It’s Britain versus Germany in a battle of subcompact luxury crossovers!

Land Rover first introduced the Range Rover Evoque in 2011. A few years later, Mercedes-Benz revealed the GLA-Class in 2013. Both offer subcompact crossover practicality wrapped in a luxurious, high-end package. Both seat five passengers, and both come with a long list of options and features to help them stand out in a crowd. But the question remains - which is best? To find out, we dove headfirst into the spec sheets and put together the following comparison article.

Exterior

Front

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Let’s start with the Land Rover, which just got a mild refresh for the most recent 2019 model year.

Up front, this plucky Brit arrives to the party rocking a smoothed-out fascia that spreads its features in a nipped-and-tucked fashion, leading the eye rearwards towards the flanks. The headlights are thin strips that hug the hood line, bookending a thin honeycomb insert grille. A finer mesh section is found along the lower intake, while tall side intakes are seen in the sides. It’s also worth mentioning that the Range Rover Evoque offers a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.36, which comes into play with regards to engine efficiency and fuel returns (more on that in a later section).

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Next up, we have the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, which doesn’t stray too far from Merc’s current set of design language cues.

That includes a twin-blade grille design for the nose, with a much more sizable intake compared to the Range Rover. Fog lights come as standard equipment, while the headlight housings are larger, downward-facing units that occupy part of the fenders as well. Lower body cladding adds some visual toughness to the aesthetic. Finally, the Merc’s coefficient of drag is rated at 0.32, making it slightly slipperier than the Land Rover, but not by much.

Side

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Viewed in profile, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque presents a rather familiar silhouette.

The front nose rounds into a rakish windshield, which then falls back aggressively towards an equally rounded tail. The beltline is also quite slanted, and comes complemented by an equally aggressive lower character line that connects the wraparound taillights to the front end. The front fender strakes look pretty good too, while the door handles sit flush with the door panels for a cleaner, more streamlined look. Wheel sizing is rated at 18 inches in diameter as standard.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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By contrast, we’d argue that the Mercedes offers a more “hatchback” like profile view compared to the crossover-esque Evoque.

To our eyes, it definitely has that “car on stilts” vibe when viewed from the side, with a rounded roofline and rear end that complement the vibe well. However, there are a few crossover cues that help to upgrade its practical aesthetic considerably. For example, the GLA comes with a sturdy flat-black lower trim section that works to deflect rocks and bits of terrain, while the side body creases make it look more upright and stout as well. Standard features include sizable 18-inch wheels and privacy glass.

Rear

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The Evoque’s rear end looks square and purposeful, with a large hatch section for easy loading and unloading of cargo.

The character line that starts in the front end continues across the flanks, connecting in the rear across the top of the headlight housings, thus bookending the front end with similar graphics and the same shape as the headlights. Up top is a roof spoiler, while lower in the bumper is a black diffuser type element. A pair of squared-off exhaust tips hug the lower edge of the rear bumper. Final touches include a pair of shark fin antennas and black badging bits.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Finally, we have the Mercedes-Benz GLA’s rear end, which curves down from the sloping roofline into a rounded hatch.

The top spoiler is subtler than that on the Range Rover, while the taillights are larger and more prominent as well. Chromed-out trim bits connect the taillights, while a line of lower silver trim outlines the bumper with a faux skid plate design. Extra trim bits help to protect the top of the bumper edge while loading and unloading cargo.

Exterior Dimensions Mercedes-Benz GLA Class Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Overall Length 173.9 inches 172 inches
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 104.7 inches
Track 61.4 inches 64.1 inches
Overall Front Width 79.6 inches 82.3 inches
Overall Rear Width 71 inches
Overall Height 58.8 inches

Interior

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class
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Inside the Land Rover, expect high-end luxury bits everywhere, with leather upholstery, aluminum trim, and wood paneling spicing up the spec.

The layout is simple and straightforward, with a selection of hard buttons added to the center console and a large horizontal touchscreen in the dash. To our eyes, the button layout looks a little dated (circa early 2000’s to be honest, even including including the rotary gear selector), but the rest of it helps to give it a more modern aesthetic.

As for technology, the Evoque comes with the latest InControl infotainment system, and includes both Touch and Touch Pro, plus features like a parking space locator, music streaming, and stolen vehicle recovery. There’s also a sound system from Meridian with 10 speakers and a subwoofer.

Additional tech features include a nice array of driver’s aides, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot Monitoring, Traffic Sign Recognition, Park Assist, and Lane Keep Assist.

Seating capacity is set at a maximum of five passengers. In back, you’ll find upwards of 20.3 cubic feet of storage space with the rear bench up, which can be accessed more easily thanks to a Power Gesture Tailgate.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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Moving over to the Mercedes, things looks a bit more complicated in terms of look and layout.

While you still get the same luxury features you’d expect from the German brand, the control scheme includes far more hard buttons on the center console and door panels compared to the Range Rover. We do, however, like the rounded air vents. You’ll find standard leatherette upholstery covering the seats.

