Which team are you supporting today? If things don’t Team GLA45 stays winning. The exhaust note of 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is so sweet. It feels like the 265 kW of power and 450 Nm is available when you just switch on the ignition. My word 0-100 in 4.4 seconds seems incomprehensible in a little SUV but this baby SUV is like no other. It’s a little sporty AMG monster. #mercedesbenz #mercedes #benz #GLA #AMG #GLA45AMG #GLA45 #SUV #Power #Speed #Jozi #Johannesburg #Soweto
By Khulekani Dumisa and Simunikiwe Simelane
They keep on getting quicker and quicker. This is what we have seen with the hot hatches, from the Volkswagen GTI to the Mercedes-Benz A45. Naturally, their cousins in the SUV segment needed to get in on the action. The Audi RS Q3 was the first to draw blood in this arena in South Africa. Mercedes-Benz then decided to bring out the GLA45 and recently, we got the opportunity to test it.
Like the Audi RS Q3, the GLA45 is powered by a 2 litre-turbocharged engine. Whereas the RS Q3 2.5 litre engine kicks out 250 kW, 450 Nm, and gets from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, the GLA45’s engine produces an impressive 280 kW and 475 Nm. The 0-100 km/h sprint is similar. The GLA’s claimed fuel consumption is a modest 7.4l/100. We achieved nearly double that. That is some thirst right there. The plus side is the sports exhaust that makes seriously loud noises in nearly all driving modes. Comfort is the less ostentatious one in terms of noise and that’s okay, you do need to be discreet at times. As though Individual, Sport, Sport+ and Race are not loud enough, they can be made even louder at a click of a button.
The GLA45’s AMG treatment makes it stand out from the other GLA s. It’s hard not to notice the sporty front and back bumper, and the rear diffuser. You will have to go for the optional rear wing and 20-inch 10-spoke alloy rims to really stand out. That can make things a bit expensive though as both options collectively cost over R30,000.
Like anything AMG, the GLA’s interior is of an exceptional quality. Air vents with chrome treatment and a decently sized screen with clear displays dominate the dash. The large flat-bottomed steering wheel adds to the sporty aesthetic of the interior. At an extra cost you can increase the magic and get the optional comfortable AMG sports seats and those statement red seat belts. Our test unit came with a large panoramic roof and we probably would not have the GLA45 in any other way. What was a bit of a waste in our test unit was the Harman Kardon sound system. Naturally, I always want to connect my phone to the Bluetooth and enjoy my music but I didn’t do that with GLA45. The phone was only connected to receive and make calls in a safe manner. I did not pump that sound system. Why would I, when I have the brilliant exhaust note to listen to? Like anything in this world, that charm of the exhaust note may wane off and maybe you will need it after a while.
SOUND ON: here’s some Monday motivation for you. The @mercedesbenzsa GLA 45’s engine doing the #amggrowl so good. Not only does the car make all sorts of great noises. It can back them up. It’s quick. Importantly though as most of us won’t buy it to drive like Lewis Hamilton, you can live with it. It’s visually attractive from the outside and inside. It stands out actually. The interior is what you’d expect from Mercedes Benz. Luxurious but Mercedes could jettison one ore two hard plastics for soft touch materials. The AMG 45 is spacious and has a decent boot. These all combine to really deliver to you an absolutely fun car to drive that you can live with everyday. The ride can be firm but that comes with the territory of driving something that’s track ready every day. This is obviously our #MCM. #mancrushmonday #mondaymotivation #mercedes #mercedesbenz #GLA45 #mercedesgla45amg #gla45amg #bestornothing #city #quickcar #car #soweto #umlazi #durban #capetown @dumisa_khulekani @salaontop @benjaminthecreative @mfuphi @zamangwe0311 @phumemkhungo @siphile_buthelezi
The AMG sports seats in our test unit were very comfortable. There was surprisingly decent legroom at the rear for the back passengers. The advantage the GLA45 might have over its sibling, the CLA45, is a boot that is larger by a whole 140 litres compared the to the CLA45’s boot space of 341 litres. The seats also fold flat thereby increasing the load space substantially. The low profile tyres which are superb for the performance oriented side of the car, will hinder you from exploring the GLA45’s potential adventurous side as they won’t be of much use off-road.
Turbo lag? What turbo lag? The GLA45 accelerates with almost no noticeable turbo lag and gets to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. The ride car can be a bit harsh but that is largely thanks to what makes the car a performance SUV. Most who go for this car will be going for sportiness of the car and slight compromise on comfort will be acceptable. That said, the GLA45 is comfortable enough to be an everyday ride. The steering is precise and feels good, and the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system ensures that handling is decent.
The GLA45 is priced from R882,400.
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