Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 2021 review | Chasing Cars

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I’m tom baker this is chasing cars and this is the new mercedes-benz gla the smallest suv that you can buy with the three-pointed star on the bonnet and this particular gla is the brand new second generation version of this car and let me tell you right from the start it’s a big improvement over the original first gen gla which was really just the previous a-class

With a tiny little lift now the gla has really been given its own persona the shape is quite different from an a-class and the looks are as well it’s shorter than an a-class it’s now wider and it’s a lot lot taller than the a-class about 12 centimeters taller in fact so it looks more like an suv and as we’ll find out in just a second the seating position is also

Much more suv like inside a cabin that’s far higher quality than before i actually think it’s a reasonably good looking car i quite like it with the diamond studded grille and these five spoke wheels that continue to look cool basically on anything mercedes-benz fit them to and this bright white color also suits the car in my opinion but why would you choose a

Gla over a vehicle like the audi q3 or the bmw x1 well it really comes down to this cabin which is kind of on another level to its competitors the design which is really extroverted won’t be for everybody but i think the way the technology works is good and quality is also massively better than the previous gen gla which was fine but just quite plasticky in

The cabin now almost everything is lined in soft touch materials and it feels like a proper mercedes benz in here but let’s start with the tech and i think there’s a really interesting development in the new gla compared to other mercedes-benz cars with this new interior and that’s that they’ve made this incredible mbux dual screen setup look more integrated

Than in the other cars that use it in most cars it’s sitting really proud and really high on the dash but here you can see how they’ve actually stuck it down into the dash almost like an integrated screen and i think that works better to be honest the tech as a whole it’s definitely sophisticated and a little complicated but if you actually spend the time if you

Buy the car learning how it all works it can be quite rewarding now this central screen here is a touch screen it can also be manipulated through this trackpad between the seats which is kind of harking back to how mercedes-benz tech has been controlled for you know the last 10 or 15 years but you can also control it via a trackpad the left track pad here on

The steering wheel the wheel itself is quite attractive but it does have these real you know big command panels here inside this perforated leather wrapped rim now on the right side that track pad controls your driver’s screen which is the same size as the central screen and it’s really customizable you can put a cool binocular view of a full map up there you

Can put your media your trip computer information there’s heaps and heaps of customization in this tech now these screens are hooked up to an optional burmester stereo in this car that sounds really really good but you get other cool stuff like ambient lighting which is set to like a violet color at the moment in this car that also looks nice and broadly i think

That tech integrates pretty well into the broader design of this dash we have these really cool aviation style air vents here that also have that ambient light shining through them so they’re functional and quite beautiful in my opinion we’ve got this stitched leather-like material on the doors and on the dash i would say in the gla compared to the larger glb it

Does feel a little bit thinner not completely soft touch and for me i tend to kind of rest my arm on the sill on a long drive so that does in fact matter no complaints though about the seats which are supportive and firm in quite a germanic way but they do have a bit of give you can get the multi-contour seat if you’re after the softest and kind of most plush

Seat available in an a-class and you don’t have to go for this black and gray there are lighter colors available as well now this car has carbon fiber trim which i’m not sure is necessary for a non-amg non-performance spec i’d probably go for a metal or a wood but that’s entirely personal and there’s quite a lot of customization you can do in the new gla seat

Controls are electric they’re up here on the doors we’ve got memory and available heating and cooling as well for the seats which is really suitable for australia today it’s freezing but in about two months time it’ll be boiling so you want heating and cooling and practicality is better than most in this segment to be honest big cup holders between the seats a

Wireless charging pad lots of usbc ports in this car so if you haven’t moved on to usbc yet you’ll need to get some adapters like this one that’s actually sitting in the center box which is flock lined to stop things from sliding around and making an annoying noise so up front i think it’s a really nice place to be quite cutting edge in terms of tech but the

Quality runs pretty deep i reckon but let’s check out the back seat which is bigger than the old version and this is one of those interesting times where a car is actually made smaller in terms of length but grows in practicality and interior space so mercedes-benz have been able to do that by pushing the wheels right out to the corners and increasing the wheelbase

Of the car so we’ve got just under 10 centimeters of additional legroom in the previous version if you sat in the back with an adult up front then your legs would be really jammed up against the seat but you can see there is about 10 centimeters more legroom now so that’s truth in advertising if i’ve ever seen it headroom is also decent the car is taller so i’m

Six foot i can sit up straight and i don’t have to bend my head down and toe room is good too now in a pinch you’ll be able to fit someone in the center but it’s still not a massive car so you should really think of it as a four-seater mercedes have many many larger suvs if what you want is more interior space now here on the center console we have air vents which

Is great and we have a pop-down function here with two more usb-c ports no center armrest though which is a bit of a surprise there’s my surprise live on camera in fact that’s usually something that’s a given in a vehicle of this price but there you go but we do have bottle holders in the doors and those i’ll say semi-soft door trims continue here in the second

