Mercedes GLA 45 AMG – full details revealed

The Mercedes GLA 45 AMG will rival the Audi RS Q3 when it goes on sale in March

The Mercedes GLA 45 AMG SUV will be the fastest GLA on sale when it reaches showrooms in March. It is powered by a 355bhp 2.0-litre engine, but also returns decent economy figures for such a fast car.

The GLA 45 AMG is aimed at younger buyers who cannot afford performance versions of the Mercedes ML-Class, Mercedes GL-Class and Mercedes G-Class. The Mercedes GLA made its first appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year and, in GLA 45 AMG specification, it goes into direct competition with the Audi RS Q3.

The sporty GLA is easy to spot thanks to a distinctive grey AMG body kit. It also features a unique front grille, with AMG badging, a distinctive rear bumper, aluminium roof rails, and twin exhaust pipes. The car comes fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels that can be upgraded to 20-inch versions at extra cost.

Inside, the high-power GLA 45 AMG gets sports seats, a sports steering wheel, AMG dials – including a lap timer, for track day use – red seat belts, and a brushed-aluminium finish for the dashboard trim.

With 355bhp, the Mercedes GLA 45 AMG can get from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, but can also return up to 38mpg. That means CO2 emissions are low, too, while it already complies to tough new emissions rules that don't go into force until 2017.

It comes fitted with a seven-speed automatic gearbox that makes for relaxed driving in stop-start traffic and on the motorway, but is also capable of quick, sporty gear changes. The exhaust, meanwhile, produces a sporty noise under hard acceleration, but is near silent at cruising speeds. The GLA 45 AMG’s 4MATIC four-wheel drive system means it will have excellent grip on the UK’s slippery roads, while it also benefits from unique fast-acting steering, as well as powerful brakes that are specific to the AMG model.

The Mercedes GLA 45 AMG is expected to cost around £43,000, and the first cars are due to be delivered to owners in July.

For more information on the Mercedes range, visit the Carbuyer Mercedes reviews page.

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