New Model News
Redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA focuses on value, gets new car wash functionality
Mercedes-Benz is signaling an end to its current compact car generation in the U.S. with the reveal of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA. The model has undergone a significant makeover for this new model year including new dimensions, added passenger space, and a fresh list of safety and driver assist technology.
The exterior of the GLA follows closely with the aesthetics that are apparent in the current crop of SUVs and cars. Its new height adds 3.9 inches to the car, which allows for a more upright seating position that gives rear seat occupants additional legroom despite the fact that the model is now about half an inch shorter from nose to tail. Its track is 1.6 inches wider and the wheel arches are now three inches bigger.
The GLA adopts the latest looks of many modern Mercedes vehicles.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz has put a standard four-cylinder engine under the GLA's hood. It achieves 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The car has a top speed of 130 mph.
Front wheel drive is still standard in the GLA and 4MATIC all-wheel drive is available. Models equipped with all-wheel drive get the Off-Road Engineering Package and LED Intelligent Light System standard.
The Merc is equipped with three drive modes: Eco, Comfort, and Sport.
Mercedes is touting the enhancements made to the car's outward visibility in the new model.
The new GLA features added cargo space configuration options.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
They're also promoting the new functionality of the rear seats and cargo space. Now, the rear seats can be adjusted up to 5.5 inches and the rear seat backrest can lean back more. The seat features a 40-20-40 split. Each section can fold down manually individually or as a group.
Inside the car's cabin, the driver information screen, instrument cluster, and infotainment screen are all housed within one panel with cutouts for each function. Two 7-inch screen displays are standard. Buyers can upgrade to two 10.25-inch displays.
The GLA features the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system, which is controlled by a touch pad that proved problematic during a recent test drive of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Owners can also use voice commands that activate using the prompt, "Hey Mercedes."
The interior of the GLA matches the interior of most Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
New for 2021, the GLA's Driver Assistance Package will including a number of fresh functionalities like exit warning and a reformulated active brake assist.
The GLA will be the first model in its class to get a car wash function, similar to what is in the Mercedes-Benz GLS. With one command, exterior mirrors are folded in and the side windows and sliding roof are closed. The car's rain sensing wiper functionality is suppressed, and the air conditioning automatically changes to air-recirculation mode. If fitted with a 360-degree camera, the new GLA will display the current camera view to assist when driving in/out of the car wash. All of these functions cease when the car reaches 12 mph and above.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA will go on sale in the U.S. in the summer.
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