Mercedes-Benz has just launched the GLA compact SUV in India which is the most expensive vehicle in the luxury compact SUV class now. It’s the only car which comes via the CBU route in this segment.

2014 Mercedes GLA Launch India
The Mercedes GLA is the latest entrant to the premium compact SUV segment

Exteriors – The BMW X1 looks weird and quirky with its slightly disproportionate design. Not many may fancy its design and it is completely a love it or hate it SUV. Coming to the Audi Q3, the vehicle looks very good and just like a baby Q5. Audi recently came up with the Q3 Dynamic which also adds some cosmetic changes to the vehicle and makes it look even better. The Mercedes GLA may look like an A-Class on steeroids but it does manage to stand out in a crowd. The GLA may not look like the bigger SUVs from Mercedes but it is quite a looker.

Interiors – Moving to the interiors, all three Germans get good quality materials with nothing to complain about fit and finish. The Audi Q3’s interiors look premium while the X1’s interiors look sporty. The 3-spoke steering wheel feels good to hold and in both the SUVs, all the button controls are placed within easy reach. The Mercedes GLA’s interiors look a bit inspired by the SLS AMG with those yummy AC vents. The pop-out screen looks aftermarket and similar to the A-Class.

Engines and Power – All SUVs here come with similar 2.0-litre engines for both petrol and diesel variants. Only the X1 doesn’t get a petrol variant. The GLA petrol produces lesser power than the Q3 petrol but both of them give out similar torque output. The GLA diesel is the most underpowered car here and the X1 and Q3 produce much higher power and torque. The Q3 S comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox while the 180 HP Q3 gets a 7-speed S-Tronic box and quattro all-wheel drive system (unique to the Q3). The X1 is RWD while the GLA is front-wheel drive. All diesel SUVs give out similar fuel efficiency too.

Size – All three of them may look similar in size but the X1 is the longest while the Q3 is the shortest. In width though, the Q3 is the widest here followed by the GLA. The Q3 is also the tallest while the GLA is the shortest with the X1 sitting between both of them. In terms of wheelbase, the X1 is the longest again while the Q3 is the shortest.

Pricing – The newly launched Mercedes GLA petrol is priced higher than the Q3 petrol by a good margin of 20%. In diesel variants, it is the Q3 S which is the cheapest while the Q3 35 TDI Dynamic is the costliest out of all the three. The GLA is priced more than others (when it comes to on-road prices due to higher RTO charges on CBU models) but competitors surely have a reason to worry. The X1 doesn’t really make as much sense as the other two and it feels a bit dated now.

Audi Q3 vs Mercedes GLA – Petrol Spec Comparo

Audi Q3 vs Mercedes GLA Petrol Comparo

Audi Q3 vs Mercedes GLA vs BMW X1 – Diesel Spec Comparo

Audi Q3 vs Mercedes GLA vs BMW X1 Diesel Comparo

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2013 BMW X1 Test Drive Review
The BMW X1 feels dated now and a replacement is in the works