Also standard is the 4.5-inch color instrument display, while an 8.0-inch color display is added to the top of the dash. Look for included features like hands-free Bluetooth phone calling, Bluetooth audio support, dual USB audio ports, and standard Attention Assist, plus a standard rearview camera.

Keeping folks comfortable in the cabin is dual-zone climate control, plus there’s a 14-way power front seat with memory function, four-way power lumbar support, and for extra spice, some nifty ambient lighting to boot.

Five passengers total can fit inside the GLA. There’s also between 17.2 and 43.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the trunk depending on the position of the rear bench, with a split-folding rear seat and power liftgate on tap to make the most of it.

Interior Dimensions Mercedes-Benz GLA Class Land Rover Range Rover Evoque(note: 2018 MY)
Passenger Capacity 5 5
Front Headroom 38.4 inches 39 inches
Front Legroom 40.2 inches 43.1 inches
Front Shoulder Room 56 inches 56.5 inches
Rear Headroom 35.4 inches 38 inches
Rear Legroom 27.1 inches 34.8 inches
Rear Shoulder Room 53.2 inches 55.3 inches
Cargo Capacity 17.2 - 43.6 cu ft 20.3 - 51 cu ft

Drivetrain And Performance

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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Under the hood in the Range Rover Evoque, there lies a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas-powered engine, which connects to a standard nine-speed automatic transmission.

Both FWD and AWD are offered for the drivetrain, with peak output rated at 237 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes 6.9 seconds, while top speed clocks in at 135 mph. The Evoque also comes with standard start/stop engine tech, which helps it achieve 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.

Under the body, there are aluminum suspension bits, with Adaptive Dynamics and a brake-based Torque Vectoring system to help it stay shiny side up. And since Land Rover is known for its off-roading heritage, the Evoque also gets a host of features to help it tackle the rough stuff. For example, there’s something dubbed All-Terrain Progress Control, which was designed to help when traversing less-than-ideal surfaces like wet tarmac, gravel, sand, or snow. There’s also the Terrain Response feature for even more prowess, with selectable drive modes for Grass, Gravel, Mud, and Ruts. Finally, the Evoque comes with a towing capacity up to 3,968 pounds. Curb weight is between 3,865 pounds and 4,440 pounds.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Drivetrain
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Next up is the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class, which arrives to the party rocking a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine producing upwards of 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,250 rpm.

This four-cylinder mates to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and FWD drivetrain, with shift paddles mounted to the steering wheel for a little extra control over the cogs. Properly motivated, the GLA will go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, with the top speed rated at 127 mph. Thanks to an ECO start/stop system, the GLA can achieve upwards of 24 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and roughly 28 mpg combined.

As for the suspension bits, the GLA uses a four-wheel independent setup with MacPherson struts in front struts and a multilink in the rear. Overall curb weight is rated 3,296 pounds. Towing capacity is set at roughly 3,305 pounds.

Pricing And Options

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque starts at $41,400. Available options are listed below, divided into three categories - style, technology, and comfort.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Options Features
Style Black Design Package (dark application headlights, fog lights, and taillights, as well as black trim and unique 20-inch black wheels), wheel sizing up to 20 inches, two-tone roof
Technology Advanced InControl Touch Pro infotainment with 10.2-inch touchscreen, upgraded sound system with 660-watt Meridian, 12 speakers, Wi-Fi connection, InControl smartphone app, adaptive full LED headlights
Comfort Climate seats, massaging front seats
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The Mercedes-Benz GLA Class starts at $33,950. Available options are listed below, divided into three categories - style, technology, and comfort.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class Options Feature
Style Perforated front brakes with painted brake calipers, gloss black exterior trim, multicolor ambient interior lighting, 19-inch wheels, Matte Black Ash wood interior trim, Satin Light Brown Poplar wood trim, black headliner
Technology Compass, navigation, Harman Kardon Logic7 stereo, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, Wi-Fi connection, SiriusXM radio, advanced voice control, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Active Distance Assist, Active Parking Assist Surround View System, LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights
Comfort Extra leatherette interior trim, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, Panorama roof

Which Is The Better Choice?

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class
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On paper, the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque looks like it’s the better option of the two. Not only is it nicer to look at, nicer to sit in, and more like an SUV in terms of personality, it’s also more capable in the rough stuff. Put all that together, and the Evoque certainly has our attention.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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However, don’t count the Mercedes out quite yet. Despite the Land Rover’s impressive array of features and inimitable style, the Mercedes is significantly less expensive, and it gets the job done without too much fuss.

Which leaves us with the following conclusion - if you absolutely must have all the luxury you can in the subcompact crossover segment, or you expect to do a little off-roading here and there, or you just have money to burn, the Land Rover is the obvious choice. If you can get by without leather everything as standard, the Merc will take care of you no problem.

So then - which would you rather have?

Further Reading

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class
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Read our full review on the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Mercedes GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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