AMG’s performance-tuning wizards have been assigned to hot-rod every Mercedes model. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA-class, which has a turbocharged four-cylinder that can produce either 302-hp or 382-hp potencies, is the latest creation of the brand. The new 2021 GLA-class’s 302-hp GLA35 can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds. It also boasts many performance upgrades, including suspension improvements and more racier styling. Meanwhile, the 382-hp GLA45 is faster at achieving a 4.3 second zero-to-60 mph time. We expect the same hot-hatch SUV-style character to be carried over to the new GLA-class models.
What’s new for 2021?
Everything. All new Mercedes-AMG GLA35 & GLA45 models are based on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class. This is a completely new design.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
Mercedes-AMG GLA class is available in GLA35 or GLA45 guise. Both come standard with a variety of performance features that heat up the GLA250 Benz-branded Mercedes-AMG. Standard features include all-wheel drive and a sport-tuned suspension. The GLA45 model’s 382-hp turbo-four is the most powerful, so we would choose it.
Performance, Transmission and Engine
Mercedes claims the AMG-massaged four cylinder produces 302-hp in GLA35, and that’s enough power to propel the SUV to 60 mph in just five seconds. The GLA45 is claimed to take 4.3 seconds. The outgoing GLA45, which produced 375-hp, did the same feat in 4.0 seconds. We think Mercedes is being cautious with its claims about acceleration for the new models. The new model has the same athleticism as the GLA45, but with more ride comfort. The outgoing model had very poor suspension compliance, making it a painful ride.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The EPA estimates that the GLA35 will achieve 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. However, the GLA45, which is more powerful, was rated at 20 mpg and 27 mpg respectively. These efficiency ratings are comparable to those of rivals like the Mini Cooper Countryman JCW and the BMW X2 M35i. The new GLA35 and GLA45 models have not been tested on our 75-mph highway fuel efficiency route. The X2 M35i achieved an impressive 33 mpg during our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route. The last generation GLA45 managed a 28 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The interior of the 2021 GLA-class is more spacious for rear-seat passengers than the previous model. This also applies to the GLA35. The interior design is very similar to the new Mercedes SUVs. The AMG version gives the GLA-class an upscale feel with its sporty front seats and red stitching. The AMG version of the GLA-class has slightly more cargo space than the previous model. Additionally, the load floor is flush with the sill to make loading and unloading easier.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The GLA-class dashboard is dominated by two giant 10.3-inch infotainment screens. One serves as a reconfigurable gauge display and the other controls the infotainment system. Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX software is the interface. It offers the “Hey Mercedes”, voice control system. However, it can also be controlled via touchpad or touchscreen. Navigation is optional, although the system supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.