mercedes benz gla review 2021
Altair Club Cars Mercedes-Benz GLA review 2021

Mercedes-Benz GLA review 2021

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It’s bigger than an A-Class, but smaller than a GLC. So, does the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 strike the perfect balance between hatchback and SUV? Paul Maric tests the GLA250, which is the most expensive GLA on sale before you hit the AMG models, to see whether it’s worth the step up in price from the smaller A-Class.

G’day i’m paul so the craze of turning hatchbacks into suvs continues because mercedes-benz has just launched the updated version of the gla which is the suv based on the a-class this is the current top-spec amg version which is just under 67 000 now keep in mind this one has a stack of options on it so if you are looking at buying one just double check what

Comes standard with the car we’re going to be talking about some stuff that may be optional today now this competes with cars like the bmw x1 the audi q3 the lexus ux there’s a few other cars in that segment that go right up against it today we’re going to do a detailed review of the mercedes-benz gla 250 if you do want to skip ahead to other parts of this review

You can use the time codes up on the screen there or if you’re on youtube just scroll down and use the chapters below and if you haven’t done so already love it if you can subscribe and also press the bell icon so you can find out every single time we drive a car with lots of options let’s talk exterior you’ve got eight different colors to choose from and all but

Black is going to cost you extra with the bulk of them costing around fifteen hundred dollars this one here is closer to two thousand dollars it’s actually a really nice looking color as well and it works well with the red seats which we’ll have a closer look at when we dive into the interior but let’s have a closer look here at this design so the gla i don’t know

I guess it’s the executive suv they haven’t really gone with a super sporty look for gla and i think this kind of matches that demeanor keep in mind there is a gla 45 and a gla 35 as well so these go all the way from quite sedate through to you know ball tearing so it should be impressive to see what this is like in gla 45 trim but this gets you to the point

Where you don’t have to spend amg money but you still have that balance of performance with the 250 okay design grille i like this the mercedes-benz grilles have really evolved you’ve got this cool 3d element a giant mercedes-benz emblem at the front and then they’ve offset the body colors with those little chrome highlights but also black down the bottom here

This is a piano black i’ll be keen to see how this goes over time as you clip curves and come out of driveways and all that sort of stuff i don’t know how well that’s going to last but it does sit quite high off the ground so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern now jumping over here but you get led headlights as standard but this car has the optional matrix led

Setup mercedes-benz calls it multi-beam but in effect it’s the same thing that you get with the matrix headlight that includes daytime running lights and an indicator built into that beam okay moving on to the wheels your standard wheel is a 19 inch alloy on the gla 250 and it comes with run flat tyres but this has the optional 20 inch wheel which deletes run flat

Tyres but this also has adaptive suspension so that will kind of help with the fact that they’re quite low profile and it should mean that it actually rides nicely instead of quite harshly which is what you can get with run flat tires because they have such a firm sidewall so i quite like the design of this optional 20-inch alloy wheel but keep in mind this is going

To show up any wheel marks that you get so stay away from curves this also has the amg the sport line package so you get these perforated rotors with mercedes-benz writing on the caliper let me know if these are actually functional or not i mean obviously you know cross drilling helps with heat dissipation but i don’t know if this is just a design thing or if

They actually do something here but it’s good to see they have them it gives the car a bit of a sporty appearance and then of course wheel arch flares for your um off-road image jump around to the side here i love this matte black roof rail coupled with that panoramic roof your privacy glass over here as part of another package and then come around to the back

Led tail lights built into here a 4matic badge because that is mercedes-benz speak for all-wheel drive now like this this is kind of a trademark mercedes-benz thing you see this on a lot of their suvs it’s a protector for the bumper bar so when you’re loading uh bags and things into the car you’re not going to damage all of the paint and stuff that you normally

Would if you drop a bag onto there now a couple of interesting design elements down here you’ve got diffuser down the bottom but also fake exhaust pipes now the interesting thing with these is and let me know in the comments below designers put them in but i don’t really understand the logic of them if you don’t have an exhaust there why have that there so let

Me know in the comments below do you think that is a silly thing to have is there a reason for it do you just not care altogether just in terms of design i think this is quite a smart and handsome looking car it’s sort of not overtly suv like and i think it sort of sits in that middle ground between being quite sort of softly designed and then being an suv so it

