The new generation of Mercedes-Benz’s small crossover is here. It comes with lots of changes and brings even more luxury to this compact package. The new generation improves ride quality, offers more interior room and also comes with some new powertrain options. Of course, there is also a new look, based on the company’s latest design language. The same thing goes for the interior design, which takes a lot of inspiration from bigger siblings like GLC. The hi-quality interior is complemented by one of the most impressive infotainment systems in the business.
At this point, there are three powertrain options in the offer and a great thing to know is that the German manufacturer already released hi-performance AMG-badged models. The new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA rides on a new platform and offers great ride quality. However, the new model isn’t without drawbacks and we will discuss them in the following paragraphs as well.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA Redesign
This redesign brings loads of novelties and while the styling is the first thing you’ll notice, we will start with mechanics. Of course, it’s mostly about a new platform, called the MFA2. It is the same architecture that underprints models like CLA, GLB, and the A-Class. Therefore, you may presume that the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA brings a similar driving experience. Still, there are some notable differences between these models and we particularly like how this small crossover handles.
In terms of styling, the new model follows the brand’s latest design language. This particularly refers to the front end, where you can find the latest grille layout and headlights, along with other styling elements. The new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA looks way better than its predecessor and that’s not only because of a new face, as the rest of the body comes with big improvements as well. The new model is sleeker and comes with cleaner lines. Also, it gains a little bit of a coupe layout in the back.
Interestingly, the new model is shorter than its predecessor, but the wheelbase is 1.2-inches longer.
On the inside, you can easily notice the influence of bigger siblings. This particularly refers to the dashboard, which comes with familiar round vents, a digital instrument cluster and a large touchscreen. All of them resemble ones from bigger models. We particularly like the level of quality, whether its about materials or craftsmanship. Simply, it’s hard to find any bigger complaint in this aspect.
However, one of the things we don’t like about this crossover is the level of cabin noise, which seems too big for something with a premium badge. Another thing we don’t like about this crossover is the amount of cargo space, but that has always been GLA’s issues. If you need a more practical subcompact luxury crossover, the BMX X1 offers far more cargo space.
The list of standard equipment is pretty long, especially when it comes to comfort and convenience. Base models come standard with goodies like LED headlights, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with driver memory settings etc. Also, there are tech goodies like twin 7-inch displays, smartphone integration and many more. In higher trim levels you can also get things like 10.25-inch infotainment screens, navigation, augmented-reality display, traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, wireless charging, premium audio system, panoramic roof and many more.
Besides typical safety features, you can also find several advanced systems, such as Active Distance Assist, Active Steering Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and Active Blind Spot Assist. Of course, the list of safety features can be expanded in many ways, as there are several optional packages that offer all kinds of safety goodies.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA Engines
Currently, there is one in the offer for the North American market. Base models come equipped with a familiar 2.0-liter turbo-four, which now features a little bit more power than before. In numbers, that would be 221 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque. Interestingly, the new model is slower than the predecessor, despite the power increase. One of the reasons may be a new 8-speed DCT transmission.
There are also two AMG-badged models in the offer. The first one is called the AMG 35 and delivers around 302 horsepower. The second one, AMG 45, puts out 382 horsepower.