Following six years on the roads and more than 1 million examples sold, the subcompact Mercedes GLA enters the second generation for the 2021 model year. With the recently all-new GLB focused on the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, the much-improved 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA is the brand’s alternative to the BMW X2, Lexus UX, Volvo XC40 and Cadillac XT4.
The second-generation Mercedes GLA comes on the upgraded platform and with the revised dimensions. The new version is more handsome and benefits from more space and comfort inside the cabin. Mercedes lifted also the in-cab refinement adding also the modern tech features like in the newest A-Class.
At the performance level, the redesigned GLA promises better off-road capability. The powertrain range will rely on the turbocharged inline-4 engine available in different favors in the US including the potent AMG GLA 35 version while on the OLD Continent buyers will have four petrol and diesel options at launch.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Design
The second-generation 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA rides on the upgraded MFA2 platform which is a front-wheel-drive-based architecture used also by the A-Class, CLA and GLB models.
The redesigned GLA measures 173.6 inches in length which makes it 0.6 inches shorter than the version before but the wheelbase is stretched by 1.1 inches. More significantly, the new GLA is 4.1 inches taller than the previous version.
From the visual perspective, the all-new GLA has a nicer Sheetmetal sculpting and more SUV-like shape overall. The wheelbase is longer but both front and rear overhangs are shorter and mixed with about 1-inch wider body, the model looks beefier than before.
Adding also to its appearance are also the brand’s new grille version and modernized headlights with nice signature lighting. The redesigned GLA comes also with the reshaped bumpers and new taillights. The model gets 18-inch wheels from the start and switches to the 19- and 20-inch units in the higher-price versions
The AMG-treated version adds more sports cues including AMG-specific grille, racy bumpers, wheels, brakes and exhaust setup.
The cabin of the next 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA is also much improved compared to the version it replaces.
The new GLA comes with increased passenger comfort and cargo capacity. The front seats have raised position while the rear seats are 5.5-inches adjustable.
The second-generation GLA has the A-Class inspired dash design with the driver-focused arrangement and MBUX setup installed from the base version. The base GLA250 uses a pair of 7-inch digital displays for the instrument cluster and center stack. The larger 10.5-inch screens are optional while the AMG GLA version gets larger screens by default.
The redesigned GLA comes also equipped with the newest driver aids such as active steering assist, active distance assist, active blind spot assist and evasive steering assist.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Performance
The redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA benefits from the upgraded chassis and suspension setup while returns with the turbocharged inline-4 engine.
The base GLA250 gets 221 hp and torque of 258 lb-ft from the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 petrol engine which sends the power to the front wheels via the 8-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes claims that this version needs 8.6 seconds to hit 60 mph. Buyers can pay more for to get an all-wheel-drive setup. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system comes with the electromechanical clutch and Off-road engineering package. The system sends 20 percent of power to the rear wheels in normal conditions. The Sport mode distributes 30 percent of the output toward rear while in the off-road mode 60 percent of the power goes to the rear wheels.
The AMG GLA 35 version lifts the output to 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This version gets also upgraded braking systems combined with the sport-tuned suspension and reconfigured transmission.
The new-generation GLA could also get the AMG GLA 45 and GLA 45 S versions with 382 and 416 hp at disposal in the coming model years.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA: Release, Price
The redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA should go on sale in the coming months. The AMG version will follow later in the year.
Mercedes hasn’t yet talked about the price of the new GLA. Expect it to come with a slightly increased price range starting at about $37, 000.