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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 crossover barely undercuts GLB sibling

You can have your baby ute one of two ways for about the same scratch.

The new GLA-Class is far more handsome and well appointed than the crossover it replaces.

When a new car gets released, automakers generally hold off on discussing price until closer to its on-sale date -- sometimes this is because the pricing isn't decided yet, and other times it's to give the car another reason to return to the news cycle. A few months after we first saw it, it's time to learn how many hard-earned dollars it'll take to pick up a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Mercedes-Benz announced this week that the 2021 GLA-Class will start at $37,280 after the mandatory $1,050 destination charge. That will net you a base GLA250 with front-wheel drive. Opting for all-wheel drive will add another $2,000 to the bottom line for an out-the-door price of $39,280 before options. Both models use the same 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 making 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, routed through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

That's a bit of a price creep from the current GLA, which maintains a starting price under $35,000. What's more interesting, though, is how closely the GLA is priced to its bulkier compact sibling, the GLB-Class. The GLB250 starts at $37,595 with front-wheel drive and the same engine and transmission as the GLA. Both models will eventually spawn AMG variants, as well, and something tells me the prices will be pretty close to parity there, too. Prices have not yet been revealed for the GLA35, though.

So really, it's a matter of how you want your compact Merc to look. If you want something a little sleeker and coupe-ier, the GLA-Class will scratch that itch, similar to how the CLA-Class and A-Class can coexist simultaneously. If you want something a little more rugged looking, the GLB-Class is the one for you. Both vehicles can be equipped with the same bevy of safety systems, infotainment technology and creature comforts, but the GLB-Class does offer an optional third row, something the GLA-Class does not.

Not only is the GLA250 aligned with its internal competition, but it's also near parity with outside competitors. The BMW X1 starts around $36,000, as well, and the Land Rover Discovery Sport is just a couple grand ahead of the Bimmer. The Audi Q3 sneaks in just below the group with a starting price closer to $35,000. But, like every window sticker, there's always a little wiggle room if you like the art of the haggle.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class goes on sale a little later this year.