UK pricing for the new 415bhp Mercedes-AMG GLA45 S and its milder 302bhp GLA35 sibling have been revealed, topping the compact GLA SUV range. ‘Standard’ GLA45 models available in other markets will not be offered in the UK.
The top-level GLA45 S will cost from £58,755 in standard trim and £64,775 for the fully-loaded ‘Plus’ trim that bundles a range of optional extras together. Standard equipment includes 20-inch five-spoke wheels, LED headlights, a top-level MBUX infotainment system with the trademark twin 10.25-inch displays, and AMG Performance steering wheel and hard-backed bucket seats
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For the additional £6000, the GLA45 S Plus swaps out the standard wheels and tyres for a set of 21-inch units, more complex Multibeam LED headlights, adaptive dampers, the exterior aero pack, an updated hi-fi, electric adjustment on the front seats and further active safety additions. This model might feature the most powerful four-cylinder engine in production, and be fully loaded, but there’s no escaping this top-level GLA’s near £65,000 price is perilously close to the £71,000 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the £68,000 Porsche Macan Turbo – two far more powerful and substantial performance SUVs.
By contrast, the Audi RSQ3 is closer to the Merc in both size (it’s in fact still bigger) and power (394bhp), but costs only £50,455 in standard trim, rising to a maximum of £58,355 in its own fully loaded Vorsprung trim
As you might expect from a car with the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder engine, performance is brisk. The range-topping S covers the 0-62mph sprint in 4.3sec (a tenth sooner than the non-UK standard GLA45), with top speed coming at 167mph (155mph for the non-S) – that puts it two-tenths ahead of the RSQ3, though the Audi goes on to a higher 174mph top speed.
Setting it apart from the rest of the GLA range is an AMG-specific grille with Panamericana vertical slats, flared wheelarches, larger intakes, those 20- and 21-inch wheels, and a roof spoiler. A valve-controlled exhaust system, and four-pot 350mm front, single-piston 330mm rear brakes also come at no cost.
Power is sent to the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, where it’s distributed to the wheel that needs traction most for optimum performance.
The aforementioned GLA35 will also join the range later this summer, starting at a still chunky £43,565, with the more usual Premium and Premium Plus packaged variants costing from £46,065 and £50,000 respectively