Mercedes-Benz has been known over the past century as a manufacturer of luxurious cars that generally favour luxury over economy. Over the past few decades they have been branching out with different types of vehicles, including large SUVs, small SUVs, crossover coupes, small hatchback cars, and other cars costing less than $40,000 — like the 2021 GLA 250.
Aside from their image of being an expensive luxury automaker, they have built a reputation for building sound cars overall. They know how to achieve a respectable degree of reliability, even in complex models. Therefore they could theoretically succeed with cars in the $30,000 range, which is currently dominated by Japanese automakers that are legendary for their reliability.
Despite their strong brand loyalty, Mercedes has been able to sell cars in the $30,000 range, and seems to have expanded that lineup. The Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 is part of a broader trend towards ultra-compact crossovers. Smaller cars tend to be less expensive, and the same applies to SUVs. Smaller cars like these usually consume less fuel as well.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA250 is a stubby, compact, and overall attractive crossover with a slightly sporty look. It backs that up with a reasonably powerful (for the price) 221 HP at 5,500 RPM and 258 foot-pounds of torque at 1,620 rpm. That isn’t bad for a 2.0L 4 cylinder engine. It also has an 8-speed transmission, rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone air conditioning, seat belt pretensioners, and 18-inch silver aluminium wheels.
It’s important to remember that the last metric (Litres) is not nearly as important as the HP and torque ratings because it is a measure of cylinder volume, and not all 2.0L engines produce the same amount of power. The length of the GLA 250 is 173.6 inches (14.5 feet), and the width without mirrors is 72.2 inches. Its height is 63.4 inches (5.3 feet). The ground clearance is 5.2 inches if the car is under its maximum load. The GLA250 starts at $36,230.