The second-gen GLA 45 is a super-attractive package with impressive performance figures

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After a successful stint in its first generation, Mercedes has decided to introduce the second-generation of the GLA model. The AMG-tagged GLA 45 will be available in two variants – 45 and 45 S. Both of them feature the same mill, but different power outputs. They are powered by a new four-cylinder turbo engine with a four-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are also some interior and exterior tweaks that make the model fresh. Unfortunately, the GLA 45 S won’t make it Stateside.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior
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The GLA 45 is a smart SUV on the outside. The wide Panamericana grille up front doesn’t look too bad and adds a lot of character to the vehicle. It comes with LED headlights and daytime running lights as standard. There is a front splitter that aids with aerodynamic performance. Speaking of aerodynamics, the SUV boasts a drag coefficient of 0.36.

The automaker offers five different wheel designs to choose from. It rides on 19-inch, 10-spoke AMG wheels as standard. They come wrapped in 235/50 section high-performance tires. Apart from this, four other wheel designs are offered as optional, one of which is a 19-inch set while the other three are 21-inch wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This SUV also comes with round tailpipes measuring 3.2 inches in diameter and a wide rear apron. There is a spoiler, too, that aids in high-speed performance and also adds to the aesthetics of the GLA 45. Mercedes says it has reinforced the body shell and has added things like a shearing plate under the engine and diagonal struts at the front and back that help reduce body roll to a large extent.

The GLA 45 will be offered in eight different exterior shades:

  • Polar White
  • Night Black
  • Digital White Metallic
  • Cosmos Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic
  • Mountain Grey Metallic
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Patagonia Red Metallic

Other than the two solid colors listed at the top, all six metallic shades command a premium of $720.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior
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The 2021 GLA 45 measures 174.6 inches in length, 79.5 inches in width, and 62.5 inches in height. The wheelbase measures 107.4 inches, whereas the front and rear tracks are 63.7- and 62.8 inches wide.
Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ specifications
Engine Handcrafted AMG 2.0-liter Inline 4 Turbo
Displacement 1991 cc
Max. output 382 hp at 6,500 rpm
Peak torque 354 lb-ft at 4,750-5,000 rpm
Drive AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with AMG TORQUE CONTROL
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.3 s
Top speed 155 mph*

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Interior

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Interior
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Step inside the cockpit and you’ll be welcomed to a sporty cabin that looks quite busy. Behind the chunky, flat-bottom steering wheel sits a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster conjoined with a 10.25-inch touchscreen that runs on the MBUX infotainment system. It features voice control that’s activated by saying “Hey, Mercedes”. The system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well. Apart from this, there is a touchpad controller and four USB ports. Stuff like head-up display, navigation, augmented reality, and so on can also be had as optional.

The cabin doesn’t seem too spacious at the onset but that’s because of how busy it feels. There are multiple customization options on offer that can make it look less cluttered. You can spec your SUV with any of the following trims – Carbon Structure, Natural Grain Black Linden Wood, Natural Grain Brown Walnut Wood, and Brushed Aluminum. The automaker offers multiple upholstery options on the GLA 45. These include:

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Interior
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  • Neva Grey/Black MB-Tex
  • Black MB-Tex/Dinamica with Red Stitching
  • Black Leather
  • Bahia Brown Textured Leather
  • Classic Red/Black Leather
  • Titanium Grey/Black Leather

The GLA 45 is quite loaded even in the standard form. Some of the features are:

  • Power and heated front seats
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • 64-color LED lights
  • Keyless entry
  • Start/Stop system
  • Power liftgate
  • Heated wing mirrors
  • Cruise control
Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 107.4
Length 174.6
Width (w/ mirrors) 79.5
Width (w/o mirrors) 72.0
Height 62.5
Track (front / rear) 63.7 / 62.8
Ground Clearance (max load) 4.6
Curb Weight (lbs) 3,913

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Drivetrain

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Drivetrain
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The AMG GLA 45 comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder twin-turbocharger under the hood that dishes out 382 horses at 6,500 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque between 4,750 and 5,000 rpm.

Being a 4MATIC+ version, it comes with an all-wheel-drive system with torque control. Power is sent to all the wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The SUV takes just 4.4 seconds to sprint to 62 mph and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The SUV also comes with a three-stage ESP and torque vectoring brakes as standard. There are a few AMG exclusives, too, like the Dynamic Select drive modes and Ride Control Sport Suspension with three-stage damping as standard. Even an AMG sport exhaust system and high-performance braking system come as standard. For further performance enhancements, you can opt for the Race Mode, AMG Drive Unit, and High-Performance Composite Braking System.

As for the fuel economy, the GLA 45 delivers 20 miles in the city and 27 miles on the highway for every gallon of fuel consumed.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ interior dimensions
Head room (front / rear) 39.0 / 38.0
Leg room (front / rear) 41.0 / 38.0
Shoulder room (front / rear) 56.0 / 55.0
Behind 1st row (seats down) 50.5 cubic feet
Behind 2nd row (seats up) 15.4 cubic feet

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Pricing

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior
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The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ starts at $55,550. There are a lot of optional packages and accessories available and equipping them could lead to splurging well over $70,000 in no time.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Competition

Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S: New Engine, More Power, Same Sexy Appearance Exterior
- image 809439

The finesse of Porsche cars is unmatched. On paper, the Macan S is the closest rival to the GLA 45 from the Stuttgart-based automaker. The Macan S is slightly bigger than its German rival in terms of dimensions, which results in better interior space. It comes packed with a 3.0-liter, V-6 turbocharged mill under the hood that dishes out 348 ponies and 354 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels via a seven-speed PDK transmission. The car sprints to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds when opted with the Sport Chrono package. The 2021 Macan S starts from $60,200.

Read our full review on the Porsche Macan S

Audi RS Q3

2020 Audi RS Q3 Exterior
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The RS Q3 isn’t available in the U.S., but it is the most evenly-matched SUV in terms of specs. It comes with a plush, techy interior and a handsome exterior. The RS Q3 is powered by a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder turbocharged mill that produces 395 horses and 354 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The RS Q3 takes 4.5 seconds to sprint to 62 mph and has a top speed of 155 mph.

Read our full review on the Audi RS Q3

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Packages

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Mercedes offers a few optional packages and accessories for the GLA 45:

  • Exterior Lighting Package - $900
  • Panoramic Roof - $1,500
  • AMG Night Package - $750
  • AMG Aerodynamics Package - $1,550
  • AMG Performance Seat Package - $2,770
  • AMG Performance Seat Package Advanced - $3,470
  • Multimedia Package - $1,295
  • Driver Assistance Package - $1,700
  • Parking Assistance Package - $1,090
  • AMG Dynamic Plus Package - $2,050

Service packages can also be purchased which cover scheduled maintenance services. Here’s how the three packages are priced:

  • 2 years/20,000 miles – $1,490
  • 3 years/30,000 miles – $2,060
  • 4 years/40,000 miles – $2,850

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ Exterior
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The GLA45 is loaded in terms of safety and driver-assistance features. There are quite a few standard features, but many of them are reserved as options. Some of the standard and optional safety features include:

  • Active Brake Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Adaptive braking technology
  • Downhill Speed Regulation
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Program
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist
  • Active Speed Limit Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • Active Lane Change Assist
  • Leave it
    • Most of the desirable features offered as options
    • Cockpit is very busy; seems cluttered
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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