2020 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S gets 415bhp and £58,775 price

The GLA 45 S is on sale now and matches the Porsche Macan Turbo for acceleration

  • GLA 35 and 45 S models now available
  • 415bhp 2.0-litre engine for 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds
  • Upgraded suspension, brakes and AMG bodykit

The two high-performance Mercedes GLA models are now on sale. Badged Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S, both have a 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive. First deliveries will start in late summer.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

Like the Mercedes-AMG A35, the GLA 35 has 302bhp and a top speed of 155mph. It’s capable of 0-62mph in a whisker over five seconds, while more restrained driving allows the car to achieve up to 34.5mpg. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard. It’s the latest fast SUV on the market, and now has plenty of similarly powered rivals like the BMW X2 M35i, Volkswagen T-Roc R and Cupra Ateca.

Fastest SUVs on sale now

Prices, specs and release date

It may be a performance model, but there are still three trim levels to pick from. Standard cars cost from £43,565, and feature Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, heated front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless go and two-zone climate control. Upgrading to Premium line adds £2,500 to the price, which gets you augmented reality sat nav, bigger wheels, keyless entry, ambient lighting, a larger digital instrument cluster and tow-bar preparation.

Top-spec AMG Premium Plus costs £50,000 and includes Merc’s aerodynamics pack (spoilers and wings), a premium sound system, a glass sunroof and upgraded LED headlights. To this, you can add a Driving Assistance pack for £1,495.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S

With 415bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the GLA 45 S will be one of the fastest crossovers ever built. Aided by its 4MATIC+ four-wheel-drive system it can get from 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 168mph. The Porsche Macan Turbo has more power (434bhp) but its benchmark acceleration figure is identical. A 387bhp GLA 45 will be available in other countries but not in the UK.

The engine in the GLA 45 S is currently the world's most powerful 2.0-litre, and it's shared with the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard. The engine has been turned around by 180-degrees, so the twin-scroll turbocharger is now at the back and the air intake towards the nose, improving efficiency and allowing for a lower bonnet. 'Two-stage' fuel injectors have been fitted to keep up with the engine's thirst for fuel at high revs.

The suspension, brakes and steering have all come under AMG's scrutiny too. An adaptive suspension system branded AMG Ride Control will be fitted with three settings aimed at comfort and fast driving. Six-piston front brakes should provide more stopping power and can be easily spotted thanks to red painted callipers and black AMG lettering, while the steering has settings for relaxed and enthusiastic driving.

Using the infotainment screen, drivers will also be able to switch between different settings for the ESP system for the first time. Called 'Basic', 'Advanced', 'Pro' and 'Master', the extra layer of customisation will range from preventing skids in the Basic mode, to allowing some oversteer in Master, which is designed for track use.

Exterior changes include pumped-up wheelarches, 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, LED headlights and a motorsport-style rear bumper diffuser, while a large rear wing will be optional. Inside there's a Nappa leather sports steering wheel and sports seats with contrasting yellow stitching.

Many of the cabin details are shared with the A45 S hatchback, including the twin infotainment displays with unique AMG graphics and telemetry data aimed at enthusiasts.

Prices and specifications

The GLA 45 S costs £58,755 as standard but the Plus version boosts the price to an eye-watering £64,775. Both models offer the twin big screens, augmented reality sat nav and wireless phone charging but the Plus adds adaptive dampers, electrically adjustable front seats, the upgraded sound system and all the wings and spoilers.

Interested in the Mercedes GLA SUV? Read our in-depth review of the BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque rival.

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