Old vs. new: Mercedes-Benz GLA generations side by side
Mercedes-Benz Philippines has launched the all-new GLA crossover, and it's a pretty big deal for them. That's because all their small crossovers are new for this decade. It also means they're banking a lot on these models for the '20s. Models like the GLA serve as an entry point for the brand, so if they want to establish customer loyalty, the second-generation has to be even better than before.
So how much has changed for the GLA? Here is everything new with Mercedes-Benz's latest baby crossover.
Most automakers are going for more aggressive designs these days, with sharp angles and defined corner edges. But that's not the case with the all-new GLA at all. Mercedes-Benz went for the opposite this time around.
At the front, you'll notice the grille has more rounded corners than before. If anything, it makes it look more feminine than the previous model. Then again, Mercedes-Benz did say that the GLA's customer base is women, so it's easy to see why the automaker went for this direction. Also, the bumper corners are less edgy compared to its predecessor, and the same goes for the body lines on the side.
Where Mercedes-Benz added aggression was at the back. Instead of the ovoid tail lights of the previous generation, the new one takes a page from the new A-Class hatchback with its sleeker design. It makes the rear look bigger, which should add a bit more of an impression.
Raise the roof
When you look at the first-generation GLA, it isn't exactly the tallest compact crossover around. Park it next to its competitors and it looks more like a tall hatchback than a crossover. Mercedes-Benz has rectified that with the all-new model by adding more height. Over 100 mm (+3.9 inches) was added to the roof of the GLA, which should address the headroom shortage from before.
The glass area is noticeably larger than the past generation, bucking the trend of slim windows and high sills. To make it look more crossover than a hatchback, the second-generation GLA has a quarter window at the back. The effect is a longer-looking body, even though it is shorter than before. Yes, the new GLA is smaller (4,410 mm vs. 4,417 mm) but just by a barely noticeable seven millimeters.
Let's go digital
While the exterior would make you think the all-new GLA is a facelift, you won't have that impression inside. For the second-generation GLA, Mercedes-Benz went digital inside. Before its redesign, this model was one of the few offerings that still had an analog instrument cluster. That's not the case anymore.
For the 2021 edition, the instrument cluster and the infotainment screen are housed in one panel, just like the flagship GLS. Also, the dashboard is a big leap from the old model. Sure, it still has the circular air-conditioning vents, but the shape of the dashboard is more organic and has more angles.
Enhanced features and safety
The 2021 GLA 200 also comes with a host of technologies previously unavailable GLA 200. Some of these features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Light and Sight Package, and Parking Package with Active Parking Assist.
If the all-new GLA caught your attention and you have enough cash to buy a new Mercedes-Benz, you might be wondering about the price. For now, there's only one variant available, which is the GLA 200 AMG Line. It retails for Php 3,290,000, which is a big jump from the previous model. See, the old GLA started at Php 2,790,000, so why the increase?
Apart from the new standard safety equipment, the new version has better overall performance. The outgoing model came in GLA 180 guise, meaning it makes less power than the new one. The old GLA 180 made 122 PS and 200 Nm of torque, which is a lot less than the GLA 200's 163 PS and 250 Nm torque rating. The new model still uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, though.
Also, that version did not come with the AMG Line, sticking to the standard Urban Line.
Yes, it's Php 500,000 more than the old model, but we reckon it will be worth it especially with the added equipment and power that now come standard.