The BMW X3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Two subcompact luxury crossovers. Two unique exterior looks. Two different performance models. The BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA are similar in concept but vary in design elements, technology features and safety integration. While BMW and Mercedes-Benz are both common household names for prestigious vehicle prototypes, these rivals ramp up the competition with the introduction of their newest crossover models.

Performance Face-Off

Both the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA are powered by gasoline engines and feature All-Wheel Drive functionality. Despite these resemblances, the powertrain and engine specifications between these two vehicles are different on every level.

While the BMW X3 boasts an eight-speed automatic transmission and six-cylinder engine, its Mercedes-Benz GLA counterpart utilizes a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with a four-cylinder engine. Due to these attributes, the BMW X3 is capable of generating up to 382 horsepower and 365 pound to feet of torque. Falling short of these abilities, the Mercedes-Benz GLA can reach up just 208 horsepower and 258 pound to feet of torque. Based on these specifications, it is apparent that in the area of performance the BMW X3 reigns supreme. If you are a San Antonio action-lover or speed-enthusiast, the BMW X3 is a better option.

Technology Match-Up

One essential requirement for maintaining relevance in the current day auto market is the prevalence of technology features and their role in safety regulation adherence.

As far as general technology goes, both vehicles feature a plethora of elements that make traveling and driving easier. Both the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA employ the use of standard power liftgates, keyless start, remote trunk release and rain sensing wipers. Yet, many options that are not offered on the Mercedes-Benz GLA or are optional come standard on the BMW X3. These options include power folding mirrors, an electrochromic rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener and a heated steering wheel. 

In the realm of safety technology, the BMW X3 takes safety seriously and offers more overall and standard features than its Mercedes-Benz GLA counterpart.

While both vehicles offer optional backup cameras, adaptive cruise control and standard cruise control and vehicle anti-theft systems, they greatly differ in the advanced safety options that are available. The BMW X3 includes an optional rear parking aid, auto-leveling headlights and blind-spot monitoring. It is undeniable that both these vehicles offer an extensive list of included or optional safety features, but the BMW X3 edges just ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLA in its safety offerings. 

Competitive Design

Interestingly, the interior and exterior design of the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA is strikingly similar. These vehicles offer seating for up to 5 passengers, very similar seating space specifications and standard comfort features. When it comes to cargo volume, the BMW X3 wins hands-down providing 10 more cubic feet of space than the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Desired privacy glass, sporty finishes and a heads up display add unique touches that set the BMW X3 apart from others.

Other interior elements that pack the biggest punch for the value are mainstays in both the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA design. Optional leather seats, 2nd row bench seats and heated front seats make all the difference in passenger comfort and satisfaction. Yet, even with these similarities, the BMW X3 simply offers more optional features and quality standard features that rise above those of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Overall Ranking

In general, the BMW X3 ranks higher than the Mercedes-Benz GLA in several categories including performance, interior and safety. The main aspects that buyers find commendable include impressive cargo and storage space, quality of interior materials, intuitive handling and sporty feel and the power of engines within this model's lineup. Viewed as more athletic and resilient than the family-friendly GLA, the BMW X3 is preferred by a wide array of consumers.

If you would like to learn more about our selection of vehicles, including the 2020 BMW X3, we invite you to visit us at BMW of San Antonio, located in San Antonio, TX. Our team would be proud to help you schedule a test drive with your favorite model on our lot.


BMW of San Antonio
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15507 W IH-10
Hours & Directions San Antonio, TX 78249

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