Sort of straddles that line a bit right oh let’s look at the interior of the gla and we’ll start with the key you’ve got lock unlock boot mercedes benz in the center a nice sort of brushed aluminium at the bottom and then it’s blank on the rear this is a proximity sensing case you just leave that in your pocket and then use the push button to start the car now in

Terms of styling look it’s it’s pretty good i think that they’ve done a really nice job here and when you do sit inside the car you’re immediately drawn in by these giant screens in front of you i love the fact that these air vents move around like this they’ve got led backlighting you open and close them by turning them just looks really nice and high-end there’s

That lashing of piano black which i’m not a massive fan of because it marks really easily and you can see all around these surfaces that you can see fingerprints and other stuff on them so not the best for design stuff but look i mean it’s all the craze at the moment and then over here you’ve got this faux carbon weave inlay and then the dashboard has the stitching

Alongside it so look it is nicely presented i just think stuff like this piano black i just wish there was an option to have something else fitted there instead now in terms of touch points center console is nice and soft same with the door and we do have a tool for measuring how soft our touch points are we have tested all the surfaces in this car if you want to

See how this compares to other cars that we’ve tested just go down to the description to see the link now what about build quality so this all feels really nice and sturdy nothing’s moving around too much it feels really nicely put together moving on to infotainment today i’m going to run you through mbux the main infotainment system the screen ahead of the driver

Plus the head up display now if you do want a detailed review of mbux you can click up here to watch a detailed review today will just be a brief overview of the main features so mbux is two 10.25 inch screens that sit here ahead of the driver it’s both a touchscreen it allows you to move everything with your fingers or you can use this touchpad below or on the

Steering wheel you have controls on the left-hand side for the left screen and controls on the right-hand side for the right-hand side screen plus the head-up display so the map display is nice and sharp and if we go back here to the home menu you’ll find your shortcuts to access all the main functions of the car you have am fm dab plus digital radio along with

Bluetooth streaming and also the ability to store music and also stream over usb and over the air as well using lte this car has mercedes me built into it so for example if i go into the apps here if we go to hotels it’ll tell us which hotels are near us and then it will pull data off the internet to find things like ratings for those hotels so you can see here

While this loads it’ll bring up a picture of the hotel along with the user ratings and the distance from where you are right now so this will be super handy stuff if you are traveling somewhere and then in terms of smartphone connectivity you have wired apple carplay and android auto i’ll show you what that looks like first here with apple carplay disappointingly

It’s not a full screen integration so it sits in this tiny little window here so it doesn’t really look that good but it does move around nicely it’s all nice and responsive and quick there for apple carplay show you what android auto looks like so you can see here it’s the same story with android auto it’s not a full screen integration let’s see what that looks

Like on the home menu that’s all nice and fast as well moving on to the screen ahead of the driver you have a stack of customizability options here which is cool so you can control everything from what the center looks like and what it does to the overall design so using this little pad here you can flick through the different options for that center design using

The home button it brings up the rest of the context menu so you can have everything displayed from navigation through to telephone or the assistant systems and then finally you can change the style and display so let’s go down to progressive look at that that looks nice and snazzy and it changes everything else as it goes so it is really cool to see here that i

Don’t know mercedes-benz has kind of got with the time when it comes to technology and i love being able to just change the look and feel of all of this and that translates to the head up display as well using these controls here you can flick up to the head up display and then every segment of that head-up display can be changed so we can move from having our

Speedo in the center navigation to the left to just having the speedo or having none of it at all so lots of customizability options for the driver now what about the sound system so it comes standard with a nine speaker sound system but like i mentioned earlier this car has options on it and one of them is the 12 speaker burmester sound system so you get a little

Bit more punch out of it and i think it is worth ticking if you’re an audiophile it really enhances the experience i know when uh i’m going to hop on about my tesla here but when i drive that around it has a really really good sound system so i love being able to listen to music when you know the world goes past you and in terms of connectivity this car is now

Exclusively usb-c so you’ve got one up the front here for smartphone mirroring another two in the center console plus some in the rear and don’t fret if you don’t have usb-c devices uh mercedes-benz can provide you one of these which is usb-c to usb a so that solves that potential drama plus there’s also a 12-volt outlet you also have wireless phone charging on

