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Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S 4MATIC+

POWER PACKED (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Mercedes is marking its territory at the performance end of the premium-badged compact SUV segment in no uncertain terms with the powerhouse GLA 45. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 69

Mercedes-Benz lights the blue touch paper on its rocket of a crossover, the AMG-engineered GLA 45 S 4MATIC+. With all-wheel drive and 421hp from its turbo two-litre engine, it's searingly quick, thanks to use of the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. It's also practical and isn't going to require a second mortgage to run. What's not to like? The price? Well you can't have everything....

Backgroundword count: 114

It's not like Mercedes-Benz to miss out on an opportunity - and the brand hasn't done here. We've been impressed with the second generation version of the company's GLA compact premium SUV and it didn't take the brand's Afalterbach-based AMG tuning division long to get its hands on it and produce the vehicle we have here; the GLA 45. It borrows the potent '45'-spec performance engineering also used on the brand's A and CLA-class models and this spells all-wheel drive traction and a surfeit of power that's almost obscene. Can it work in a higher-riding 'crossover' body? Audi's RS Q3 has demonstrated that a market exists. Can Mercedes trump Audi at its own game?

Driving Experienceword count: 284

There's only one engine on offer but it's quite a powerplant. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit might not immediately promise great fireworks, but this one comprehensively trumps the 400hp 2.5-litre lump in the Audi RS Q3, developing a hefty 421hp from a relatively lightweight hand-built twin-scroll turbo engine (which is 40hp than the equivalent version of the previous generation model). That's in '45 S' version form, the only variant of this car offered in our market. Mercedes claims this car's engine to be the most powerful series-production four-cylinder turbo powerplant in the world and although you might well remember the odd Mitsubishi Evo with a few more ponies under the bonnet, for the time being at least it's impossible to argue with Mercedes' claim. This engine develops 500Nm of torque from just 2,250rpm (up from 475Nm before), again incrementally better than the RS Q3 Audi can manage. 62mph from rest takes 4.3s en route to 168mph. Drive naturally goes to all four wheels, but despite the SUV tag, don't be tempted to go green laning in this one. The ground clearance is minimal and the low-profile tyres aren't going to afford much grip on wet grass or protection to the beautifully-finished 20-inch alloy wheels. You get an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8-speed dual clutch sports transmission which has a RACE-START function and various AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes enhanced by AMG DYNAMICS integrated agility control. Traction through the bends is enhanced by AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with AMG TORQUE CONTROL. Plus there's bespoke AMG suspension with adaptive damping based around the three modes of AMG RIDE CONTROL. There's also a high performance braking system and circuit fiends can play with an AMG TRACK PACE app.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

4.3

Boot capacity min (litres):

435

Combined mpg:

37.6

CO2 (g/km):

210

212

Height (mm):

1611

Length (mm):

4410

... and 3 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Sporting Cars

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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