Like other cars on the small Merc platform, the GLA gets a suitably plush-feel interior. There’s a broad strip of metallic-finish plastic across the dashboard lined with five sweet air vents, and the dual-tone finish above and below exudes a grown-up Mercedes feel, which is no bad thing at all.
First impressions are good, then, and they tend to stay that way. We’re not entirely sold on the cheap finish of the steering wheel buttons, but the rim is pleasingly sized and sculpted, while the seats (standard artificial leather chairs) are large and comfortable. At 4419mm long, the GLA is a relatively compact car, but you wouldn’t know that from the accommodation in the front.
You can just about sit two adults in the rear behind two adults in the front – but no more comfortably than in most compact cars. The rear seat backs split and fold 70/30 and, if you spec the appropriate option (not fitted on our car), even adjust the rear seat back angle, freeing up an additional 60 litres of boot space.
The boot itself is a competitive 421 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 836 litres if you sling them forwards. Beneath the boot floor is, sadly, a repair kit rather than a spare but also a neat folding storage box for stowing loose or dirty items so you don’t have to worry about spillages. In a proper SUV, we’d criticise that kind of decision, but in a crossover the greater flexibility of storage is probably more important than a spare wheel.