2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA arrives at the crossover party with a new attitude

If you think the first-gen Mercedes-Benz GLA felt like a lifted and reshaped A-Class, the all-new second-generation 2021 Mercedes GLA will change your mind. For the new GLA, Mercedes-Benz wanted to make it look like a proper crossover compared to the last model.

And from the looks it, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA is arriving at the crossover party brandishing a newfound attitude.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA has a longer wheelbase

In fact, the wheelbase is stretched by 1.1-inches over the outgoing GLA, which now measures 107.4-inches. In order to give it a crossover-like stance, the new GLA is also 4.1-inches taller and now stands at 63.4-inches tall.

Despite the longer wheelbase and taller body, the new GLA is actually shorter in overall width at 173.6-inches. But with a 1.8-inch wider track in the front and rear, the new GLA is now given a more aggressive and sporting stance.

This means a larger interior as well

With a wider track and stretched wheelbase, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA now offers more room for long shoulders and long legs. This also holds true for rear passengers who now have more elbow room to move around. In fact, the rear seats can adjust by 5.5-inches if you need more knee room in the back.

But even with a taller body, the sloping roofline has somewhat compromised front and rear headroom, but not by much. Unless you’re above 6’2” tall, both front and rear occupants will do well inside the new GLA.

It has a turbocharged engine

All U.S.-bound GLAs receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline motor producing 250-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is bolted to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox driving the front wheels.

In this spec, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6-seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. Of course, the GLA 250 4MATIC is also available if you desire the added traction of a potent all-wheel-drive system.

With this, you also get an Off-Road Engineering Package including unique off-road lights, a downhill assist function, an extra off-road driving mode, and special off-road animation on the center touchscreen.

But the crème of the crop is the AMG GLA 35. With a more powerful 2.0-liter four-banger producing 302-horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, it rushes to 60 mph in 5.0-seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. The AMG model is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch tranny with Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive.

The new Mercedes GLA has a car wash function

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA inherited this feature from the full-size GLS SUV. Honestly, this feature may sound like a novelty but it’s pretty cool, nevertheless. Activating the car wash function will automatically close all windows (including the sunroof) and fold the mirrors.

The vehicle will also deactivate the rain sensor to prevent the wipers from turning ON automatically. Also, the climate control will switch to recirculation mode. If you choose the optional 360-degree camera, the display will project an image of the front of the vehicle, allowing the driver to get a better view ahead – most helpful if all the windows are covered in sudsy water.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA is set to arrive in North America by summer next year.