What you’re looking at here is technically a crossover, although its styling and performance scream hot hatch. This is the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, which is the latest in the brand’s line of high-power crossovers. Mercedes’ 2.0-liter M139 turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes another appearance, as it does in the A45 and CLA45 performance models. In this updated GLA, the engine makes 382 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, just slightly more than the outgoing version.
What’s more significant than the modest power bump, though, is the transmission. Instead of sending the power to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic, here the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 houses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission instead. Couple the faster shifts to the beefy four-pot engine, and Mercedes says the GLA can get from 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. To get that acceleration, drivers have the option to use the car’s “Race-Start” mode that uses partial ignition interruption when changing up through the gears for a more exciting sound. When changing down, the mode also features a double-declutching function.
On the styling front, the GLA 45 looks as loud as ever. Particularly with that wing on the back, 19-inch wheels and dual exhaust pipes, you won’t mistake this for a standard GLA. As with other AMG models, the entry-level crossover version still gets vertical slats to set it apart from its more conventional siblings.
Retuned suspension, more aggressive looks
Sticking with the hot hatch theme, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 also hones in on its handling and stopping power. The McPherson strut design in the front and four-link suspension setup in the rear have been revised in order to manage faster cornering. Up front, the GLA 45 uses 13.8-inch rotors with four-piston calipers. In the back, there are 13-inch units with single-piston calipers, though you can get 14.2-inch discs with the AMG Dynamic Plus package.
Inside, the GLA 45 looks much like the standard GLA, save the sporty AMG touches. The yellow accents, for example, dial things up a notch, while you still get Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system and digital instrument cluster. The seats get larger bolsters to grip the occupants during sportier drives, while AMG performance seats are optional equipment.
Pricing for the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 hasn’t been announced yet. However, the car will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2020. We should have more information on how much it costs closer to the launch date. Stay tuned for more updates!
Check out one of the GLA’s entry-level siblings below: