Breezing through town in the 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC

Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles


What a way to fill in action packed week than with the 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC. The review week called for sunny and mild weather, as well as capping the week off with our Cars and Brunch event. This small luxurious beast from Mercedes-Benz definitely caught the attention from a lot of onlookers throughout the week.

Revealed in 2013, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a subcompact luxury crossover SUV manufactured and marketed by Mercedes-Benz. The GLA-Class is powered by a mix of petroleum, diesel 4-cylinder engine and an e plug-in hybrid model. The GLA-Class comes in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive model is known as the 4MATIC. The GLA means  Geländewagen, German for off-road vehicle, and the A designates the smallest class in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.

People often ask me, “What does AMG mean?” The quick answer is to say “The fast model”, but technically AMG, Mercedes-AMG GmbH, is the high-performance line of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. AMG began as an independent engineering firm specializing in performance improvements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Mercedes-AMG GmbH is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz AG.  AMG is more than performance. The look of the AMG model is more aggressive and it has better handling, better stability and more extensive use of custom features. With this comes with a more expensive price tag.

Upon first look you notice the vertical bar grille, small spoiler over the rear window, 19” AMG 10 spoke wheels. The model that we tested came in a Digital White Metallic hue. The GLA is a crossover SUV but when you see it, it is closer to a small wagon.

The interior of the GLA has more than you would think by looking at it. The upright styling leaves plenty of room for four adults. I was able to put two child car safety seats in the back for my young children and I still drove around comfortably. The interior had black leather seats, a suede-wrapped steering wheel, and the special AMG trim.

The GLA also comes with dual 10.25-inch displays that are integrated into one panel across the dash. The digital dash can be configured in three AMG display styles, Classic, Sport, and Supersport, the latter featuring a central round tach and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right. The Mercedes-Benz User experience (MBUX) package comes with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Bluetooth Connectivity and much more. I really enjoyed the vents that are styled to look like jet engine intakes and the ambient lighting throughout the cabin.

Under the hood, there is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 302 horsepower and 295 lbs-ft of torque, through an AMG Speedshift eight-speed dual-clutch transmission alongside the AMG Performance 4Matic variable all-wheel-drive system. The 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC is peppy and can get up to speed quickly. The sound of the turbo boost, as you switch through the gears, adds excitement to ride. The gas mileage comes in at 23 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. This is a true performance car that is fun driving and would be considered an upscale daily.

The electric power steering has a variable-ratio rack and the AMG adaptive damping system enables the driver to choose between three suspension control modes. There is not much body roll when carving through twisty corners and the throttle response is immediate when hitting the straights. Engage Sport Plus, punch the accelerator and the GLA35’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic takes off in first gear. The throaty sound is so addictive. There’s plenty of stopping power due to the front brakes that comprise 13.8-inch rotors and four-piston calipers. The rear has 13.0-inch rotors and single-piston calipers. The AMG lettered discs are internally ventilated to better dissipate heat.

Showcasing the 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC, at my Cars and Brunch show, intrigued not only the various Mercedes Benz car clubs that often attend, such as AMG DMV Lounge and Mercy Times, but it was really a hit amongst the younger crowd. Aside from the prestige of it being an AMG Mercedes-Benz, compliments of the look and size of the vehicle were consistent. Living in the city and often commuting in high traffic areas, consumers in that demographic are searching for the smaller size vehicles. This one definitely seem to hit the points that they were looking for.

Competition for the 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC are vehicles such as the BMW X3M, Audi SQ5 and the Jaguar E-Pace. The 2021 AMG GLA35 4MATIC is comfortable and a really fun to drive performance-oriented luxury compact crossover. The model that we tested came in priced at $54,455.00.Please enjoy the photo gallery.



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