New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA focuses on value, gets new car wash functionality

Mercedes-Benz has redesigned the GLA for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLAThe 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.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLAThe 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."

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLAThe 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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Performance luxury SUV

The Cadillac Escalade-V starts at almost $150,000

The Escalade-V gets a $149,990 starting price

Cadillac

Cadillac teased an ultra-powerful Escalade-V a while back, and now we have all the details. The 2023 SUV will feature a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, plenty of luxury, and a stout six-figure price tag.

The 2023 Escalade-V comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that makes 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. It features a hand-built design and shares much of its underlying engineering with the CT5-V Blackwing. It's paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission and full-time active four-wheel drive.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-VUnder the hood, there's a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.Cadillac

Cadillac gives every Escalade-V air ride adaptive suspension and magnetic ride control. The driver can customize the suspension and feel using the SUV's selectable driving modes. The system can also raise or lower the ride height by to .8 inches, and the SUV comes with a launch control system that helps it get off the line with explosive speed.

Inside, the Escalade-V builds on the top trim of the standard SUV with zebra wood accents, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel. It's got the same amazing tech, too, with a curved OLED display that runs the length of the dash, navigation, voice commands, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, an augmented reality navigation system, and a 36-speaker AKG Studio stereo. Cadillac Super Cruise is available.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-VAn extended ESV variant is also available. Cadillac

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V goes on sale this summer. Starting pricing lands at $149,990, and Cadillac offers an extended-wheelbase ESV version of the high-performance SUV.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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