New Mercedes-Benz GLA 2021 pricing and spec detailed: Costs up for Audi Q3 and BMW X2-rivalling premium small SUV

Mercedes-Benz has released pricing and specification details for its important, second-generation GLA crossover hatch.

Starting off from $55,100 before on-road costs, the GLA 200 will be the least expensive version of the new-generation GLA when sales commence next month, representing a sizeable $9500 jump over the outgoing GLA 180.

We understand that a new entry-level GLA 180 is actually waiting in the wings, but there’s no word for now as to if or when that will launch. Note that there will be no diesel-powered successor to the old slow-selling GLA 200d.

Next up is the expected crowd-favourite GLA 250 4Matic, from $66,500. As the name suggests, that includes an on-demand all-wheel-drive system instead of just front-wheel drive, but the newcomer is $3500 costlier than before.

Come the last quarter of this year, meanwhile, and the high-performance GLAs surface – first in all-new Mercedes-AMG GLA35 4Matic guise from $82,935, and then, from about November, in scorching GLA45 S 4Matic+ format. That’s from $107,035 – representing a leap of $14,935.

Speaking of speed, buyers quick off the mark can specify a GLA 200 or GLA 250 4Matic with the Edition 1 Package for $6900 and $5900 respectively.

As outlined previously, the latest GLA is an altogether larger proposition than its compact predecessor, despite sharing very similar styling cues as well as silhouette. For starters, it’s some 122mm taller, so offers a higher hip point for loftier seating – reducing that jumped-up hatch feel from before. Headroom improves, as does rear legroom, a corollary of a 30mm wheelbase stretch (to 2729mm).

The 4Matic versions also gain Daimler’s ‘Off-Road Engineering Package’ as first witnessed in the very closely-related GLB SUV, bringing additional traction controls for improved off-bitumen driving. Shorter overhangs and extra cladding add to that adventurous look.

On the safety front, improved autonomous emergency braking performance reduce the chances or severity of a collision with objects including pedestrians; a blind spot assist feature alerts exiting occupants of cyclists and other moving objects that they may otherwise hit; there’s more effective lane-assist tech, a cross-wind mitigation system, better traffic-sign recognition, an active bonnet to reduce pedestrian/cyclist impact injuries, nine airbags and the latest ‘Pre-Safe’ accident anticipatory feature that prepares the vehicle for an imminent incident.

Among the notable options are updated semi-autonomous driver-assist tech like stop/start and traffic-crawl adaptive cruise control.

The GLA 200 is powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, driving the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), offering 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque. In Euro-spec guise, the GLA 200 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 8.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 207km/h.

In contrast, the GLA 250 4Matic employs a 165kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-pot turbo and an eight-speed DCT driving all four wheels, slashing two seconds off that 0-100km/h time and boosting the V-max to 240km/h.

Still not enough? Then there’s the Mercedes-AMG GLA35 4Matic, swapping in a 225kW/400Nm reworking of that 1991cc engine, for a 0-100km/h showing of 5.1s and a top speed of 249km/h. For ultimate bragging rights, there’s the 310kW/500Nm GLA45 S 4Matic+, upping that ante again to just 4.3s and 265km/h respectively.

As with all MFA2-generation transverse-engine Mercedes models like the latest A-Class, B-Class and recently released GLB-Class, the new GLA boasts a 10.25-inch digital screen, a quintet of turbine-style air vents, MBUX multimedia system featuring ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice actuation and a multitude of configurable instrumentation displays. All models include a multi-link rear suspension design.

The GLA 200 is fitted with vinyl ‘Artico’ upholstery, keyless start, climate control, satellite navigation, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting settings, rain-sensing wipers, DAB+ digital radio, automatic parking, blind spot assist and active lane keeping assist, traffic sign assist, adaptive high beam assist, LED headlights and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Moving to the GLA 250 4Matic brings a panoramic sunroof, heated electric front seats with memory function, adaptive dampers, ‘sports-direct’ steering, remote engine start, the aforementioned Off-Road Engineering Package and different 19-inch alloys.

Not surprisingly, the GLA35 arrives with AMG-specific additions such as a steering wheel-mounted AMG Drive Unit, steering wheel in Nappa leather, sports suspension, high-performance brakes, exhaust and speed-sensitive power steering, as well as the AMG Night Package and bespoke body kit, sports seating and 20-inch wheels.

Lastly, the GLA 45 S’ $15K price rise over the old model is somewhat justified by its AMG Race Start launch control and timer system, up-rated ‘performance’ AWD, and various upgrades for the seating and audio (a Burmester-supplied arrangement).

Plus, the fastest GLA also features Driving Assistance Package Plus, Active Distance Assist Distronic (including front cross-traffic assist), lane change assist, route-based speed adaptation, 360-degree surround-view camera, multi-beam headlights, and an AMG-specific body kit with a roof-mounted spoiler lip and rear apron with a unique diffuser, special AMG exhaust, AMG brake package (with six-piston fixed callipers 360x36mm perforated front discs, single-piston floating calliper 330x22mm perforated rear discs), AMG Torque Control, a stiffer body shell and speed-sensitive electromechanical steering with AMG-specific front steering knuckles and rear axle subframe.

Lastly, the Edition 1 is all about heated and electric front seats with memory, a special black on red cabin colour scheme, an AMG body styling pack, multi-beam headlights, panoramic sunroof, adaptive dampers and that surround-view camera system.

Sadly, the GLA 25e plug-in electric vehicle will be unavailable for now, due to left-hand-drive-only production at this stage.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA pricing:

Variant Price
GLA 200 $55,100
GLA 250 4MATIC $66,500
AMG GLA 35 4MATIC $82,935 $82,935
AMG GLA 45 S 4MATIC $107,035