The map up the front so in terms of connectivity this car is really well sorted let’s talk about safety technology you get autonomous emergency braking that works at low speed and high speed you get cruise control but this car has the optional adaptive cruise control it also has the optional self-steering package that semi-autonomously steers the car while the

Adaptive cruise control is running that also includes a lane changing assistance all you do is indicate and then the car will change lanes on its own which i think is a pretty cool function now in terms of parking aids you have semi-autonomous parking but you also have the optional 360 degree camera fitted to this car lots of options uh let’s see what that looks

Like okay so i’ve got to start the car to show you this so we’ll flick that on one push of this button brings up your semi-autonomous parking feature but you can then scan through the camera here to see the front view a more detailed view of the front view with your 360. you have the full around view with curb cam so you know if you jab those wheels a reverse

View and then a closer reverse view with the 360 camera so there is a lot of detail here and it’s quite a high quality camera as well so it should make parking much easier okay moving on to practicality and what about storage so you can put your phone down the front there on the wireless charging pad or if you have a smaller phone it’ll fit in here the cool thing

Is with the cup holders though that if you don’t want to have these little grabby things in the way you can click them out of position so you get a little bit more room in there and then inside the door you also have room for a bottle with extra storage on the side there’s a center console here it’s actually quite deep have a look at this takes the whole bottle

Which is pretty cool uh although it’s not very wide but it gives you a good opportunity to store things out of the way of prying eyes there’s a glove box down here it’s actually really decent size it’ll fit the bottle easily and shut which is a nice novelty you have netting down the bottom and then also a spot for your sunnies up here moving on to comfort you

Get dual zone automatic climate control now here’s a question for you there’s a button here that says air conditioning we get what that means but what does rest mean underneath i’ve seen that in quite a few cars and i’m curious to know if you guys know let me know in the comment section below you also get heated seats as standard but this car has the optional

Cooled seat package as well you also get a sunroof standard which is cool this one has a panoramic glass roof as well that opens now have a look at these seats they look pretty fancy don’t they so this is the optional interior package you can get with the perforated seats the red highlights to suit the exterior and then in terms of actual seat comfort they’re

Really nice you have plenty of adjustment here plus a little more adjustment on the seat itself i love the way the steering wheel sits in the hand you’ve got paddle shifters attached to the back of it the flat bottom sits beautifully in the hands and all of these controls are very easy to reach okay second row of the gla in terms of leg room it’s not terrible i

Do have my seat quite far back but i’ve got adequate knee room there and i have absolutely loads of tow room headroom is okay it’s just sort of touching up on the side here but for the most part i’m fitting okay now in terms of creature comforts you have map pockets air vents here that can be changed and controlled over here you have usb outlet so that’s where

Your other two usb slots are for usbc charging you have a little tray there for stuff center armrest as well and then you have bottle holders there they expand nicely and i’ve said this before but i love the engineering in this it’s got its own little mechanism there that folds away that’s cool stuff and then in the doors your bottle fits in there with a little

Bit of room either side it’s got two iso fix points on the outboard seats and the seats also slide forwards and backwards so you can in effect get more boot room by moving the seats forward if you need to oh look what i’ve just discovered you’ve got speakers in the roof behind your head as well okay cargo space what are we talking so suv means there should be

Plenty of space right yeah look it’s actually not too bad you’ve got just over 400 litres of cargo space here with the second row in place you’ve got this little protector and then if we dive under you have a whole bunch of fun things so optional sound system comes with a subwoofer in there you have a tyre inflation kit because remember this one doesn’t have the

Run flat so you get all these little bits and pieces as part of that off to the side here you have a 12 volt outlet a couple of nets there for storage and then hooks on the side let’s see how it fits our bags i think this shouldn’t be too much of a drama that should fit in sideways look at that bob’s your uncle now if you do want more space you can drop the second

Row i’ll show you how that works um first up remove your cargo blind which comes out fairly easily slight pull of that now unfortunately you can’t drop the second row from here you can only drop this center one so what you’re going to have to do is go around to the side manually pull this lever that comes down we’ll do the other side as well and that then gives

