When INFINITI announced it would discontinue the QX30, it left a little uncertainty about its platform-sharing Mercedes, the GLA-Class. Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz has put this concern to bed with the debut of the redesigned 2021 GLA-Class.
The all-new GLA-Class’ body, while a complete redesign, is not a total departure from the previous model. It will boast a more upright nose with a revamped grille, new headlights, and a new bumper. The front end will also get a brand-new hood. Down the sides, the doors will be reworked and will better cover the sills to prevent dirt and debris from muddying things up. More muscular shoulders round out the updated side view. The backside will also be all-new with a reshaped liftgate that’s free of a chrome applique, new taillights with dual rounded graphics, and a brand-new bumper with plastic cladding and oval exhaust outlets.
Break out the tape measure, and the 2021 GLA-Class will ride 4.1 inches taller than the previous model and will be 1.2 inches wider. It will also check in 0.6 inches shorter from nose to tail. The new body will ride atop a 107.4-inch wheelbase, which is 1.1 inches longer than the 2020 model.
Inside, the 2021 GLA-Class will gain many of the styling and tech features we saw in the new A-Class and CLA-Class. This will include rounded air vents, two LCD displays (standard 7-inch or optional 10.25-inch) that comprise the gauges and infotainment screen, and more. It’ll also boast Mercedes’ newest User Experience infotainment system, a color head-up display, navigation with augmented reality, and voice control.
Up front, the 2021 GLA Class will lose just under an inch of legroom, but its larger body will give it an extra 4.5 inches of rear leg room. It will also gain 0.8 inches of front headroom and 0.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats upright.
Under its hood, the base GLA 250 will come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’ll produce 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This will route through an eight-speed automatic transmission for an estimated 8.6-second 0-to-60 sprint time. The Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 will also boast a 2.0-liter turbo four-pot, but AMG will push its output to 302 hp and pair it with standard all-wheel drive, resulting in a five-second 0-to-60 sprint.
The IIHS has not tested the GLA-Class, nor has the NHTSA, and we don’t expect this to change. What we know is the 2021 GLA-Class will come standard with automatic emergency braking and will have a slew of other available safety and driver-assistive features. These optional features will include lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, speed-limit assist, and more.