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2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45

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$54,500 — $54,500 MSRP
10
Photos
SUV
5 Seats
23 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
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2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 exterior side view

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2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

By Fred Meier

Mercedes-Benz unveiled in December its redesigned GLA subcompact SUV in the regular GLA250 and mildly spiced-up 302-horsepower AMG 35 versions. Now comes the burn-your-tongue Mercedes-AMG GLA45 with an upgraded chassis and a turbocharged four-cylinder squeezing out 382 hp.

Related: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class: L’il Fella of the Fam Gets More SUV Swag

The new top-of-the-line — GLA pricing is not yet announced, but expect this one to be a lot for a small SUV — builds on those versions with more go-power and also additional AMG performance options not available on the lesser models. At this point, there are not really direct rivals; its main competition at launch likely will be from its tamer sibling, the AMG GLA35. In addition to 80 less hp, the 35 has less-sophisticated all-wheel-drive and suspension bits, and a 5.0-second 0-60-mph time versus 4.3 seconds for the 45. And less snob appeal: The lesser engine is AMG “enhanced” rather than AMG “handcrafted.”

The GLA45 engine, which Mercedes brags is the most powerful production four-cylinder ever, puts out 382 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Its electronics include two-stage fuel injection and separate cooling management for the cylinder heads and crankcase. It’s paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system that includes a twin-clutch rear differential. Launch control is standard.

The GLA45 also has an AMG suspension that is “thoroughly revised” for performance and to limit torqu...

Mercedes-Benz unveiled in December its redesigned GLA subcompact SUV in the regular GLA250 and mildly spiced-up 302-horsepower AMG 35 versions. Now comes the burn-your-tongue Mercedes-AMG GLA45 with an upgraded chassis and a turbocharged four-cylinder squeezing out 382 hp.

Related: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class: L’il Fella of the Fam Gets More SUV Swag

The new top-of-the-line — GLA pricing is not yet announced, but expect this one to be a lot for a small SUV — builds on those versions with more go-power and also additional AMG performance options not available on the lesser models. At this point, there are not really direct rivals; its main competition at launch likely will be from its tamer sibling, the AMG GLA35. In addition to 80 less hp, the 35 has less-sophisticated all-wheel-drive and suspension bits, and a 5.0-second 0-60-mph time versus 4.3 seconds for the 45. And less snob appeal: The lesser engine is AMG “enhanced” rather than AMG “handcrafted.”

The GLA45 engine, which Mercedes brags is the most powerful production four-cylinder ever, puts out 382 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Its electronics include two-stage fuel injection and separate cooling management for the cylinder heads and crankcase. It’s paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system that includes a twin-clutch rear differential. Launch control is standard.

The GLA45 also has an AMG suspension that is “thoroughly revised” for performance and to limit torque steer. It’s noteworthy that Mercedes also says that ride “comfort has been improved compared with the previous GLA45” (I found the previous 45 just short of punishing in regular driving). Adaptive suspension is available. The brakes include four-piston front calipers with 13.8-inch discs; the rear gets single-piston calipers and 13-inch discs. The AMG Dynamics Plus Package adds six-piston front brakes with bigger discs and red-painted AMG calipers all around.

There are five drive modes that alter shift patterns, accelerator and steering characteristics, suspension settings and AWD system response — with a sixth Race mode added with an optional AMG Dynamics Plus Package.

The AMG GLA45 builds on the new GLA design and the GLA35 version with more aggressive front and rear details, a domed hood and a mini-wing for the rear spoiler. The wheels are 19-inch units with up to 21-inchers optional. Inside it gets some upgraded trim and vinyl upholstery in black or optional gray-black color schemes. AMG Performance seats are available. It has the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system, and the 45 includes a configurable instrument cluster with AMG-specific configurations. Optional is an AMG Track Pace data logger that tracks multiple vehicle functions and times on the multimedia display.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

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Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Mercedes-Benz

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

Latest 2021 AMG GLA 45 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The AMG GLA 45 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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