The latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLA was launched in India just over two weeks ago. At the time, just like any automaker, Mercedes was offering its all-new model with attractive introductory pricing. The range kicked off with the entry-level GLA 200 Progressive Line at Rs 42.10 Lakh, stretching to as high as Rs 57.30 Lakh for the AMG GLA35 4MATIC (ex-showroom, India). Presumably, these prices were so attractive that the German brand sold out its entire first batch of the 2021 GLA in just two weeks!
At its launch in late May 2021, Mercedes-Benz India had mentioned that the 2021 GLA’s introductory pricing will last till June 30. However, as it turns out, with the whole first lot completely sold out, things aren’t the same anymore. Before the next batch of the 2021 GLA shows up, Mercedes-Benz India has announced that it has hiked the prices by up to Rs 1.50 lakh. After this hike, the entry-level petrol GLA 200 now starts from Rs 43.60 Lakh, while the entry-level diesel GLA 220d costs Rs 45.20 Lakh. A hike of Rs 1 lakh is applicable on the GLA 220d 4MATIC, pushing its starting price from Rs 46.70 Lakh to Rs 47.70 Lakh. As for the range-topping AMG GLA35 4MATIC variant, it now costs Rs 58.78 Lakh, an increase of Rs 1.48 lakh.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA competes with cars like the Volvo XC40, Mini Countryman, BMW X1, and the upcoming Audi Q3. While it shares its basic underpinning with the new A-Class hatchback, this avatar of the GLA has grown 104mm taller than its predecessor. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has added 30mm or so to the wheelbase, thereby liberating more space in the cabin.
Visually as well, the 2021 GLA looks larger than the old model while also exuding a more premium aura. The LED headlamps and tail lamps are all new and really add to the upmarket appeal of this small crossover. Meanwhile, the large front grille, sporty-looking bumpers, squared-off wheel arches with 19-inch alloy rims, and a rear spoiler, plus the dual-exhaust tips, all help this premium SUV make a statement.
The cabin of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA easily keeps up with the refreshed exterior. Some of the cool features that might impress customers include a panoramic sunroof, power-operated front seats with memory function, a Burmester premium surround-sound audio system, wireless phone charging, 64-color LED ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, a customizable digital instrument cluster, and a 10.25-inch infotainment head unit. The latter is powered by Mercedes-Benz’s fancy MBUX system that looks really cool and also sports wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. Generally speaking, the interior of the new GLA feels more upmarket, sporty, better built, and more contemporary than its precursor.
The petrol variants of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA use a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This unit puts out 161hp and 250Nm of torque and drives the front wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, the GLA 220d version is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine that produces 189hp and 400Nm of peak torque. It is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that sends power to the front wheels or all four wheels (in the GLA 220d 4MATIC). The GLA 220d is also faster than the GLA 200, hitting a top speed of 222 kmph and reaching 100 kmph in 7.3 seconds. For reference, the latter tops out at 210 kmph while the run to the ton-mark takes 1.4 seconds longer. Then there is the 302hp AMG GLA35 4MATIC, which can do 250 kmph and hit 100 kmph in just 5.1 seconds.