Mercedes GLA 250 e vs Mini Countryman SE All4: more electric range and better equipped

The new PHEV Mercedes GLA 250 e
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The German  magazine auto motor und sport tested the new Mercedes GLA 250 e Plug In hybrid versus Mini Countryman Cooper SE All4. Here is the opinion of our colleagues from auto motor und sport.

Photo: Auto motor und sport

Mercedes GLA 250 e has a better PHEV system. For 357 euros you can buy a 7.4 kW AC charger, and for 595 euros you can even buy a 24 kW DC charger that allows charging from 10 to 80% in less than 30 minutes. On the other hand, on the Mini, long-distance charging is not worth it because Countryman has only a 3.6 kW charger for the 10 kWh battery, so you should wait around two hours for an electric range of about 20 km.

In contrast, unlike the Mini, the GLA has no cable storage space in the boot and the 385-liter boot is 40 liters smaller than the standard version and even smaller than the 405-liter Mini. Instead, the backrest of GLA is folded into three segments, but an impractical loading threshold is created. Folding passenger seat (179 euros) expands the maximum loading volume to 1385 liters (Mini, 1272 l) and there is also the option of a sliding rear bench (428.40 euros), which maximizes the space in the trunk or the kneeroom in the rear.

GLA also offers many possibilities for energy recovery or battery use. You can set the degree of recovery in five steps in electric mode, but you can also set how much to go electrically with the GLA in the city, and freeze the battery level. Or you can leave the car in D-Auto mode and in this case with the adaptive cruise control activated and with the navigation, Mercedes GLA 250 e decelerates alone at the entrance to localities or intersections, while Mini can not even hold the lane alone, only showing the limits speed.

Propulsion systems are different. Mercedes GLA 250 e combines the 1.33-liter and 160 HP Renault origin engine with an electric motor located between the heat engine and the 8-speed DCT automatic transmission. The assembly provides 218 HP and 450 Nm and drives the front wheels. Mini has a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine with 125 HP that drives the front axle through the 6-speed automatic transmission while the electric motor drives the rear axle and the whole assembly provides 220 HP and 385 Nm.

Colleagues from auto motor und sport magazine expected a more refined propulsion system for the Mercedes GLA 250 e. The thermal engine is quite noisy, perhaps due to the short exhaust system that ends near the passenger seat. When cornering, the GLA 250 e tilts, visibly understeers and the standard suspension is not very comfortable while no adaptive suspension can be ordered. Neither the coordination of the transition between regenerative and mechanical braking nor the poorly controllable pedal pressure make you feel like a Mercedes.

However, the Mercedes GLA 250 e brakes 3 meters shorter than the Mini, stopping from 100 km/h in 34 meters. Mercedes is also more economically  (consumption measured over 15,000 km of which 10,000 km on short routes of up to 40 km) with a consumption of 2.2 l/100 km and 21.7 kWh/100 km (Mini, 3 .7 l/100 km, plus 19.2 kWh/100 km). With empty batteries, both consume around 7 l / 100 km in the eco test.

Mini does not drive like a go-kart but for an SUV it turns spontaneously and is fun to drive. The small advantage over accelerations results from the better traction of the hybrid system, because the electric motor engages the rear axle. Also, when the battery power runs out, the gasoline engine charges the battery so that there is always traction on the rear axle.

The Mini can be driven completely electrically in eDrive mode, up to a speed of 135 km/h. But Countryman managed to cover only 32 km in electric mode with a full battery  while Mercedes GLA 250 e goes 10 km further. Mini has reached the maximum elecrtric range  in Green mode, which allows driving without regeneration. Cooper SE activates energy regeneration only in Normal and Sport modes and the level of recuperation is very low. Otherwise, the driver can adjust the recovery via the brake pedal, and the transition from electric deceleration to mechanical braking is imperceptible.

Mercedes is more expensive by about 4000 euros compared with the top version Trim from Mini Countryman SE All4 but is better equipped both in terms of comfort and assistance systems and has a better multimedia system. You can find here the full article on website.