2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 review: A smarter starter

The AMG Line and Night packages make the GLA glance rather signify.

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Just as Mercedes’ new CLA-Class is a substantial advancement more than its predecessor, so as well is this GLA-Class SUV. Starting off at $37,280 including $one,050 for place, the GLA250 is an excellent entry level into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and last but not least has the model and tech to definitely stand out in the subcompact SUV course.


  • Superb powertrain
  • Plenty of driver-support tech
  • Major-notch MBUX infotainment

Never Like

  • More compact cargo area than competition
  • Gets very high priced with options

Elegant and highly effective

In spite of currently being about the identical sizing, visually, the new GLA definitely works. It is really bought a one.one-inch for a longer period wheelbase but is shorter in overall duration than right before, while it’s approximately four inches taller and just a smidge broader, as well. The sculpted hood provides the GLA250 an aura of power and I like the LED running mild signature. My tester has the $2,240 AMG Line visual appeal offer and the $four hundred Night Offer, supplying the SUV a unique grille, gloss-black exterior trim and marginally much more aggressive styling. Individuals options ordinarily get you 19-inch wheels, but this GLA250 requires things up a notch with larger 20s, a $one,050 solution.

The GLA250’s turbocharged 2.-liter I4 pushes out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and even though front-wheel generate is typical, all-wheel generate is optional. These figures are aggressive inside of the course — the GLA250 is as highly effective as an Audi Q3 or BMW X1, and it tops the Volvo XC40’s base T4 powertrain.

Mercedes’ eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is a joy, primarily in the SUV’s Sport manner, in which it holds gears for a longer period to wring out all the engine’s electric power. There are paddle shifters, but the transmission works good on its possess. The steering is a minor mild for my tastes, even in Sport, but it’s exact and speedy to react.

In Consolation manner, the GLA delivers a properly composed journey. My only criticism is that the 2.-liter I4 appears form of rough, while the clean, simple shipping and delivery of electric power makes up for that. The optional Burmester sound method conveniently drowns out the motor, as well.

All-wheel-generate GLAs get an Off-Highway manner, not that this issue definitely begs to be taken off the crushed path, primarily with twenty-inch wheels. The Off-Highway location alters the parameters for the motor, all-wheel-generate method and anti-lock brakes, allowing the GLA to greater manage soiled terrain. The GLA also comes with hill-descent regulate, which is form of like a downhill cruise regulate, preserving the GLA any where involving one and eleven mph on steep grades.

The GLA’s gas economic climate is rather respectable, with the EPA estimating twenty five miles for every gallon metropolis, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg mixed for front-wheel-generate designs. Introducing AWD lowers individuals figures to 24, 33 and 27, respectively.

A substantial volume of tech

Mercedes-Benz has definitely upped its tech recreation more than the earlier few many years and the GLA absolutely will not skimp on the superior stuff. A pair of seven-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment are typical, but my tester raises individuals to 10.2-inch displays. The upgraded screens are section of the $one,750 Premium Offer and fully well worth it.

MBUX is the most effective.

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MBUX computer software is the star here, and it can be managed by thumbpads on the steering wheel, a touchpad on the center console or merely by touching the screen. You can also wake up the method by saying, “Hey, Mercedes,” at which level the voice command allows you to do just about anything at all. I can just say, “I’m chilly,” and MBUX responds, “I’m escalating the temperature to seventy four levels.” Thanks, girl!

The $one,295 Multimedia Offer provides augmented actuality navigation overlays that can exhibit info like addresses and directional arrows on to an picture captured by the forward-facing digicam. I’ve made use of this tech right before and glance forward to it just about every time — it’s a unusual instance in which I you should not just plug in my cellular phone and rely on Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto, if which is your bag).

The tech hits continue to keep on coming with a range of driver-support programs. The only bummer is the superior stuff is section of a $one,700 Driver Assistance Offer, while it’s well well worth the price tag. The adaptive cruise regulate delivers the car to a clean halt and the car utilizes GPS to sluggish down for curves in the highway, toll booths and the like. The steering aid does a superior occupation at preserving the GLA centered in its lane along the highway, and lane-departure warning is there in situation you commence to veer off to the side.

The cabin is just not really as flashy as the A- or CLA-Class.

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But even though the tech roster is loaded, the relaxation of the GLA feels a minor downmarket. The components are all of respectable top quality, head you, but the design and style is just form of bland, with not a whole lot of notice to depth. Fortunately the seats are comfy and there’s plenty of storage. I love the thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Mercedes’ dual-coloration ambient lighting hardly ever ceases to impress.

The GLA’s larger dimensions suggests there’s a whole lot much more place within, even for 2nd-row passengers. There are four.five much more inches of rear legroom in comparison to the outgoing design, and there’s much more headroom for front seat passengers as well. Even with the panoramic sunroof my five-foot, 9-inch body has a great deal of place. My pandemic-tall hair will not even come close to touching the headliner.

Where the GLA suffers marginally is with cargo place, which is smaller sized than other automobiles in the course. You will find only fifteen.four cubic feet of place at the rear of the 2nd row, even though a BMW X1 has just more than 27 cubes and the Audi Q3 receives approximately 24. Fold individuals seats down and the GLA receives a little bit much more aggressive with fifty.five cubic feet. Once more, which is significantly less than the X1, but the seats-down spec surpasses that of the Q3.

It absolutely looks a whole lot greater than the previous GLA.

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Raising the entry-degree bar

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 may well commence at $37,280, but things can get rather mad if you aren’t watchful with the options. All-wheel generate prices $2,000 and my tester has a mad volume of bells and whistles, bringing the closing price tag to $55,585 including place. That’s a whole lot of money for this entry-degree GLA, so you’d be good to go simple with the incorporate-ons.

Even so, the bigger price tag definitely feels well worth it contemplating how significantly nicer the GLA is than right before. The driver-support tech is definitely really superior, the powertrain is peppy and the cabin is comfy. Individuals who want a minor much more oomph might want to hold out till the conclude of the 12 months for the AMG variations, but as it stands, the GLA250 is an excellent starter SUV for people wanting to get some luxurious in their life.