet). The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Towing

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The XC60 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The GLA has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC60 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC60 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLA only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The GLA doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the XC60 and the GLA offer optional heated front seats. The XC60 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLA.

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 2020/10/20

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volvo XC60 outsold the Mercedes GLA by 38% during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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