AMG GLA 45: ‘More Aggressive & Brutal than Some V8s’

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AMG crossover hatch, with its 370 hp and lightning-quick transmission, has a lot to offer German car enthusiasts, says Throttle House

The Mercedes-AMG SUV range in the United States starts off with the GLA 45. With an MSRP of $53,350 its most obvious rival is the Audi RSQ3, which has, until now, eluded the American market.

Thomas Holland, host of YouTube channel Throttle House, is convinced that the AMG GLA 45 is “one the fastest cars he has driven in a long time, including non four-cylinder cars.” While going through all the major aspects of the vehicle, Holland is particularly impressed by the mechanical package of the GLA45, calling its 2.0-liter four-cylinder M133 engine a “masterpiece.”

Considering it sports 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Mercedes M133 engine has a higher horsepower-per-liter output than the motors found underneath the Ferrari 488 GTB, the McLaren 720 S and the Nissan-GTR Nismo.

“It barks on the upshift really aggressively,” Holland said. “The best thing about the exhaust is that it is so charismatic. There’s no predictability to when it’s going to pop or when it’s going to bang.”

Connected to the engine, meanwhile, is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to all the four wheels, and the added traction allows for a 0-60 miles per hour sprint of just 4.3 seconds. The GLA 45 also gets a retuned suspension, a sports exhaust system and high-performance brakes.

Mercedes-AMG GLA45

Holland also praises the GLA 45’s exterior/interior styling. He does, however, point out that the exterior dimensions of the GLA resemble those of a hatchback, not an SUV, and its cabin is not as opulent as the ones you will find in other Mercedes models such as the C-Class and the E-Class. 

But the main aspect of the GLA 45 that Holland would really like to change is its infotainment system, which can be a bit cumbersome to use. “What bothers me the most is this [infotainment] screen, that looks like an Android tablet glued to the dash, is not touchscreen,” he said. Notably, Holland will most likely be granted his wish in the very near future when the new GLA is launched with the far-superior and touchscreen-based “MBUX” infotainment system first seen in the new A-Class

Mercedes-AMG GLA45

Holland paints a strikingly compelling picture of the GLA 45 AMG. “I actually haven’t fallen for a vehicle this quickly ever since I first drove the Miata,” he says. Lastly, he believes the price-per-performance of the AMG crossover is a steal, given the degree of performance, luxury and comfort it has to offer.  And we couldn’t agree more.

“If you’re looking for a small enthusiast, runabout practical car and you’ve got a little bit more money than you would need to get a [Ford] Focus RS or the [Civic] Type R, then you should not hesitate to buy one of these,” he said. “It feels like an occasion every time you drive this car.”

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