Row so all in all it is quite a nice place to spend time but what about the boot moving around here to the back of the gla for myself the front angles are probably a little bit stronger it’s quite soft here at the rear end but by no means a bad looking car this one’s the gla 254 matic as you can see by the badges so we have the op spec mercedes 2-liter turbo and

All-wheel drive and we’ll see how that fares on road shortly we also have a power tailgate which gets out of the way fairly smartly revealing a boot that’s bigger than before and that’s because they’ve made the car a little bit taller we can’t remember it’s shorter so it’s actually harder to maximize cargo space but it still has been done so 435 liters is the figure

14 liters up on the old car so just a little bump but as you can see we can fit quite a few large bags here in the back so you know for the occasional airport run or something it’ll work fine the boot floor has two heights you can have a flush height which lets you pull things straight in and out with absolutely no effort basically or you can put it lower like

It is here the only reason that’s possible though is because there’s no spare wheel and tire in the new gla so we have run flat continentals on this car country buyers will probably want to consider whether or not that’s the right fit but in town i think it will still work okay now chrome garnish here to protect your paintwork which is a good feature as is the

40 20 40 folding rear seats we have an electric control there to lower the tailgate so we can jump into the driver’s seat see what the new gla is like on road so what’s the new gla like to drive then have those changes in proportions and the new platform made this a better suv to drive than the previous first generation well the simple answer to that question is

Yes they have made it better to drive the gla is now really an suv kind of designed to provide you know still a dynamic and agile experience like the first gen but really a more comfortable and plush experience i would say now all of that will change when the new gla 45 amg variant comes out in australia soon but this one is the mid-spec gla 250 4matic and this is

The one that you’ll buy if you’re not looking for a sports suv but you are looking for a decent amount of power and pickup because that’s what you get with the 250. this engine is a mercedes-benz two liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 165 kilowatts of power and 350 newton meters of torque and in a vehicle as small as this that’s quite a bit of punch

So if i put my foot down it makes a decent raspy note but more importantly it makes good progress and merging on a 110 kilometer per hour highway for example is easily dispatched by the 250 engine now that engine pairs to a new 8-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox a mercedes-benz design and that gearbox is ok most of the time it’s imperceptible and unremarkable

But i have noticed that it does tend to hunt a little bit for gears so when you put your foot down like that it can tend to try one then quickly go to another and finally settle on another and i think probably slightly more strategic or quick thinking shifts would be good but this is a new car and the gearbox map may not have sort of settled with a driver behavior

Profile yet there’s also a gla 200 that’s the base model that’s a 1.3 liter renault source turbo petrol four-cylinder making 120 kilowatts of power and 200 newton meters of torque and i would just say that that engine is not the best to go into a mercedes product the 250 is superior in terms of refinement and partnership to the dual clutch automatic and importantly

The gla 250 also scores not just the all drive system but also the independent rear suspension that supports that all drive system whereas the gla 200 runs a cheaper less refined torsion beam rear suspension that occasionally sends bangs through the cabin of the vehicles that mercedes puts it in and that’s not really becoming of the three-pointed star in my opinion

So i’d pretend that car doesn’t exist and go for the gla 250 if you decide that you want one of these little benz suvs so how does it ride and handle pretty well the the ride is a good mix of controlled but compliant you do feel the road surface but with these wheels 19-inch wheels we still have a decent amount of sidewall so we don’t have crashing over bumps and

Imperfections or anything like that in fact it rides quite well but still with a sporty kind of edge to it i would say and it does handle quite pleasantly in the corners when you start pitching it in but that said we are riding higher so it doesn’t have that kind of hatchback like reflexes as the previous one did instead there’s a little more roll but that’s the

Trade-off for sitting higher and being overall a little more comfortable i think most people will be okay with that because of course you can just go for a mercedes a-class if you want a low-riding sportier car on this platform it’s pretty refined pretty quiet in here the view out’s pretty good i would say the mirrors are a big size it’s an easy and livable car

But keep in mind you do have to pay a little extra if you want the full safety suite on the new gla with the driver assistance package but it’s a reasonably priced option and worth doing to make sure you have everything you can have on this car from a safety perspective but even in a basic sense it still comes with things like aeb and a crisp reversing camera plus

Lane keeping assist so those are my detailed opinions on the new 2021 mercedes-benz gla this car is a really good improvement from the previous gla and it’s more comfortable than benz’s a-class hatchback so if your priority is a city-sized mercedes-benz that’s quite plush quite easy to live with then a gla is going to be a really good option my view is that you

Should also closely consider the new audi q3 which is really good and less expensive than the gla but i think that this mercedes is a better drive than bmw’s x1 but what we need to do is get those three into a new comparison to really suss it out so that’s something to look forward to in future and to make sure you don’t miss that i encourage you to hit subscribe

Down below and the notification bell leave me a comment while you’re at it let me know your feelings on the new gla and as always thanks for watching chasing cars

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Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 2021 review | Chasing Cars By Chasing Cars