Auto123 critiques the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC.
Issues change in a short time within the automotive universe, particularly recently. A mere decade in the past, the luxurious pocket crossover class was only a gleam in automakers’ eyes. Now, as we drag ourselves over the end line of 2020, this area of interest is among the hottest within the business. Launched for the 2015 mannequin 12 months, the Mercedes-Benz GLA joined the CLA four-door coupe within the Silver Star model’s effort at democratization. On the time, the Stuttgart-based large needed to broaden its viewers by providing extra accessible automobiles, and the GLA has largely succeeded in its mandate.
In reality, the German model has doubled its stakes in current months with the introduction of a brand new CLA, but in addition an A-Class out there in two sizes, in addition to the GLB, mainly a extra “macho” GLA. The GLA is the final amongst this group of little fellas to obtain an replace, simply in time for the brand new 12 months.
Given the chance to drive this crossover that is attempting (ultimately) to interrupt away from its A-Class-on-stilts picture, I discovered the next from my few days of testing the 2021 GLA.
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Crossover appears to be like
This isn’t a criticism, however the outgoing era of GLA did appear to be a high-heeled Class A, in a couple of methods. The brand new version strikes away from this “automobile” picture and positions itself extra like an precise utility car, this regardless of its dimensions being nearly similar to the outgoing mannequin that has been in service for 5 years. In reality, solely the size has shrunk, and by only a few millimetres; for the remaining the brand new GLA is taller, wider and has a extra beneficiant wheelbase, a clue that there is extra space inside.
From the primary look it’s clear the model’s designers didn’t go in for fashioning a dramatic silhouette for the brand new GLA, which stays fairly sober, particularly in its basic black gown, 18-inch wheels (the smallest out there) and beige inside. The bumper is a “copy-paste” of the model’s different current merchandise, as is the design of the taillights within the rear.
Apart from the aspect home windows that finish in a spike on the rear, the GLA is more likely to mix fantastically into the city jungle. Alternatively, I doubt will probably be a distinct story with the AMG variants that may finally be added to the lineup.
No surprises inside
The cabin offers you what you count on when you’re accustomed to the model’s current fashions: a dashboard with a extremely huge display that takes up two-thirds of the front-row passengers’ visual view. It is really two screens collectively, each of that are customizable based on customers’ preferences.
As with the model’s different fashions, entry to this infotainment system comes through the touchpad positioned on the backside of the centre of the console between the entrance passengers. Additionally, Mercedes favours a slim stick mounted on the steering column to pick out the features (P,R,N,D) of the automated transmission. This implies there’s loads of house between the entrance passengers.
Nevertheless, I am not able to say that navigating by the quite a few on-screen menus is strictly simple or easy. In reality, I discovered myself utilizing the touchscreen as a substitute. It simply appeared extra direct.
Past using all this know-how, the GLA is a fun-to-pilot car with an outstanding multifunction steering wheel and a surprisingly good visual view for a utility car of this measurement. Nevertheless, I discovered the seats to be a bit exhausting, a characteristic that the GLA shares with different German merchandise.
The excellent news for this second-generation mannequin is that legroom for passengers has elevated a couple of centimetres – and it reveals. As for the trunk, it additionally positive aspects a couple of litres of cargo house, although I doubt anybody will discover the distinction… when the again seats are in place.
A 2.0: turbo engine: par for the course
Except for a couple of marginal fashions, which make do with their small-displacement engines – the phase commonplace is to name on a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. This was the case with the earlier GLA and it’s nonetheless the case with this revised mannequin. The little engine has gained a couple of horsepower for this go-around, with energy now set at 221 hp and optimum torque at 258 lb-ft. Check out the technical specs of the mannequin’s rivals and you may see that even the statistics associated to the mechanics are nearly similar.
As with the earlier era (and its platform cousins), the brand new GLA additionally makes use of a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the 8-speed unit being reserved for the opposite two AMG variants.
Behind the wheel
As is more and more the case nowadays, the GLA is entitled to its personal digital administration system, the car providing three drive modes through the small lever on the left aspect of the touchpad. With a easy contact of the touchpad, the pocket crossover can go from being a smooth-riding automobile to one thing a bit of spicier. Although it’s not even in spitting distance of the the AMG variants, the GLA in Sport mode nonetheless has the benefit of stretching the size of the gears and tightening the steering, even when there’s nonetheless a blur within the center. Conversely, Eco mode appears to stifle the powertrain a bit, with the only function of saving a couple of cents on the month-to-month gasoline invoice.
For actual adrenaline rushes, you will have to attend for the sporty variations, as a result of the first mission of this GLA 250 is to offer its occupants a soothing driving expertise in the beginning, which it does brilliantly by isolating them from street noise and even absorbing street irregularities somewhat properly. If you happen to’re fascinated about 20-inch wheels, nonetheless, take the time to check drive it on a worn-out street – you by no means know!
The final phrase
There is no doubt in my thoughts that Mercedes-Benz’s lineup will shrink over the subsequent few seasons; the German luxurious producer merely has too many fashions. Nevertheless, the way forward for the GLA appears assured, in reality the Stuttgart-based model is even getting ready a purely electrical version of the mannequin. The format is ideal for town, and it manages to keep away from sacrificing an excessive amount of of the utility aspect of the equation, whereas efficiency is greater than sufficient for a car that makes no declare to being sporty at its core.
The asking worth is definitely not accessible to everybody, with the bottom worth set at $42,400 (worth was $48,150 as examined), nevertheless it’s the value to pay to enter the luxurious and utility phase nowadays.
Graphics high quality (infotainment)
We like much less
Worth of choices
Trunk quantity not significantly better than earlier than
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