Mercedes-Benz’s SUV history is longer than most luxury brands, and more expansive as well. Currently, in the entry-level position is the GLA, and it’s all-new for 2021.  

First on the scene will be this GLA 250 which features the CLA’s 221-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4; yet does it one gear better in the transmission, with an 8-speed DCT.  Front-wheel-drive is standard, with 4MATIC available.  More powerful AMG versions are soon to follow.   

GREG CARLOSS: "Comparing this new GLA to the previous one, right away it just feels more substantial. The old one was more of a raised hatchback and it felt that way this one definitely feels like a small SUV. So there’s that solid safe feel but at the same time you get into the throttle and you have that eager turbo 4 with a lot of torque and then you start taking some back roads and then it feels light again. So you really have a best of both worlds scenario here where it feels like an SUV but drives more like a car, which is exactly what Mercedes and really everyone else in this segment tries to do.”

Adding to that more substantial feel is a much more customary SUV shape, though not to the extent of boxy brother GLB. The GLA is 4-inches taller than before, and a half inch wider; yet won’t be any harder to whip into a parking space, as it’s actually half an inch shorter in overall length.  

Lower body protection, roof rails, and 18-inch wheels are all standard.  AMG-line aero enhancements, 19-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, and various exterior trim options are available.  

Interior changes are even more thorough and much appreciated; not only is there an increase in space, but just about everything looks like a slightly scaled down version of what you’ll find in larger Benz utilities.  

That includes MBUX connectivity, and the twin screen dash; 7.0-inch screens are standard, but can be upgraded to these 10-inch beauties.

Cargo space climbs from 11.8 to 15.4 cubic-ft.; with a max of 50.5. 

Available driving assistance systems allow for semi-autonomous driving, and optional augmented navigation makes it easier than ever to not miss your turn.  

Base pricing for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 is just over $36,000; with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, just over $38,000.  

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