Search CarGuide.PH

March 17, 2021

The 2021 GLA is the Mercedes-Benz For Our Time

“Hey, Mercedes!”

Who would have thought that one day, voice command technology would be coming to Mercedes-Benz’s infotainment system? Mercedes-Benz—a brand that has more than a century of solid footing in the global automotive industry and is recognized for generations over, has stepped into a new era with the same vigor and tenacity that it had decades ago. Having produced some of the most iconic and classic car designs in automotive history, Mercedes-Benz continues to do so with a fresh line-up of vehicles that are designed for the demands of the changing times. While it has not forgotten what it is built on, the brand recognizes that its market has also evolved.

The new breed of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts care little for how much history a vehicle holds, at least on a day to day perspective. In fact, in this modern age, to own a Mercedes-Benz is to signify a level of self-attainment and achievement. It is no longer a car that you wait for under the tree—it is a car that has been elevated to being a part of your success, making it an even more significant element in reaching your life’s milestones. True, a Mercedes-Benz is backed by legacy, but it also has a unique enduring quality that allows it to extend beyond being identified as “your grandfather’s car.”

Such is the thrust of the Mercedes-Benz line of SUVs, particularly the GLA 200. As a member of the compact SUV category, the GLA 200 is what you may possibly call a child of the more imposing G-Class. While the latter is the classic epitome of mightiness, the GLA is of the sporty, refined sort. It is built to have the luxury, robust exterior that is expected of a Mercedes—smooth rounded edges, clean-cut lines, a perfectly proportioned front grille that frames the signature brand logo. However, its sporty outlook, with an elegant curvature that unifies it from nose to tail, gives it an appeal that fits snugly into the gap of the independent, contemporary individual, altogether removing the brand’s stiff upper lip.

Design-wise, the GLA is styled for an uptown feel, limiting the interior look to an elegant dark trim with chrome details. The full-color digital instrument and media display adds a strikingly modern visual, with the added option to manually change the interior lights. This plays into the creativity of its owner in making the GLA entirely their own. The GLA’s MBUX multimedia system offers connectivity at a touch, paired with the extended voice command feature, which is perfect for getting things done while on the road. “Mercedes” may sound a little too much like Siri and will definitely take practice to get the right diction, but anything hands-free nowadays is a plus for safety and practicality.

The GLA 200 owns up to its functionality by keeping things in the cabin as clean and simple as possible, with all the standard controls positioned at an easy, familiar reach, which is reminiscent of how a classic European panel layout is supposed to be. Being an SUV also means that the legroom is decidedly roomy, with a generous cargo hold for either a road warrior’s daily essentials or a family’s weekend gear.

However, more than the features and design, the GLA 200 was made for creating memories, and in the most luxurious way possible. The goals of today’s world have changed. It is no longer just about the light at the end of the tunnel, but the steps that you take to reach that goal; and perhaps, even the curveballs along the way. The GLA 200 is an SUV that is designed to take you down that next long road ahead—and ultimately bring you back home, all with the understated, confident personality to match each stride.

Words and Photos by Gen Tiu.


  1. Call me old fashioned, but, talking to a computer program isnt for me. Repeating the phrase "hey, mercedes" everytime you want something done is kind of annoying. And i steer clear if a car's selling points are the tech features and not much on the driving dynamics.

  2. I wouldn't touch a mercedes with a 10 foot pole. Endless money pits.

  3. Been driving the BMW X1 2.0d since 2010 and it still runs well. PMS isnt that expensive as the computer tells you when it needs service - more than 10k km in between. I dont think the GLA is as good.

  4. Hello, any inputs on the engine? do you think it is underpowered and will have a hard time overtaking?


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.