Mercedes-Benz GLA wins the Compact SUV Autovista Group Residual Value Award 2023

22 June 2023


The Mercedes-Benz GLA has won the Autovista Group Residual Value Award in the Compact SUV category. The vehicle came out on top in the highly-competitive C-SUV segment, which has seen rapid growth in recent years.

The residual value (RV) awards celebrate automotive value retention champions. Relying on vast amounts of Autovista Group data from up to 17 different markets, the awards are particularly important for manufacturers, fleet operators and leasing firms.

A mixed-market segment

A total of 31 models made it into the top five ranking across all markets investigated, with a mixture of high-end premium brands that market their cars at a budget price but still offer plenty to drivers.

Dr Christof Engelskirchen, chief economist at Autovista Group, explained why there may be a diverse range of carmakers in this group. ‘People appear not only to value elegance and ‘premiumness’ but are looking for practicality and cost-performance,’ he said.

As the automotive industry adapts to new technologies, several new brands are starting to compete with established carmakers in the European market. The compact SUV segment has a number of brands looking to break into the mass market, such as BYD with its Atto 3 and Genesis with its GV60.

However, amongst the European top five, it was the known brands that featured prominently. Mercedes Benz, Land Rover, Audi, BMW, and Dacia competed most successfully, for various reasons.

A classic SUV

Project lead, Christian Schneider, recently discussed how Autovista Group experts identified the RV champions across Europe. Used-car market data taken between February and April 2023 was examined together with forecast trade RVs of 36-month-old cars at 60,000km.

The awards excluded those models with exceptionally high or low horsepower, as well as those with price points deemed too expensive or below entry-level standards. This meant the focus remained on the mainstream side of the industry, allowing Autovista Group analysts to find the version of each vehicle with the highest RV, expressed as a percentage of retained list price (%RV).

Models were then indexed by dividing their %RV by the average %RV in that category, across each available market. Winners were determined based on a category’s average indexed %RV. This was weighted against each country’s new-car sale volumes, allowing extraordinary results from high-volume markets to be represented in the final figures.

With the category’s average indexed %RV represented as 100%, the Mercedes-Benz GLA performed well in the UK, Germany, France, and Sweden, reaching 128%, 119% and 118% and 116% respectively.

‘The GLA from Mercedes-Benz is the standout model amongst the contenders in Europe and therefore a worthy Autovista Group Residual Value Award winner in the Compact SUV category,’ added Engelskirchen. ‘The vehicle performed well across all markets, but it features particularly strong value retention in Germany, France, and the UK.’

The Mercedes-Benz GLA has evolved to be a classic SUV, higher and shorter than its predecessor. The car has a full portfolio of engines to choose from, including all-wheel drive. The GLA 250 e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version can fast-charge its 15.6kWh-battery, this is an optional feature in some markets.

‘Mercedes-Benz states an electric range of up to 70km is possible in its PHEV,’ concluded Engelskirchen. ‘This may be overly ambitious for real-life driving, but commuting with it on a single charge is a solid use case.’

Strong design inside and out

A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz told Autovista24 that the GLA is an ideal companion for challenges on any terrain. ‘The compact SUV is recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz even at first glance. In addition to the prestige typical of the brand, the exterior design promises, more than ever, a lifestyle full of flexibility and spirit of adventure,’ the spokesperson said.

The German carmaker has worked hard on the new GLA, making it more than just a taller version of its A-Class range. Various design cues give it a sporty look, including a new radiator grille with vertical louvres and a horizontal fin on the roof. The bonnet also features discreet ‘power domes’ which not only give an impression of strength, but also movement, even when the vehicle is stationary.

A redesigned front bumper features a visual underride protection, highlighting this strength as well as pointing to off-road potential. Meanwhile, the facelift includes upgraded, body-coloured wheel arches, allowing the external design to flow with no one point standing out for negative reasons.

Inside, two 10.25-inch screens extend from the centre of the dashboard to behind the steering wheel, perched above three central air vents and a series of piano buttons. Mercedes-Benz has also added 10 colour worlds of ambient lighting to enable greater personalisation.

The MBUX operating system provides information on a range of subjects, navigation tasks and vehicle operations via voice command, while it is also able to connect a smartphone to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay wirelessly, a feature that allows users to keep their phones in their pockets, rather than leave them on the dashboard with a wire trailing across the seating area. The GLA also features a zero-layer concept, which makes navigating through the system more convenient and intuitive.

Autovista24 will reveal four more RV champions up until 29 June, with categories including Compact and Large Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Large SUVs. Each exclusive article will contain unique industry insights and data-driven details. To get the latest updates on the Autovista Group Residual Value Awards 2023, subscribe to the Autovista24 daily email and follow the Autovista24 page on LinkedIn.