2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 review: A smarter starter

Victoria D. Doty

The AMG Line and Evening packages make the GLA seem really indicate. Emme Hall/Roadshow Just as Mercedes’ new CLA-Course is a large improvement around its predecessor, so also is this GLA-Course SUV. Starting at $37,280 which include $1,050 for destination, the GLA250 is an superb entry place into the Mercedes-Benz […]

The AMG Line and Evening packages make the GLA seem really indicate.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Just as Mercedes’ new CLA-Course is a large improvement around its predecessor, so also is this GLA-Course SUV. Starting at $37,280 which include $1,050 for destination, the GLA250 is an superb entry place into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and finally has the design and tech to seriously stand out in the subcompact SUV course.


  • Superb powertrain
  • A lot of driver-help tech
  • Prime-notch MBUX infotainment

Do not Like

  • Smaller sized cargo area than rivals
  • Gets pretty highly-priced with options

Fashionable and effective

Irrespective of becoming around the identical dimensions, visually, the new GLA seriously will work. It is acquired a 1.1-inch longer wheelbase but is shorter in total duration than in advance of, while it is practically four inches taller and just a smidge wider, also. The sculpted hood provides the GLA250 an aura of toughness and I like the LED jogging light-weight signature. My tester has the $two,240 AMG Line appearance offer and the $four hundred Evening Bundle, offering the SUV a diverse grille, gloss-black exterior trim and somewhat a lot more intense styling. Individuals options commonly get you 19-inch wheels, but this GLA250 takes factors up a notch with larger sized 20s, a $1,050 alternative.

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

Mercedes’ 8-pace twin-clutch transmission is a joy, particularly in the SUV’s Activity manner, the place it retains gears longer to wring out all the engine’s ability. There are paddle shifters, but the transmission will work great on its personal. The steering is a very little light-weight for my preferences, even in Activity, but it is correct and swift to react.

In Comfort and ease manner, the GLA provides a nicely composed journey. My only criticism is that the two.-liter I4 sounds form of rough, while the easy, simple delivery of ability can make up for that. The optional Burmester seem technique simply drowns out the motor, also.

All-wheel-drive GLAs get an Off-Street manner, not that this point seriously begs to be taken off the crushed path, particularly with twenty-inch wheels. The Off-Street setting alters the parameters for the motor, all-wheel-drive technique and anti-lock brakes, letting the GLA to improved tackle filthy terrain. The GLA also will come with hill-descent regulate, which is form of like a downhill cruise regulate, maintaining the GLA anyplace involving 1 and eleven mph on steep grades.

The GLA’s gas overall economy is really good, with the EPA estimating twenty five miles for every gallon town, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive styles. Introducing AWD cuts down people figures to 24, 33 and 27, respectively.

A large quantity of tech

Mercedes-Benz has seriously upped its tech game around the previous handful of several years and the GLA surely 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 raises people to ten.two-inch displays. The upgraded screens are component of the $1,750 Top quality Bundle and entirely really worth it.

MBUX is the finest.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

MBUX software package is the star right here, and it can be controlled by thumbpads on the steering wheel, a touchpad on the middle console or basically by touching the screen. You can also wake up the technique by declaring, “Hey, Mercedes,” at which place the voice command makes it possible for you to do just about just about anything. I can just say, “I’m chilly,” and MBUX responds, “I’m growing the temperature to 74 degrees.” Many thanks, woman!

The $1,295 Multimedia Bundle adds augmented actuality navigation overlays that can display screen information and facts like addresses and directional arrows onto an graphic captured by the ahead-going through camera. I’ve employed this tech in advance of and seem ahead to it every time — it is a rare occasion the place I don’t just plug in my cellular phone and depend on Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto, if which is your bag).

The tech hits retain on coming with a quantity of driver-help devices. The only bummer is the good things is component of a $1,seven-hundred Driver Aid Bundle, while it is properly really worth the price tag. The adaptive cruise regulate provides the car to a easy quit and the car employs GPS to sluggish down for curves in the highway, toll booths and the like. The steering support does a good task at maintaining the GLA centered in its lane together the highway, and lane-departure warning is there in case you start out to veer off to the facet.

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

Emme Hall/Roadshow

But even though the tech roster is prosperous, the relaxation of the GLA feels a very little downmarket. The materials are all of good good quality, thoughts you, but the design and style is just form of bland, with not a lot of attention to element. Luckily the seats are comfortable and you will find loads of storage. I really like the thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Mercedes’ twin-coloration ambient lighting never ever ceases to impress.

The GLA’s larger sized dimensions suggests you will find a lot a lot more house within, even for second-row travellers. There are four.five a lot more inches of rear legroom in comparison to the outgoing product, and you will find a lot more headroom for front seat travellers as properly. Even with the panoramic sunroof my five-foot, nine-inch frame has plenty of house. My pandemic-tall hair isn’t going to even come close to touching the headliner.

Exactly where the GLA suffers somewhat is with cargo house, which is scaled-down than other cars in the course. You will find only fifteen.four cubic ft of house at the rear of the second row, even though a BMW X1 has just around 27 cubes and the Audi Q3 receives practically 24. Fold people seats down and the GLA receives a little bit a lot more aggressive with fifty.five cubic ft. Once again, which is a lot less than the X1, but the seats-down spec surpasses that of the Q3.

It surely appears to be like a lot improved than the aged GLA.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Boosting the entry-amount bar

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 might start out at $37,280, but factors can get really insane if you are not mindful with the options. All-wheel drive fees $two,000 and my tester has a insane quantity of bells and whistles, bringing the ultimate price tag to $55,585 which include destination. Which is a lot of dollars for this entry-amount GLA, so you would be wise to go simple with the add-ons.

Even so, the better price tag seriously feels really worth it considering how a great deal nicer the GLA is than in advance of. The driver-help tech is seriously rather good, the powertrain is peppy and the cabin is comfortable. Individuals who want a very little a lot more oomph may well want to wait around until the conclude of the 12 months for the AMG versions, but as it stands, the GLA250 is an superb starter SUV for individuals wanting to get some luxurious in their life.

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