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After a fairly long wait for its arrival, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA has finally been launched in India, with introductory prices for Mercedes’ smallest SUV starting at Rs 42.10 lakh. The entry point to Mercedes’ SUV line-up, the first-generation GLA, was launched in India in 2014 and was on sale in our market till early last year when it was finally phased out. Now, the second-generation model is here and is available in a total of three variants – GLA 200 (Rs 42.10 lakh), GLA 220 d (Rs 43.70 lakh), and GLA 220d 4Matic (Rs 46.70 lakh). These are introductory prices valid till 30 June and will rise by as much as Rs 1.5 lakh from 1 July.

Mercedes-Benz India has also taken this opportunity to launch the new-generation AMG GLA 35 performance SUV, priced at Rs 57.30 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom). The AMG GLA 35 is the third AMG model produced at Mercedes’ plant in Chakan, near Pune, and costs a touch over Rs 1 lakh more than the AMG A 35 sedan shares its powertrain with. It packs the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine producing 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, can do 0-100 kph in 5.1 seconds and top out at 250 kph.

Based on the same MFA 2 platform as the A-Class Limousine launched earlier this year, the second-generation GLA is slightly shorter in length than its predecessor but adopts a far bolder design language, with a more upright and SUV-like stance, instead of the first-gen model’s low-slung crossover look. A longer wheelbase and increased width promise to liberate more interior space for the new GLA. Wheel sizes range from 18- to 19-inches, and all-LED lighting comes standard.

On the inside, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA features the new-gen MBUX infotainment system and two 10.25-inch screens – one that serves as the full-digital instruments display, and another is the touchscreen for the infotainment. Also part of the package is dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, powered front seats with memory function, wireless smartphone charging, powered tailgate, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, NFC compatibility, onboard navigation, and connected car tech (Mercedes I connect).

In terms of powertrains, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA comes with two main choices – a 1.4-liter, the four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine making 163 hp, and 250 Nm of torque in the GLA 200, and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque in the GLA 220 d.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is what the GLA 200 gets, while the GLA 220 d gets an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. 0-100 kph takes a claimed 8.7 seconds in the GLA 200 and 7.4 seconds in the GLA 220 d. The diesel GLA is also available with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, and that’s the variant that gets black sports seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and 19-inch alloys; it can do 0-100 kph in 7.3 seconds. All three versions have a top speed of over 200 kph.

There are four driving modes on offer with the new GLA – Sport, Eco, Dynamic and Individual. The GLA 220 d 4Matic gets an additional ‘Off-road’ mode, altering power delivery and ABS controls to make light off-roading easier.

In terms of safety kit, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA comes with the company’s Pre-Safe system, a tyre pressure monitor, cruise control, autonomous braking (Active Brake Assist), an Active Bonnet feature to protect pedestrians in case of an accident, and in addition to a slew of airbags, also packs in a knee bag for the driver.

The 2021 GLA is one of several key models Mercedes-Benz has lined up for India this year. Also expected to join the line-up soon are the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS.

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