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The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a new crossover smaller than its compact GLK. The GLA-Class is unmistakably Mercedes, with an upright front end, bold grille and the brand's star badge prominently showcased. The automaker calls the GLA's styling a "bridge between modernity and the avant-garde," but to me it looks more like a blend of two style paradigms — the crisp creases and right angles of Mercedes' SUVs and the sweeping curves of its coupes. There’s also a high performance AMG version.
(Skip to details on the: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG)
Unlike its stocky, blocky GLK sibling, the GLA's lines are softer and more flowing for an overall aerodynamic silhouette. At 173.9 inches long and 58.8 inches tall, the new crossover is about 4 inches smaller and about 8 inches lower than the GLK. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard; 19s are optional.
Under the hood is a version of the new CLA sedan's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; in the GLA horsepower is rated at 208 and torque at 258 pounds-feet. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is standard, and Mercedes says the setup is good for a zero-to-60 sprint of 6.4 seconds and top speed of 145 miles per hour.
Power gets to the pavement through the front wheels or Mercedes' optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Mercedes says the GLA-Class is the first to use the next generation of the 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system, which is lighter and more efficient than the previous version and offers fully variable torque distribution.
Inside, a glossy black multimedia panel is front and center, powered by the Comand entertainment system and mbrace2 connectivity system. Also vying for attention are the brand's hallmark air vents, integrated into a matte-finish, burled-wood multilayered dash. Alas, the production version ditched the concept's temperature-dependent color-changing air vents.
Standard features include the Attention Assist drowsy driver detection system, a radar-based collision prevention assist system and the brake assist system. Newly available is the Collision Prevention Assist
Plus system; if a collision is detected, it can automatically brake the car at speeds up to 124 mph. Also optional are blind spot and lane keeping assist systems along with the Parktronic With Park Assist auto parking device.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG
The GLA 45 AMG is a performance version of the GLA250 compact crossover. It was first seen as a concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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."
ExteriorMercedes 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.
InteriorIn 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 HoodThe 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 in addition to AMG sports suspension and high-performance braking systems. Back to top
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