The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA is the smallest and least expensive crossover SUV within the Mercedes lineup. Launched six years in the past, for 2021 it has been redesigned, and, not surprisingly, it grows greater: 3.6 inches taller (together with 0.4 inches extra floor clearance), a couple of inch wider, 2.0 inches longer in wheelbase, however shorter general. It now appears extra like a correct crossover than a “hatchover.”
Its new size provides it way more rear leg room and a bit extra cargo area. The impartial suspension has been softened for a extra snug experience. It’s nonetheless properly geared up and flush with costly choices.
The bottom engine, a 2.0-liter turbo-4, will get pumped as much as 221 hp, a rise of 13 hp; it’s mated to a paddle-shifting dual-clutch 8-speed computerized transmission that’s principally easy however not flawless.
If that’s not sufficient energy, Mercedes has simply added two AMG variations making 302 hp and 382 hp. Watch this area for driving impressions.
The GLA hasn’t been crash-tested. Commonplace safety tools consists of computerized emergency braking, however the different good safety features are bundled in a $1,700 non-obligatory bundle.
The engine not solely makes extra energy than earlier than, however it’s additionally a bit extra environment friendly within the metropolis. With standard front-wheel drive, it’s EPA-rated at 25 mpg metropolis, 34 freeway, 28 mixed; with all-wheel drive, it will get simply 1 much less mpg.
The GLA250 begins at $37,280 with front-wheel drive, whereas all-wheel drive provides $2,000. Commonplace tools consists of artificial leather-based upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable entrance seats, an influence liftgate, keyless begin, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights and taillights, and 18-inch wheels with all-season run-flat tires.
Among the many many choices, there’s one which’s properly value it. The Driver Help bundle ($1,700) features a extra subtle emergency braking system, plus lively lane management, blind-spot displays with rear cross-traffic alert, computerized rear emergency braking, and adaptive cruise management that may restart from a cease and alter to modifications in posted velocity limits.
Stand-alone safety choices embrace a surround-view digital camera system and parking sensors.
The improve to 10.3-inch screens within the Premium Bundle for $1,750 is perhaps tempting to some. There are 20-inch AMG wheels for $750, ambient lighting in 64 blended colours for $310, reclining rear seats for $360, and wi-fi smartphone charging for $200.
Different choices embrace a panoramic sunroof, multi-contour energy seats, augmented actuality navigation that makes use of the entrance digital camera to point out the place to show subsequent, and an Exterior Lighting bundle ($900) that, upon startup, sequentially illuminates the car’s perimeter.
The warranty is a strong 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Regardless of shedding its hatchback appears, the GLA remains to be bubble-cute. However its wider stance makes it look extra crammed out. The non-obligatory 20-inch AMG wheels make it look buff.
The GLA’s face leads with an airline or no less than aviator design theme, with a tri-star emblem positioned inside wings spanning the mesh grille, between adaptive LED headlights.
The cabin features smooth and darkish artificial leather-based with trim that’s both aluminum or textured fake carbon fiber across the console and turbine-like vents, which preserve with the aviator design theme. The side-by-side 7.0-inch screens are canted towards the driving force.
The most recent MBUX infotainment system consists of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The local weather, audio, navigation and different features may be managed by way of the touchscreen, a touchpad within the console, with steering wheel controls, or voice activation utilizing the immediate, “Hey Mercedes.”
With the redesign, the entrance loses an inch of leg room, however it’s no huge deal. The seats are compact, however present sufficient assist and luxury.
That one-inch loss within the entrance goes to the rear seats, the place the 4.5-inch improve in leg room within the redesigned 2021 GLA strikes it from one of many worst within the class to one of many best. The large achieve comes partly from the truth that the seat slides 5 inches. The seats are a bit stiff, although, and the seat bottoms are brief. Two adults can experience in consolation again there.
Behind the rear seats, the cargo area grows by half a cubic foot to fifteen.4 cubic toes.
The succesful 2.0-liter turbo-4 within the 2021 GLA250 evokes confidence. The rise in horsepower to 221 hp, with 258 lb-ft of torque, allows it to hit 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, with all-wheel drive. It takes off with out a lot turbo lag, and the standard paddle shifters with the dual-clutch computerized 8-speed transmission are helpful.
In Sport mode, the transmission generally lurches between first and second gears, particularly when it’s in second and the throttle is utilized, because it downshifts to first. But it surely additionally generally lurches when downshifting to first for a cease.
An impartial rear suspension cushions the experience high quality, and it handles extra just like the crossover it’s, than the hatchback it isn’t. Within the metropolis it’s pretty nimble.
With all-wheel drive, the ability cut up between entrance and rear is 50:50, besides in Sport mode when it goes to 70:30. Commonplace hill descent management brakes the car at speeds of as much as 11 mph; it’s enormously helpful on an icy downhill, as the driving force can simply raise his or her toes off the pedals and steer, and be completely protected and assured the car gained’t begin sliding.
This hill descent management comes with a standard off-road bundle, though we’d think twice about taking it very far off-road. Even with a rise of 0.4 inches in floor clearance for 2021, there’s nonetheless solely a complete of 5.6 inches, which isn’t sufficient to go over rocks.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA corrects the few flaws from the first-generation mannequin. For $41,000 you will get an all-wheel-drive GLA with a really full complement of digital safety features, loads of easy energy from a turbo-4, a twin-clutch computerized 8-speed with paddle shifters, and 27 mixed mpg.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Automotive Connection
– 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA –
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