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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Mercedes Debuts the 2021 GLA

      ...new platform and changing dimensions...

    Mercedes-Benz went the unconventional route and debuted their new GLA SUV completely online this morning. The new GLA comes on a new platform and changes up the dimensions a bit to improve interior space.  Overall length is down 0.6 inches, but height has increased 4.1 inches, and wheelbase is up 1.1 inches while width is up 1.2 inches. This translates to some minor improvements in most, but not all, interior dimensions.  (Dimensions chart on Page 2)

    The GLA initially will come in three forms, the GLA 250, GLA 250 4Matic, and AMG GLA 35.  The 250 and 250 4matic some with the same powertrain, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 221 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,620 - 4,000 RPM.  Power is sent to the wheels via an 8-speed DCT.

    The AMG GLA 35 comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 302 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 295 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 - 4,000 RPM. And uses a modified version of the 8-speed DCT. Zero to 60 is estimated at 5.0 seconds.

    GLA 250 models equipped with 4Matic come with an Off-Road Engineering Package as standard.  It is an extra drive mode that adapts the characteristics of the 4Matic system and changes power delivery and ABS intervention.  The gauge cluster will present an animation of gradient, inclination angle, and technical settings to help the driver through the situation. 

    4Matic has been updated from being hydraulically activated to electro-mechanically activated.  In normal mode, the system splits torque 80:20 front:rear.  Sport mode changes that ratio to 70:30, while off-road mode moves it to 50:50. Being electro-mechanically operated allows the 4Matic system to be more efficient by not having to drive hydraulic pumps. 

    The GLA 250 is available with a host of driver assistance packages. They include:

    • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with the functions:
      • braking for stationary vehicles,
      • extended automatic restarting in traffic jams in conjunction with Active Parking Assist and navigation,
      • activation of "Gliding" in the ECO drive mode,
    • Active Steering Assist with the functions:
      • Active Emergency Braking Assist – with automatic unlocking and placement of an SOS call to the Mercedes-Benz emergency call center after the vehicle has come to a stop (depending on country)
      • Active Lane Change Assist in conjunction with navigation,
      • Emergency lane function: in freeway traffic jams at speeds below approx. 37 mph.
    • Active Speed Limit Assist with reaction to changes in speed limits in conjunction with Traffic Sign Assist,
    • Route-based speed adjustment when approaching bends, roundabouts, toll stations, T-junctions and before leaving highways – reduction of vehicle speed when encountering the end of a traffic jam, in conjunction with navigation,
    • Evasive Steering Assist,
    • Active Lane Keeping Assist,
    • Active Blind Spot Assist,
    • Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function,
    • PRE-SAFE PLUS: can detect a potential rear impact. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the stationary vehicle, minimizing the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.

    The interior of the GLA is quite similar to the A-Class sedan. Mercedes MBUX is there and can be activated by voice simply by saying "Hey Mercedes". 

    AMG 35

    The GLA AMG 35 gets an AMG tuned suspension, including an optional ride control system that allows the driver to select between three different drive modes.  A high performance braking system with 13.8 inch disks up front and 13.0 inch disks in the rear is included. There is a speed-sensitive variable ratio steering that changes the amount of assistance offered at different speeds. The AMG also gets a special exhaust system with a gas flap to change the sound dynamics of the car depending on mode, engine speed, and engine load. 

    The exterior of the AMG GLA 35 gets a different front fascia from the regular GLA 250, fitting in with the rest of the AMG lineup. 

    The GLA 250 goes on sale Summer of 2020 with the AMG following after that.



    New GLA



    Exterior dimensions











    Width incl. exterior mirrors















    Track, front





    Track, rear





    Interior dimensions*

    Max. front headroom





    Headroom, rear





    Legroom, front





    Legroom, rear





    Elbow room, front





    Elbow room, rear





    Shoulder room, front





    Shoulder room, rear





    Load compartment width, max.





    Load compartment depth, max.





    Eff. width trunk opening





    Trunk capacity (VDA)





    Edited by Drew Dowdell

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    Grant MB respect for some respectful numbers on the auto since it is nothing more than a cheap ass FWD appliance with some horsepower.

    External is just Blah Jelly Bean. 

    Internal is Cheap ass looing with those ugly circle plastic vents. Looks like a ricer version meant to go into a Playstation or Xbox game.

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    Front is recognizable as a Benz, but the rest of the exterior is completely generic.  I prefer the high forehead/Frankenstein look of the new GLB to this.  The interior looks nice, more emotional than an XT4, which is a stone cold bitch.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    I like the GLB much more, but this GLA looks better than the old GLA which was rather awkward looking with that squashed down roof.  This will appeal to the hot hatch crowd that now want to sit up higher.  I think this new A/B-class interior is top notch for this small luxury segment and pretty much none of the competition has over 300 hp, let alone the coming 400 hp. 


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