You just over 1400 liters of space we’ve just hit the road in the gla 250 powering this is a two liter turbo charged four cylinder petrol engine makes 165 kilowatts of power and 350 newton meters of torque it’s all mated to an eight speed dual clutch transmission now the dual clutch transmission is interesting because once we’re moving it’s fine like i can get

Stuck into it now and it picks up really nicely and everything’s fine at low speeds though it can be a little bit jittery and indecisive so you know if you’re on a hill or you’re just confusing it with a low speed maneuver it isn’t quite confidence inspiring but once you’re moving everything’s fine mercedes-benz claims a combined fuel economy of 7.5 liters per

100 case let’s see what we have achieved okay so we’re on 11.3 liters per 100k that’s significantly higher than the official claim keep in mind with an average speed of 16 kilometers an hour we have been doing a fair bit of city driving but that is still pretty thirsty for such a small car and also keep in mind that it requires a minimum 95 run premium unleaded

Fuel right let’s talk drive mode so you select them using this sort of lever here and you have eco comfort sport and individual to work with eco and comfort much of the same thing eco drops things like air conditioning to increase fuel economy and then if we slide over to comfort that then puts the suspension in its softer setting now while we’re driving here

On a country road in comfort it is a little bit floaty so it feels nice and smooth but the problem when you get it as floaty as this is if you hit consecutive bumps one after the other it becomes unsettled and really sort of moves about a fair bit so it’s not the most confidence inspiring feeling and they do that to compensate for the 20-inch alloy wheels you

Put those on the car soft suspension it smooths out the ride in and around the city but when you get out to the country here it doesn’t have that compliance level but if you put country driving to one side it is remarkable how well they’ve been able to make this car behave in and around the city on cobblestones potholes speed humps that kind of thing the only

Other downside i’ve noticed here as the speed picks up is the amount of cabin noise we did notice this on the a45 as well so it may be the tyre package that’s fitted to this car or it could just be something that’s inherent to this platform but it can get a little bit drony in here as the speed picks up let’s talk sport mode so one flick of this switch firms

Everything up the steering gets heavier the gearbox goes into a sport mode and you can see it holding revs there got a little bit of a snarl to it as well so you can actually hear the rush of noise as the turbos suck in air it’s actually pretty impressive and quite responsive as well once it’s in gear you do have these paddle shifters attached to the wheel so you

Can take over control of the shift yourself but the sport mode is really sufficient for this it’s really always on top of it and always has you in the right gear now mercedes-benz claims an official zero to 100 figure of 6.7 seconds let’s see if we can match that all right let’s talk about handling so we’ve got a little corner coming up here tip it in so being

An all-wheel drive she actually hooks up really nicely i’m enjoying the noise from that engine feel through the steering is really good i mean it’s not a 45 good but it does feel nice and dynamic and it means that you don’t need to fork out all your money for an amg model when you’re getting you know 80 90 of the thrills here with the 250. what about the turning

Circle 11.4 meters not the tightest in the world but it does a commendable job for an all-wheel drive you’re able to do turns in tight spaces without having to revert to a three-point turn let’s talk visibility uh surprisingly this doesn’t actually feel all that much bigger than an a-class so i can clearly see out the front there the wing mirror isn’t big enough

On the side it’s got that little blind spot monitor built into it at the back the the aperture of that window is fine as well overall it doesn’t really feel like you’re driving an suv it feels just like i guess a hatchback on stilts so the gla 250 look it is a pleasant car to drive i just don’t think it’s all that composed over country roads and continuous

Undulations especially with those 20-inch alloy wheels and the adaptive suspension so i’d probably stick for the 19s and maybe throw the adaptive suspension in as well but outside of that the engine’s nice and responsive it’s quite perky the gearbox can be a little jittery at low speeds but once you’re moving it’s all good it is loaded with technology inside

There’s plenty of room as well so you do feel like you’re getting extra value over an a-class and now in australia at least with a five-year warranty it really gives you the reason to buy this over something like a bmw or an audi instead so let me know your thoughts in the comments section below what do you think about the new mercedes benz gla you’re thinking

The gla 45 will be a bit of a good all-rounder let me know in the comments section below now if you did enjoy this video make sure you hit like subscribe and also press the bell icon so you can find out every single time we drive something new but until next time take it easy

Transcribed from video
Mercedes-Benz GLA review 2021 By CarExpert

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