First review GLA 45 AMG: A Super GTI

Drive test Mercedes GLA 45 AMG
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The AMG is becoming democratised: the smallest AMG engine, but also the strongest 4-cylinder turbocharged engine in the world, makes room for itself under the hood of the GLA and turns into a complete GTI.

What is the mission of a superengined compact SUV? There aren’t any arguments, but the pleasure agent can reach the highest altitude even in an SUV full of steroids, exactly because it does not have a high body shell, as the gravity center is low and so is the drag. Audi pushed the RS Q3 up to 310 HP, but Mercedes shows they can go even higher and set the 2-liter turbocharged and 360 HP super engine of the A 45 into the GLA. This is the most powerful compact SUV ever built. Surprinsingly, the GLA 45 AMG can be an every day car when using the Comfort program of the driving train in which the start/stop system is engaged. At low city speed, it can be extremely urbane and submissive, peacefully purring through the four tailpipes and surprisingly comfortable while overcoming road humps.

 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: the GLA 45 AMG can be as submissive as a lamb in the C Mode, but turns into a tiger in the M and S Mode. The ability of going from one extreme to another is incredible.

If the throttle is pressed and the M or the S Mode is on, the GLA 45 AMG turns into a super GTI. The gears change with the speed of light, close to the 6000 rpm border, being accompanied by an exhaust fanfare, and you don’t have an instant left to take a look at the speedometer.

  • Exciting in the M and S Mode
  • Wonderful sound worthy of the most emotional GTI
  • Submissive in the every day life, in the C Mode


  • High price quotation, up to the level of 56,000 euro
  • Low practical usability

The hands clench to the leather and Alcantara steering wheel and, in these modes, the gears are changed from the shift paddles behind the wheel as fast as in the supersporty exclusive SLS AMG. When regressing for bends, the exhaust fanfare sounds even louder. The ESP System has three adjustment levels: On, Sport Handling and Off. In the Sport Handling, the ESP interferes later on and allocates more torque to the rear (it varies from 100/0 to 50/50 front/rear), and the Curve Dynamic Assist function of the ESP brakes the wheel from the inside of the curve. This smart ESP, together with the road clearance lowered by 15 mm and the standard 4-wheel drive, provides inconceivable dynamics.

The GLA 45 AMG goes all the way from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,8 seconds and can reach 250 km/h, but the AMG package can raise the speed limit up to 280 km/h. The GLA 45 AMG does not only go against the RS Q3, but also raids the Golf R or Audi S3, as it is included in the same price range.


The VerdictThe A 45 AMG is a hot hatch premium, but what about the GLA 45 AMG? What is the point in a compact SUV with a GTI engine? Theoretically speaking, it makes no sense, but the Mercedes managed to imprint sporty GTI-worthy genes to this mutant, thanks to the special native qualities of the model with a lowered gravity center and sporty looks, given by the low silhouette and by the low drag.

Technical data Mercedes GLA 45 AMG EU version

ModelGLA 45 AMG
Engine typeL4, turbo
Displacement (cmc)1991
Max. power/revs(CP/rpm)360/6000
Max. torque/revs(Nm/rpm)450/2250-5000
Transmissionaut. 7 sp.
L/l/h (mm)4417/1804/1494
Wheelbase (mm)2699
Boot capacity (l)na
Kerb weight (kg)1585
Maximum speed (km/h)250
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)4,8
Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)7,5
Emission CO2 (g/km)175
Price (euro with VAT, GER)55.870,50

Technical data Mercedes GLA 45 AMG USA version

ModelGLA 45 AMG
EngineL4, turbo
Displacement (cc)1,991
Max.power/revs (HP/rpm)355/6,000
Max. torque/revs (lb-ft/rpm)332/2250-5000
Transmission7 speed automatic
L/l/h (in)176.4/61.7/58.2
Wheelbase (in)106.2
Curb weight (lbs)3,262
Trunk capacity (cu. ft)43.6
Acceleration 0-60 mph (s)4.8
City fuel consumption (mpg)na
Highway fuel consumption (mpg)na
Price (USD)48,300