2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA
It’s a legitimate debate whether most small crossovers are true utilities or just all-wheel-drive hatchbacks with additional ground clearance. But this redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA clearly makes its case where it falls in that spectrum.
"Comparing this new GLA to the previous one, right away it just feels more substantial. The old one was more of a raised hatchback and it felt that way this one definitely feels like a small SUV. So there’s that solid safe feel but at the same time you get into the throttle and you have that eager turbo 4 with a lot of torque and then you start taking some back roads and then it feels light again. So you really have a best of both worlds scenario here where it feels like an SUV but drives more like a car, which is exactly what Mercedes and really everyone else in this segment tries to do.”
It has certainly grown in size as well; 4-inches taller, half an inch wider; yet won’t take up any more parking space, as it’s actually half an inch shorter in overall length.
Interior changes are even more thorough and much appreciated; not only is there an increase in space, but just about everything looks like a slightly scaled down version of what you’ll find in larger Benz utilities. That includes MBUX connectivity, and the twin screen dash; 7.0-inch screens are standard, but can be upgraded to 10.5-inches.
This GLA 250 will be the first to launch, coming with a 221-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo I4, and an 8-speed DCT transmission. You can choose to stick with front-wheel-drive, or add 4MATIC all-wheel-drive for $2,000. More powerful options, including an AMG version will arrive shortly thereafter. Base pricing is around $36,000.
We’ll have more on the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA on an upcoming episode of MotorWeek.