Mercedes-Benz GLA vs Audi Q3: Used Car Comparison

31st Jan 2024

By Kenny Longdon

Mercedes-Benz and Audi

Two of the most successful cars brands to come out of Germany, Mercedes-Benz and Audi continue to produce an array of sought-after and popular models, spanning a number of different segments, alongside the likes of BMW, Volkswagen and Porsche.

With a reputation for refinement, quality, performance and cutting-edge technology, the plethora of German car manufacturers shows no sign of their popularity fading, especially in the SUV segment.

Here we are having a look at the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3, two rival models battling it out in the used premium compact SUV market.

But which is the right used premium compact SUV for you?

Introduction and Design


German brands have always been sought after in the UK. Their reputation for style, driving experience, perception and general quality is a real pull for many consumers.

Add into the trendy SUV platform that both Mercedes-Benz and Audi offer, which are presented in multiple shapes and sizes to suit every type of customer, and it's no wonder why the SUV sector continues it dominance.

In terms of first impressions, it's likely you're probably drawn to one manufacturer more than the other, but there's no denying both the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3 offer an aura of sophistication, proudly displaying the three-pointed star and four rings on their front grilles with a real sense of purpose and pride.

It could be argued that the Mercedes is more classic in its looks, with chrome detailing featuring more throughout the range, whilst the Audi looks to de-chrome the Q3 for a more dynamic, sporty vibe with its majority of trim choices.

That said, the Mercedes-AMG versions, like the 45 S 4Matic pictured, feature similar de-chromed styling for a more aggressive, dynamic appearance.

Versions and Performance

Audi RS Q3

Like the extensive shapes and sizes in the Mercedes and Audi SUV range, including small, medium and large, along with coupé-like alternatives too (Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback pictured), it's no surprise to find multiple versions, offering various performance levels in the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3 range.

A snapshot of the engine choices of both SUVs are shown below. Interestingly, many Mercedes-GLA models come with front-wheel drive, whilst the high performance Mercedes-AMG models come with all-wheel drive as standard. In the Audi Q3 range, all-wheel drive is offered more in the general range.

Mercedes-Benz GLA (All automatic transmissions)

  • GLA 200 - 1.3-litre petrol, 160bhp, 0 to 62mph in 8.4 seconds, up to 42mpg, FWD
  • GLA 250e - 1.3-litre petrol PHEV, 215bhp, 0 to 62mph in 7.1 seconds (38 miles of electric range), up to 200mpg, FWD
  • GLA 200d - 2.0-litre diesel, 147bhp, 0 to 62mph in 8.3 seconds, up to 52mpg, FWD
  • GLA 35 AMG - 2.0-litre petrol, 302bhp, 0 to 62mph in 5.2 seconds, up to 31mpg, AWD
  • GLA 45S 4Matic+ - 2.0-litre petrol, 415bhp, 0 to 62mph 4.3 seconds, up to 28mpg, AWD

Audi Q3 (Manual or automatic available, automatic only in some models)

  • 35 TFSI - 1.5-litre petrol, 148bhp, 0 to 62mph in 9.5 seconds, up to 40mpg, FWD
  • 40 TFSI - 2.0-litre petrol, 187bhp, 0 to 62mpg in 7.4 seconds, up to 32mpg, AWD
  • TFSIe - 1.4-litre petrol PHEV, 242bhp, 0 to 62mph in 7.3 seconds, up to 141mpg, FWD
  • 35 TDI - 2.0-litre diesel, 148bhP, 0 to 62mph in 9.3 seconds, up to 42mpg, AWD
  • 40 TDI - 2.0-litre diesel, 187bhp, 0 to 62mph in 8.0 seconds, up to 40mpg, AWD
  • RS Q3 - 2.5-litre petrol, 395bhp, 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, up to 29mpg, AWD

Interior and Technology

GLA Interior

Audi implemented the digital virtual cockpit (around 2014) before Mercedes-Benz gave all its models the 'iPad-like' digital dashboard set up - first seen in the A-Class from 2018 onwards.

Audi only rolled it its digital virtual cockpit out to top end models firstly, before cars like the entry-level Audi A1 got it standard from 2019.

Both the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA interiors feel bang up to date and modern because of these digital dashboards. The Audi presentation is more integrated in a dashboard cluster, whilst the Mercedes-Benz seems more stuck on and iPad-like.

Of course, looks are subjected, but the Audi feels more polished, whilst the removal of the cluster in the Mercedes may appeal more to those after something a little different from the norm.

Higher spec models in both cars get cooler features, but entry-level models still very much give a premium vibe, with things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto coming as standard.

Full leather tends to appear in higher trim models on either SUV, whilst the AMG and RS versions are heavily enhanced with a motorsport and dynamic vibe.


GLA Boot

With both cars being SUVs, space is naturally very generous in both models.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA (pictured) offers a 485-litre boot, which drops to 445 litres if you opt for the plug-in hybrid version.

It's the Audi Q3 which offers more space, with 530 litres as standard, although the PHEV model drops to 380 litres.

This means, in terms of practicality, if you're after a big boot, the Audi takes it, but if you are in the market for a PHEV, then it's the Mercedes-Benz GLA which steals less space from the boot for its electric parts, and therefore would be a better bet if you're still looking for the boot space with your PHEV SUV.

Value and Final Thoughts

Audi Q3

Both the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3 are fantastic examples of quality used SUVs.

With the SUV segment proving popular for most manufacturers - even saving some, explains why there are so many versions to choose from, especially where the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3 are concerned.

If you're looking for a more classical approach in style, especially from the outside, then the Mercedes-GLA may appeal more, but if you're after a sleeker, more dynamic vibe, the Audi Q3 would probably suit the vibe you're looking for more.

However, it flips when you take into account the interiors. The Audi has the more familiar classic layout, whereas the Mercedes-GLA has the more tech-focused iPad-like set up.

Both are great choices when looking for a premium compact SUV, but if you're still unsure, other alternatives from other premium manufacturers, like a used BMW X1, used Volkswagen Tiguan or used Porsche Macan may be more your thing.

Find your perfect used car at Evans Halshaw

Whether you are after a used Mercedes-Benz GLA, used Audi Q3, or any other used car, Evans Halshaw have a comprehensive selection of new and used car offers for you to browse online.

Alternatively, why not visit your preferred Evans Halshaw retailer for a closer look, or if you enjoyed this article, why not check out more via our dedicated blog section.