The Mercedes-Benz GLA has been fully redesigned for 2021. It’s an extra-small luxury crossover SUV available in GLA 250 and all-wheel-drive GLA 250 4Matic trim levels. Higher-performing AMG 35 and AMG 45 models will arrive in late 2020. The MSRP range is between $36,500 and $48,000.
- Sporty character and agile handling
- Spacious interior in a small package
- Many standard and available features
- GLA 250’s excellent fuel economy
- Not as comfort-focused as some competitors
- Infotainment touchpad takes some practice
The Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that uses a turbocharger to produce 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is linked to a front-wheel-drive system (AWD is available) and a slick-shifting automatic transmission. Other technical features include 4-wheel disc brakes, a 14.8-gallon fuel tank, a multi-link rear suspension (struts in front), and an EPA estimated 25/34/28 mpg city/highway/combined.
The AMG GLA 35 uses a similar 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo, but this one has been enhanced by AMG to produce 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel-drive and a dual-clutch automatic transmission come standard, as does a sport suspension. The AMG GLA 35 features AMG RIDE CONTROL technology, which can adjust each wheel’s damping within milliseconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy of around 23/29 mpg city/highway.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA has sporty handling, a comfortable interior, and impressive fuel economy, making it an excellent choice in the subcompact luxury SUV arena. The GLA is not as plush as some competitors, but it makes up for it with supportive, well-bolstered seats and plenty of standard technology. The second-gen GLA feels more refined, spacious, and SUV-like than it used to, and its exterior styling matches this maturity.
Being a Mercedes-Benz, the GLA offers a wealth of available luxury features, like ventilated seats and a Burmester premium sound system. But at the end of the day, it is a well-balanced and enjoyable small SUV that will give the competition a run for the money.