Mercedes likely won’t punt the base-spec infotainment anywhere, but that’s because twin seven-inch screens just look weedy, especially compared to the optional dual-10.25-inch setup that fills up a good two-thirds of the dash. The larger MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) screens look great, but we like them much more when they’re integrated into the dash, or at least covered by a hood like in some other Mercedes vehicles. This one looks like you could grab it and yank it off. But as expected, the colors and functionality were fine.
Like the rest of the current crop, the GLA 250’s optional screens can be controlled through the touchpad, on the steering wheel touch controllers, through the touchscreen or by chanting “Hey, Mercedes.” The action on the touchpad isn’t spectacular, it clicks down as you select an icon, but after a few days we had the basic and most important features down. We used Bluetooth to connect our phone, but the GLA also has native Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, albeit wired-only. Other functionality includes four USB-C ports, and HD Radio, but navigation, SiriusXM, and in-car Wi-Fi are optional, as is a 12-speaker, 590-watt Burmester sound system.
The gauge cluster screen has its own set of customizations, from the overall look to the individual nodes. You get three behind the wheel, normally for speed, tachometer and something in the middle. But you can switch to an all-wheel drive power gauge, an off-road lean gauge, or a piece of the navigation screen. If you opt for the available head-up display, this too has multiple customization zones. It seems a little daunting and complex at first, but most owners would likely set it all up once into a configuration they like and never touch it again, and we like how much customization there is.