The 45 engine may be the most powerful production four-cylinder elsewhere in the world, but that's not the case in the USA. Over here, Volvo claims that accolade. It's worth noting that Volvo's four-cylinder required both a turbocharger, supercharger, and hybrid assistance to make 400 hp.
As standard, it comes with Mercedes AMG's 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. That plus is of great significance as it denotes an upgraded AWD system with rear torque vectoring. The 45 is only available with the 4Matic+ system. Sending more than 300 hp through the front wheels is a big ask, yet somehow Honda manages to do it perfectly with its Civic Type R. Then again, the GLA 45 has a much meatier 382 hp and 354 lb-ft.
It comes with a Race Start function, more commonly known as launch control. The launch control in this car is savage. Somehow, AMG managed to make a car with a single turbo not feel turbocharged at all. It builds boost and whips forward the moment you let go of the brakes. The tires don't even chirp, and there's no discerning turbo lag-just relentless acceleration. Mercedes-AMG claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph, but this is a case of under-promising and over-delivering. Independent tests have proved that it will get to 60 mph in less than four seconds. In the right conditions, we think this crossover will be able to outsprint its rear-wheel-drive V8 siblings, those being the C63 sedan and coupe. Among other similarly-sized crossovers, the BMW X2 M35i takes almost half a second longer to complete the benchmark sprint.
The previous-generation GLA 45 also boasted a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Still, it was let down by a slow, dimwitted seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an uninspiring four-wheel-drive system.
Merc's updated turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 is a masterpiece of an engine. It develops 382 hp at 6,500 rpm and 354 lb-ft between 4,750 and 5,000 rpm. The maximum power and torque are delivered relatively high up, but the geniuses at AMG built it this way to feel naturally aspirated. In other words, a turbocharged engine that happily spins to over 7,000 rpm. The previous version of this engine was also peaky, and the clunky gearbox made it feel underwhelming. It felt as if AMG simply shoehorned the gearbox from a torque-rich V8 under the hood and hoped for the best.
The new eight-speed dual-clutch is one of the two most significant reasons the new GLA 45 feels so much better. The gear ratios are perfectly judged, resulting in wicked fast acceleration across all speeds. The sportier modes will partially interrupt the ignition when shifting up, resulting in the now expected exhaust fart enthusiasts love so much. It can also double-declutch automatically when shifting down, making the driver feel like a hero. Since the GLA 45 is also a subcompact crossover, it will likely spend most of its time doing something less exciting than canyon carving. The gearbox simply blends into the background in its more sedate driving modes, providing silky-smooth seamless shifts.
|Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Trims||Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Engines||Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Horsepower||Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Transmissions||Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Drivetrains||Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 MPG/MPGE|
|AMG GLA 45 4MATIC||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||382 hp @ 6500 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||AWD||23 MPG|
Given the power output, the EPA-estimated fuel consumption figures are impressive. The claimed figures are 20/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. That's not radically more than the less powerful GLA 35's 22/30/25 mpg. The GLA 45 does have a relatively small gas tank, however. It can carry just 13.5 gallons of fuel so the result is an estimated driving range of around 310 miles in mixed driving conditions.
|Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Trims||AMG GLA 45 4MATIC|
|Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||20/27|