2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 review: A smarter starter

The AMG Line and Evening deals make the GLA glimpse fairly necessarily mean.

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Just as Mercedes’ new CLA-Course is a enormous advancement around its predecessor, so way too is this GLA-Course SUV. Starting up at $37,280 together with $1,050 for vacation spot, the GLA250 is an excellent entry place into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and lastly has the type and tech to really stand out in the subcompact SUV class.


  • Superb powertrain
  • Lots of driver-guidance tech
  • Leading-notch MBUX infotainment

Never Like

  • More compact cargo area than competitors
  • Gets pretty highly-priced with solutions

Stylish and effective

Despite staying approximately the exact dimension, visually, the new GLA really functions. It can be received a 1.1-inch more time wheelbase but is shorter in general length than before, though it’s nearly four inches taller and just a smidge wider, way too. The sculpted hood gives the GLA250 an aura of power and I like the LED running mild signature. My tester has the $two,240 AMG Line visual appearance bundle and the $400 Evening Deal, supplying the SUV a unique grille, gloss-black exterior trim and somewhat extra aggressive styling. Those solutions usually get you 19-inch wheels, but this GLA250 can take factors up a notch with larger sized 20s, a $1,050 choice.

The GLA250’s turbocharged two.-liter I4 pushes out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-ft of torque, and though front-wheel push is regular, all-wheel push is optional. These figures are aggressive in the class — the GLA250 is as 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, especially in the SUV’s Activity method, where it retains gears more time to wring out all the engine’s electricity. There are paddle shifters, but the transmission functions wonderful on its own. The steering is a minor mild for my tastes, even in Activity, but it’s correct and fast to respond.

In Ease and comfort method, the GLA delivers a properly composed trip. My only grievance is that the two.-liter I4 seems form of rough, though the easy, simple shipping of electricity tends to make up for that. The optional Burmester seem system easily drowns out the engine, way too.

All-wheel-push GLAs get an Off-Highway method, not that this factor really begs to be taken off the overwhelmed path, especially with 20-inch wheels. The Off-Highway placing alters the parameters for the engine, all-wheel-push system and anti-lock brakes, making it possible for the GLA to much better handle soiled terrain. The GLA also arrives with hill-descent manage, which is sort of like a downhill cruise manage, preserving the GLA wherever among 1 and 11 mph on steep grades.

The GLA’s fuel economic climate is fairly decent, with the EPA estimating 25 miles for each gallon town, 34 mpg freeway and 28 mpg combined for front-wheel-push styles. Adding AWD minimizes those people figures to 24, 33 and 27, respectively.

A enormous amount of tech

Mercedes-Benz has really upped its tech game around the past couple years and the GLA surely doesn’t skimp on the very good things. A pair of seven-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment are regular, but my tester raises those people to 10.two-inch shows. The upgraded screens are part of the $1,750 Quality Deal and entirely well worth it.

MBUX is the very best.

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MBUX software package is the star in this article, and it can be controlled by thumbpads on the steering wheel, a touchpad on the middle console or just by touching the display screen. You can also wake up the system by declaring, “Hey, Mercedes,” at which place the voice command allows you to do just about nearly anything. I can just say, “I’m chilly,” and MBUX responds, “I’m growing the temperature to seventy four degrees.” Many thanks, lady!

The $1,295 Multimedia Deal adds augmented truth navigation overlays that can show details like addresses and directional arrows on to an graphic captured by the ahead-experiencing digicam. I have used this tech before and glimpse ahead to it just about every time — it’s a uncommon occasion where I never just plug in my cellular phone and count on Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto, if which is your bag).

The tech hits preserve on coming with a selection of driver-guidance techniques. The only bummer is the very good things is part of a $1,seven-hundred Driver Support Deal, though it’s perfectly well worth the selling price. The adaptive cruise manage delivers the auto to a easy cease and the auto makes use of GPS to sluggish down for curves in the freeway, toll booths and the like. The steering support does a very good position at preserving the GLA centered in its lane along the freeway, and lane-departure warning is there in scenario you start to veer off to the aspect.

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

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But though the tech roster is abundant, the rest of the GLA feels a minor downmarket. The products are all of decent high-quality, head you, but the layout is just form of bland, with not a lot of notice to detail. Thankfully the seats are comfy and there’s lots of storage. I appreciate the thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Mercedes’ dual-coloration ambient lighting never ceases to impress.

The GLA’s larger sized dimensions suggests there’s a lot extra place inside, even for next-row passengers. There are four.five extra inches of rear legroom in contrast to the outgoing design, and there’s extra headroom for front seat passengers as perfectly. Even with the panoramic sunroof my five-foot, nine-inch frame has a great deal of place. My pandemic-tall hair doesn’t even arrive near to touching the headliner.

Wherever the GLA suffers somewhat is with cargo place, which is scaled-down than other automobiles in the class. There’s only fifteen.four cubic ft of place driving the next row, though a BMW X1 has just around 27 cubes and the Audi Q3 receives nearly 24. Fold those people seats down and the GLA receives a bit extra aggressive with fifty.five cubic ft. Once more, which is significantly less than the X1, but the seats-down spec surpasses that of the Q3.

It surely appears to be a lot much better than the previous GLA.

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Boosting the entry-stage bar

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 may well start at $37,280, but factors can get fairly mad if you aren’t very careful with the solutions. All-wheel push fees $two,000 and my tester has a mad amount of bells and whistles, bringing the last selling price to $55,585 together with vacation spot. That is a lot of funds for this entry-stage GLA, so you’d be intelligent to go simple with the include-ons.

Even so, the bigger selling price really feels well worth it considering how considerably nicer the GLA is than before. The driver-guidance tech is really very very good, the powertrain is peppy and the cabin is cozy. Those who want a minor extra oomph could possibly want to wait around until finally the conclusion of the 12 months for the AMG versions, but as it stands, the GLA250 is an excellent starter SUV for people on the lookout to get some luxury in their lives.