The all new Mercedes Benz GLA45 AMG leaves the “cutesy” label in the dust.
Riding In Style with Leruo Mophuting
Car brands are always on the offensive in a bid to lure a more youthful target market, and from this constant fermenter of development and creation that has birthed many non-tradition body types are origins of the once maligned compact/crossover vehicle.
Before finding a permanent home in the garages of hip, young families domiciled in suburban homes across the globe, the crossover had to win its place amoungst the traditional shapes, and of course clear the air as to, “why it was too big to be a hatchback, and too small to be an SUV?”
Today, the crossover has gained acceptance in our collective hearts and homes, shed its tame, non-threatening persona and begun what we hope will be a memorable and rewarding journey of self discovery.
Enter the 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA45 AMG, the crossover that scoffs in the face of those judgemental types in the parking lot at the weekend yoga class.
First introduced in 2013, the once adorable crossover has finally been given a 2018 mid-year facelift and now sports a racier AMG kit that screams “bad ass!” With a press of the key, it comes to life as the chrome plated dual exhausts emit a loud pop and then a low burble in between the impressively fast gear changes. Under the hood is a hand-built 2.0 litre inline-four cylinder engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger bearing the builder’s signature on the engine cover. A new exhaust camshaft means 280kW of power and 475Nm of torque, clocking 0-100Km/h in a cool 4.3 seconds! Mercedes-AMG likes to point out that the GLA45 AMG has the most powerful four-cylinder engine in their production series.
The 2018 GLA45 sheds some of the its original SUV style cues, swapping them with a more racier look. The front bumper is replaced by a flat splitter insert, and the lower grille and side intakes now have aggressive vertical slats. Headlamps have been redesigned and now have LED daytime running lights, while the twin-blade radiator grille is finished in silver chrome.
On the inside, Mercedes stuck with the audio and phone keyboard in the centre console, with an 8 inch display equipped with modern functions like Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Even though it isn’t touch screen, it can be controlled by a knob in the centre, near the handbrake. Shiny metal trimmings and red stitching are the theme of the interior, sealing GLA45’s reincarnation as a race car.
The seven-speed dual clutch gearbox has been updated for 2018 with shorter ratios and five different modes; individual, comfort, sport, sport+ and race. You can also access the manual option at the touch of a button (yes it does have a button to switch to manual). McPherson front suspension and the Active Brake Assist come standard, further boosting the car’s braking power for better traction.
In a nutshell, the GLA45 AMG doesn’t look like the standard compact SUV, to put it mildly. It is a really powerful, fun and exhilarating car for the speed freaks who are looking for a really fast car with enough boot space to fit the weekly groceries and your kids’ PE kit.