The base model packs a respectable 221 hp and can be had with or without AWD.
After six years and more than one million units sold, the Mercedes GLA is ready to enter its second generation with some major changes over its highly successful predecessor. At a first glance, the evolutionary styling might tempt you to believe this is more of a facelift rather than a new generation but have a look inside the cabin and you’ll begin to understand the compact crossover has gone through some major changes.
For starters, the GLA’s physical dimensions have been significantly altered as the new model is 0.6 inches shorter (at 173.6 inches), yet the wheelbase has been elongated by 1.1 inches (at 107.4 inches). Perhaps more obvious is the change made to the vehicle’s height considering the new one stands 63.4 inches tall or 4.1 inches higher than before.
Gallery: 2021 Mercedes GLA
However, the GLA35 AMG is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine that delivers 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The lifestyle-oriented dynamic performance of the AMG version boosts 0-60 mph time to 5.1 seconds. Also, an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the 4 wheels.
“The new GLA embodies the perfect synergy between pure beauty and robust off-road elements,” according to Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group. “With it, we are carrying the dynamic SUV forward into the future of modern luxury.”
“With the new GLA35 we are rounding off our attractive portfolio of compact entry-level models to the world of Mercedes-AMG,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
It goes without saying the revised proportions have had an impact inside the revamped cabin where rear passengers get to enjoy extra room for their elbows, shoulders, and legs, but the headroom has taken a minor hit. Those sitting in the back can adjust the 40:20:40-split-folding seats by 5.5 inches and the backrest can also be modified to a steeper rake to make room for more voluminous cargo. As for the driver and front passenger, they have more elbow, shoulder, and headroom, but legroom has actually decreased a bit.
The increase in height is lending the GLA that sort of appearance you’d want from a proper crossover by moving away from the jacked-up hatchback vibe the old one was sending out. The beefier presence is also accentuated by the extended tracks at both the front and rear, which have increased by 1.8 inches in both areas.
Gallery: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35
In regards to the oily bits, the U.S.-spec GLA lineup starts off with the front-wheel-drive 250 model equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine. It produces 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque sent to the front axle via an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. This setup enables the base GLA reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in 8.6 seconds and top out at 130 mph (209 km/h). At an additional cost, the engine can be hooked up to an all-wheel-drive system for the GLA 250 4Matic model.
Should you want something with a bit more spice, you’ll have to step up to the AMG GLA 35 model with its 302 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) from a 2.0-liter turbo four-pot. It comes exclusively with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox with 4Matic and does the sprint in five seconds en route to an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h).
Some features of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA
– 7.0 or 10.25-inch displays screen.
– Full-color head-up display.
– Navigation with augmented reality, learning software and voice control
– Round high-quality turbine ventilation outlets
– Up to 20 inches wheels
– MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience).
– Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
– Car wash function that folds the side mirrors and closes the windows and the sunroof when it senses the car is in a car wash.
– 4-link rear axle.
– AWD models come with an Off-Road Engineering package as standard
– Driver assistance systems: Active Distance Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist etc.
The GLA is produced in Rastatt (Germany), Hambach (France) as well as Beijing (China). The price is yet to be announced.
The 2021 GLA which will start to hit the road in mid 2020 will replace an already successful model. More than one million units of the first GLA were built.