2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 review: A smarter starter

The AMG Line and Night offers make the GLA search very suggest.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Just as Mercedes’ new CLA-Course is a large enhancement around its predecessor, so as well is this GLA-Course SUV. Starting up at $37,280 together with $1,050 for spot, the GLA250 is an great entry place into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and finally has the model and tech to actually stand out in the subcompact SUV class.


  • Exceptional powertrain
  • A lot of driver-help tech
  • Leading-notch MBUX infotainment

Don’t Like

  • Smaller cargo region than opponents
  • Will get really highly-priced with selections

Fashionable and strong

Irrespective of currently being around the identical dimension, visually, the new GLA actually works. It really is bought a 1.1-inch more time wheelbase but is shorter in overall length than prior to, while it can be virtually four inches taller and just a smidge broader, as well. The sculpted hood offers the GLA250 an aura of power and I like the LED functioning gentle signature. My tester has the $2,240 AMG Line appearance package and the $400 Night Offer, providing the SUV a diverse grille, gloss-black exterior trim and a little bit more aggressive styling. People selections normally get you 19-inch wheels, but this GLA250 requires issues up a notch with more substantial 20s, a $1,050 selection.

The GLA250’s turbocharged 2.-liter I4 pushes out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-toes of torque, and when front-wheel travel is normal, all-wheel travel is optional. These figures are competitive within just the class — the GLA250 is as strong as an Audi Q3 or BMW X1, and it tops the Volvo XC40’s foundation T4 powertrain.

Mercedes’ 8-velocity dual-clutch transmission is a joy, specially in the SUV’s Activity manner, where it holds gears more time to wring out all the engine’s electricity. There are paddle shifters, but the transmission works fantastic on its have. The steering is a very little gentle for my preferences, even in Activity, but it can be accurate and quick to respond.

In Comfort manner, the GLA provides a properly composed journey. My only criticism is that the 2.-liter I4 appears type of tough, while the sleek, easy supply of electricity will make up for that. The optional Burmester sound process quickly drowns out the motor, as well.

All-wheel-travel GLAs get an Off-Highway manner, not that this thing actually begs to be taken off the overwhelmed path, specially with 20-inch wheels. The Off-Highway setting alters the parameters for the motor, all-wheel-travel process and anti-lock brakes, allowing for the GLA to far better manage dirty terrain. The GLA also comes with hill-descent regulate, which is type of like a downhill cruise regulate, keeping the GLA anywhere involving 1 and eleven mph on steep grades.

The GLA’s fuel financial state is very decent, with the EPA estimating 25 miles for each gallon metropolis, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for front-wheel-travel designs. Incorporating AWD decreases all those figures to 24, 33 and 27, respectively.

A large sum of tech

Mercedes-Benz has actually upped its tech game around the previous several decades and the GLA absolutely isn’t going to skimp on the good things. A pair of seven-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment are normal, but my tester improves all those to 10.2-inch shows. The upgraded screens are component of the $1,750 High quality Offer and entirely well worth it.

MBUX is the best.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

MBUX program is the star below, and it can be controlled by thumbpads on the steering wheel, a touchpad on the center console or simply by touching the screen. You can also wake up the process by declaring, “Hey, Mercedes,” at which place the voice command will allow you to do just about nearly anything. I can just say, “I am chilly,” and MBUX responds, “I am increasing the temperature to seventy four levels.” Thanks, woman!

The $1,295 Multimedia Offer provides augmented actuality navigation overlays that can show information like addresses and directional arrows on to an image captured by the ahead-experiencing digital camera. I have employed this tech prior to and search ahead to it each time — it can be a rare instance where I do not just plug in my telephone and count on Apple CarPlay (or Android Car, if which is your bag).

The tech hits hold on coming with a number of driver-help devices. The only bummer is the good things is component of a $1,seven-hundred Driver Assistance Offer, while it can be nicely well worth the selling price. The adaptive cruise regulate provides the auto to a sleek end and the auto takes advantage of GPS to sluggish down for curves in the highway, toll booths and the like. The steering aid does a good occupation at keeping the GLA centered in its lane together the highway, and lane-departure warning is there in circumstance you start out to veer off to the aspect.

The cabin isn’t really very as flashy as the A- or CLA-Course.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

But when the tech roster is abundant, the rest of the GLA feels a very little downmarket. The materials are all of decent high quality, thoughts you, but the design and style is just type of bland, with not a large amount of awareness to depth. Fortunately the seats are comfortable and there’s loads of storage. I appreciate the thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Mercedes’ dual-coloration ambient lighting never ceases to impress.

The GLA’s more substantial dimensions usually means there’s a large amount more house inside of, even for next-row passengers. There are four.5 more inches of rear legroom compared to the outgoing product, and there’s more headroom for front seat passengers as nicely. Even with the panoramic sunroof my 5-foot, nine-inch body has loads of house. My pandemic-tall hair isn’t going to even come close to touching the headliner.

Wherever the GLA suffers a little bit is with cargo house, which is more compact than other cars in the class. There is certainly only 15.four cubic toes of house at the rear of the next row, when a BMW X1 has just around 27 cubes and the Audi Q3 gets virtually 24. Fold all those seats down and the GLA gets a little bit more competitive with fifty.5 cubic toes. All over again, which is much less than the X1, but the seats-down spec surpasses that of the Q3.

It absolutely appears a large amount far better than the previous GLA.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Increasing the entry-level bar

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 could start out at $37,280, but issues can get very insane if you are not watchful with the selections. All-wheel travel prices $2,000 and my tester has a insane sum of bells and whistles, bringing the last selling price to $fifty five,585 together with spot. That is a large amount of money for this entry-level GLA, so you’d be wise to go easy with the incorporate-ons.

Even so, the greater selling price actually feels well worth it considering how considerably nicer the GLA is than prior to. The driver-help tech is actually very good, the powertrain is peppy and the cabin is comfy. People who want a very little more oomph could want to wait until eventually the conclusion of the year for the AMG versions, but as it stands, the GLA250 is an great starter SUV for individuals searching to get some luxurious in their life.

Maria J. Danford

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