Mercedes GLA forty five AMG (2014) Car review

This is the Mercedes GLA forty five AMG, and it’s a new kind of car from Mercedes entirely: a hot crossover.

If ‘GLA forty five AMG’ appears like Herr Engineer fell asleep on his keyboard, do not be concerned. ‘GLA’ is Mercedes new A-class primarily based crossover , a higher-riding hatch with styles on the Audi Q3 and Assortment Rover Evoque.

The ’45 AMG’ suffix is the exact same utilized to the fast A-course and CLA . So, this flagship GLA uses the same ballistic four-cylinder engine and all-wheel generate method as the other ‘my initial AMG’ stablemates, providing the sort of overall performance from this fairly unassuming loved ones vehicle that a Porsche 911 Turbo would’ve aimed for a 10 years in the past.

So the Mercedes GLA forty five AMG isn’t the sluggish auto among AMGs then?

Definitely not. Even a bluffer, taller model of the A-course is heading to change when you plumb a turbocharged 2.-litre motor good for 355bhp and 332lb ft into its nose. Sorry to Porsche-bash once once more listed here, but you happen to be looking at a posh Qashqai with much more punch than a 911 Carrera three.four listed here.

Performance is suitably speedy. The GLA 45 AMG is front-wheel travel in daily pootling, but go for a difficult launch and up to fifty% of electrical power is diverted to the 19in rear wheels. With -62mph arriving in 4.8sec (only .2sec slower than the 30kg lighter A45 hatch), the GLA is considerably from a poor relation.

In reality, it truly is just as fast throughout the ground as the full-body fat Mercedes SUV highway-rocket, the bi-turbo V8-driven ML63 AMG . Audi’s 306bhp RSQ3 is slower and thirstier, and absolutely nothing in Land Rover’s arsenal can provide the Evoque onto a degree actively playing area with this flagship GLA. It truly is a guilty enjoyment, this 1. A single that statements an formal 37mpg on the EU blended cycle as well – quite astounding offered the functionality.

Of course, like the rest of the A-class-based AMGs, the GLA does not seem as inspiring as its V8 AMG brethren. The in-line four pot growls underneath weighty load and gamely pops on the overrun, but the GLA 45 is a equipment you may purchase for its any-temperature rate, not a hair-boosting backing track as common. Speccing the optional sports activities exhaust provides you a rally car esque-bark: fun on a test generate, but it won’t ingratiate you to the neighbours.

Even now, it appears antisocial adequate to carry off the doubtful purple seatbelts, red air vent surrounds and blinged-up equipment selector that elevate the normal GLA (and therefore A-course-donated) interior. So it need to – this is a £42k machine.

How’s it manage?

Riding 46mm greater than an A45 AMG (albeit 20mm lower than any other GLA) does rob the GLA of the last levels of agility, but there are rewards to its loftiness that claw the big difference again somewhat. Clamped into just as supportive a bucket seat as the sizzling hatch, you’re in no less of a mood to throw that bluff nose into some turns.

There, you are going to find the GLA easy behaves like a quite, really quickly, glued-down very hot hatchback – even though a dab of extra suspension travel implies it rides much better than the (admittedly so-brittle-it-may well-shatter) A45. This is a mightily successful level-to-position functionality device that’s supremely sorted: its 330mm four-piston cross-drilled entrance brakes pull the 1585kg Merc up with robust chunk, yet the GLA maintains its composure to make it ripe for an early dose of throttle: the suspension compliance looking at this vehicle grip ‘n’ go fairly than slip ‘n’ slide.

As we’re now accustomed to in AMG Mercs, the transmission is at times left panting by the pace of every thing happening about it. The 7-speed dual-clutcher in the GLA is, hey presto, lifted from the A45 and CLA45, and it still suffers from a slight deliberation time that drivers should pre-empt to avoid smacking the engine’s limiter.

The electric powered steering is swift – as we are used to in the A-class and CLA – but has far more fat and feel to it than a typical GLA’s rack. This hotshoe variant, despite its furry-chested efficiency stats, may well just be the most pleasant GLA to travel, as opposed to its far more anaemic, mumsier stablemates. Is AMG going delicate? Nope – it is just bringing a little a lot more electrical power to much more individuals.

Let’s flip this close to – why would not I acquire the GLA forty five AMG as an alternative of the A45?

Very good issue. The GLA looks cooler in a Tonka toy sorta-way, feels more rapidly to travel, and has a 140-litre bigger boot. Which you select will come down mostly to expense (the GLA is nearly £4000 pricier than the A-class hatch, and does 5 much less miles per gallon) and your own perceptions of crossovers – rocketsled-quick ones or or else.


This is a turn up for the publications: the slippery, awkward-searching CLA 45 AMG turns out to be the bronze medallist between four-pot AMGs, and the crashy A45 is considerably less habitable than the GLA – which is practically as pacey on paper. Sizzling hatchback connoisseurs may possibly not like it, but the GLA 45 AMG is the Merc to give other pocket rockets a bloody nose.