When we first drove the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, one thing was clear: it was a substantially better vehicle than the CLA and GLA that would be sold alongside it for the near future. The interior quality, technology, powertrain, ride quality, handling ... you name it, it was better. However, another thing was clear: since the next-generation CLA and GLA would be based on this same platform, logically, they too would be greatly improved once they debuted.

Well, we've now driven the new CLA class, and the logical conclusion seems to be the right one. And now we're getting our first look at the third member of that trio, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Captured on a track in Germany, it's pretty easy to tell that what we're looking at here is the next-generation GLA. It has the same sort of tall hatchback look that apparently passes as a crossover, though it looks like there may be a little more ride height this time around. It's also missing its rear doors, which could be a sign that Mercedes wants to challenge the Jeep Wrangler for removable door supremacy in the SUV landscape. Or most definitely not. Why are the doors missing, then? Shrug. Guesses welcome in the comments. So too would be those pertaining to the blue rods on the roof.

Everything else we know about GLA is only educated conjecture based on the A-Class, as well as the current GLA's similarity to the CLA. If that similarity continues for generation 2, we will again get a GLA 250 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which in the new CLA produces 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is in contrast to the A 220, the only model/engine available in the United States, which has a 188-hp 1.8-liter turbo-four. The GLA is likely to share the family's seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual that has been greatly improved for this generation after being such a sore point in the current GLA.

Inside, we'd expect the dash to be virtually identical to the A- and CLA-Class, including the standard MBUX Interface. Materials quality should be similarly elevated. Really, if you're thinking about getting a GLA now, patience would prove to be a virtue. The unwrapped, production-version of the GLA you see here should be a much better vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Information

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

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