Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 – Is it worth it?

The Mercedes GLA is the German brand’s baby crossover car – its dinky proportions making it perfectly suited to life in the city. It’s comfortable, easy to live with, and affordable, but ultimately a little bit dull.


That’s where the Merc-AMG GLA 45 comes in – a 376bhp crossover that will propel you and your family from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds. The model has just been on the receiving end of a minor facelift that has brought with it a set of sharp new LED headlamps and refreshed interior design.


Engineers were also let loose on the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Not that it needed it but an extra 21bhp has been unearthed making this one of the fastest crossovers money can buy – so long as £46,875 is within your budget.


Climb inside and despite the recent update the GLA does feel a little dated when you compare it to some of Mercedes’ newer models such as the E-Class saloon. Arse-hugging bucket seats aside you do begin to wonder where your near-£50,000 has been spent.


Find an arrow-straight piece of road and those thoughts about an iffy interior quickly dissipate. The AMG GLA 45 is frighteningly, savagely quick – the seamless seven-speed double-clutch gearbox and four-wheel drive system pairing up perfectly to ensure not an ounce of power is wasted.


On the vast options list, one definitely worth putting your hand in your pocket for is the sports exhaust, which gives the tiny 2.0-litre engine some racing car vocal chords. However, that frantic noise and turn of speed doesn’t do enough to mask the GLA’s less than perfect body control.


It feels a bit wayward when you’re using all the power the GLA has at its disposal. The more compact and better looking A45 AMG handles better, is just as practical in the real world and is about £5,000 cheaper.

The AMG GLA 45, £46,875, by MERCEDES-BENZ

Jonathan Burn

Jonathan Burn is a world renowned automotive journalist, and Ape's resident car expert with a deep appreciation for anything that drives fast.