2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

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Competes with: BMW X1, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q5
Looks like: A toned-down version of the GLA45 AMG concept we saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, which looked like an amped-up version of the GLA250 crossover
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 355 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque and mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Fall 2014

When we first saw the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder referred to it as a "not-very-concepty concept." Less than two months later, Wiesenfelder's description proves prescient as the production version of the high-performance sibling of the GLA250 compact crossover readies for its world debut next week at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The automaker expects the all-wheel-drive GLA45 AMG to hit dealerships by fall; no pricing info is yet available.

As expected, the production version of the GLA45 AMG drops the concept's more in-your-face racing cues such as large decals, numbers on the doors and the rear spoiler (at least on the standard version). Track-ready features that do carry over to production, however, include the drivetrain, which Mercedes touts as the "most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world."

Exterior

Mercedes says the crossover's exterior design is intended as an "expression of modern luxury with muscular elements exclusive to AMG." Features include a front fascia with a front splitter and "twin-blade" radiator grille, both matte titanium gray; AMG badges; black air-deflector elements above large cooling air intakes at the sides; bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights; side sill panels with matte titanium gray inserts; a rear diffuser insert with gray trim; twin tailpipes with rectangular, chrome-plated trim; gray- or optional red-painted brake calipers; and five-twin-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted titanium gray with a high-sheen finish or optional 10-spoke alloy wheels painted gray or matte black. A host of optional exterior features, including that rear spoiler as well as carbon-fiber details, are also available. Further exterior details and badging come with the Edition 1 options package.

Interior

In the cabin are sport seats covered in synthetic leather and microfiber with red contrast stitching and red seat belts, a Nappa-leather-covered sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching, an AMG instrument cluster with two-tube design and central color display and brushed-aluminum and brushed-stainless-steel trim. Optional upgrades include Nappa-leather upholstery in varied colors and carbon-fiber trim. Additional interior flourishes and badging are also available in the Edition 1 package.

Under the Hood

The GLA45 AMG is propelled from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 355 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque, according to Mercedes. That's a greater output than any other production engine of its size. The automaker quotes a top speed of 155 mph.

The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with three modes, including the fast-shifting, sound-maximizing Manual and Sport modes, as well as Controlled Efficiency for smoother, more comfortable and fuel-efficient acceleration using an engine stop-start function. The SUV comes standard with variable AMG 4Matic four-wheel drive — which uses front-wheel drive during normal driving and transfers engine power as needed based on road conditions — in addition to AMG sports suspension and high-performance braking systems.

Check out the photos below.

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Related
Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA45 AMG at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show
Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA45 AMG Photo Gallery (23 Photos)
More 2014 Detroit Auto Show News

Comments 

Elliott

I still do not see the point of buying this over a CLA. It is essentially a CLA with ground clearance. Same styling inside/out, similar engines and power output, and the downside is that it will probably cost more, weigh more, and by the look of that roofline, it will only have a marginal increase in cargo capacity.

I love the look that AMG gives to the car... Very cool

Jay

Why does every Benz need an AMG version? Who (at least in the U.S.) is buying AMG versions of their cheapest cars? I think it AMG works for the E-Class vehicles and up but a GLA/CLA? Waste of money and resources...

responder

Looks a bit "WRX-ey" to me. If so, a nice tribute to Subaru designers.

Really like the titanium parts exterior of the Benz. Why would it be a waste, having an AMG version of every Model, Jay?

What a very nice car! I can't wait for the auto show coming to the Java center here in NY this spring. Love the new Audi's! Great content as always.

Chicago Auto Auction
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