Engine and gearbox
There are essentially six powertrains to choose from in the GLA, starting with the 134bhp GLA 200 CDI, which is available with a six-speed manual gearbox (the only time a GLA buyer can have a manual) or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, or the latter in conjunction with 4Matic four-wheel drive.
The 200 shares its core 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine with the GLA 220 d, though in the 220 it is uprated to 168bhp (and torque climbs from 221lb ft to a more useful 258lb ft). It's only available in automatic four-wheel drive guise, though.
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Same deal for the two petrol models, the 208bhp GLA 250 4Matic and the range-topping GLA 45 AMG with its 355bhp hand-built four-cylinder engine. The petrol variants may share their 2.0-litre capacity and turbocharging philosophy, but not much else.
'[On the GLA45 AMG:] Less impressive is the dual-clutch ’box, which is often frustratingly slow-witted. Its indecision is very intrusive and undermines the responsiveness of the chassis. Overall, however, the GLA45 is more enjoyable than the disappointing A45 with which it shares so much hardware.' Jethro Bovingdon, contributing editor, evo 205.