Mercedes-benz Gla Class Amg Hatchback

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Review Of The Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback

Kinda like the A45 AMG but with boots on, the strapping new Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback is the performance car all executive crossover fans have been waiting (salivating) for. Sharing the same mechanical fiddly bits as the A-Class AMG, it’s got steel, it’s got bite, and it’s got a punch.

In other words, it won’t let you down in a storm, it does 0-62 in 4.4 seconds, and it sounds amazing. It will slap you with a high tax bill, but it returns as much as 38.2mpg economy – that can’t be bad at all from a 376bhp AMG engine.

OSV takes a look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback review.

On The Road

It would be unfair to keep bringing up comparisons with the A-Class, but since that’s the car this one is based on, it only seems natural.

The GLA AMG is heavier than the A-Class AMG – 40kg heavier. Yet despite that extra bulk, it’s almost as fast. Its 2.0-litre four-pot turbo petrol engine develops up to 376bhp, and can do 0-62mph in a matter of 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 155mph.

Mercedes GLA Class Gold on mountain road

That’s some speed when you consider that this one is also longer than the A-Class AMG.

However, there are more noticeable deficiencies that arise from its extra weight. Coupled with the raised suspension, the sheer bulk of the car means that it’s not as responsive as the A-Class AMG.

That said, the GLA-Class AMG Hatchback’s 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system boasts plenty of grip, and this gives you confidence in bends. Electric power steering comes as standard, and while it lacks a bit of feedback, it makes up for it with accuracy. It also helps to make the steering more responsive.

 

The GLA AMG model shares the A-Class AMG’s 7-speed automatic transmission. It’s urgency change gear might sound like a good thing in theory. But the truth is that it can be jerky.

Perhaps as expected, the engine note is gloriously loud when the car is in full flow. If you want to pummel pedestrians’ eardrums even more, you’ll need to pay £470 for the sports exhaust. It must be pointed out, though, that the sound it bellows is not going to be for everyone. It’s hardly tuneful – more of a shout and a scream as the car tears through the rev range.  

The last thing we should mention are the cars’ strong brakes. These are ventilated disc brakes that are reassuringly powerful. They’ll certainly give you a boost in confidence, and help to shore up the car’s safety.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback Interior, Design & Build

Mercedes GLA Class AMG Hatchback black leather interior

It’s been given a makeover, with exterior changes including a new front apron, as well as a chrome splitter coloured in silver. They look great, but they also serve a purpose, cooling air to the radiators more directly.

Round the back, a diffuser is new, while the spoiler has been revised. Again, these changes have a functional purpose, providing the GLA-Class AMG with a lower drag coefficient.

Inside, the AMG model distinguishes itself from the standard models immediately with body-hugging sports seats. Other than that, the dashboard is the same. It comes with a 7” tablet display screen, as well as the triple circular ventilation ducts.

It does benefit from a few revisions, such as synthetic leather on the dash, as well as the subtly tweaked dials. There is also lashings of carbon-fibre trim here and there, sprinkles of red highlights, as well as the sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Everything looks good enough, but there is a lack of luxury compared to some Mercedes models. Moreover, the raised suspension diminishes ride quality and comfort is definitely not assured.

It’s practical, though, and can boast a bigger boot than the A-Class AMG model. It measures 480-litres, and can be extended to 1,235 by folding down the rear seats.

Its upright shape is good for rear headroom, but the sloping windows can easily create a claustrophobic atmosphere for those sat in the back.

Equipment & Safety Of The Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback

Standard kit is good, and includes sat-nav, a 7” display screen, LED headlights, 19” alloys and climate control. Optional extras include the £1,530 AMG Aero pack which adds a different bumper and a roof spoiler, and an AMG Night Pack which adds bigger alloys.

You don’t need to worry about safety. The standard GLA model bagged all five stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP, while the GLA AMG’s safety kit includes plenty of airbag’s, anti-lock brakes, stability control, Collision Prevention Assist, and Attention Assist.

Costs Of The Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback

Prices for the new car start out from £47,000 and rise to £53,400. If you want to lease the car, you can pick up a deal from as little as £350 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.

In terms of its running costs, the GLA Class AMG is surprisingly affordable. It can return 38.2mpg economy, which for a four-wheel-drive executive crossover seems mighty reasonable. Road tax after the first year costs £140 a year, but it’s topped up by a £310 surcharge because of its high listing price.

It’s a lot more expensive to insure than the standard model, and sits in insurance group 44 out of 50.

Pros and Cons Of The Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback

Pros:

Practical

If you like the GLA-Class but want more practicality, the AMG version delivers.

Awesome Four-Wheel-Drive System

It provides plenty of grip, offering composure and a sense of security in tougher conditions.

Fast

Straight-line speed is on par with a sports car, and the GLA Class AMG Hatchback can do 0-62 in just 4.4 seconds.

Cons:

Weak Residual Value

Whereas the standard GLA model can hold onto over half its original price after three years, the AMG variant will struggle to retain 40%.

Expensive To Buy

With prices starting out just shy of £47,000, you need to be seriously sure you’re not buying the GLA-Class AMG just because it’s a ridiculously fast crossover.

Interested in the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback? Let's explore how Mercedes has become one of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in the world

Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback vs Audi Q3 vs Porsche Macan

Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback vs Audi Q3

The new Audi Q3 Hatchback is like a pocket-sized Audi. Prices start out from just £27,600, and for that you can take advantage of its three rings prestige, its strong resale values, and its excellent drivability.

The Audi Q3 is a fun, easygoing and performative Hatchback. All models can get you from rest to 62mph in less than 10.0 seconds, there is minimal body lean and lot of grip. And thanks to its compact dimension and well-weighted steering, it’s easy to potter about the city.

Blue Audi Q3 parked up

The engine range kicks off with a four-wheel-drive only 2.0-litre diesel engine. It produces 181bhp, does 0-62 in less than 8.0 seconds, and returns a respectable 53.3mpg. It’s also free from diesel clatter and makes for a good motorway cruiser.

Next up is a turboed 1.4-litre petrol engine. It’s slower than the diesel, and takes 9.2 seconds to complete the 0-62 dash. However, it feels much more powerful than those numbers suggest. Moving up to the 2.0-litre petrol engine means you benefit from four-wheel-drive and a 0-62 time of 7.6 seconds.

If you’re an adrenaline junky, you’ll want to take a look at the high-performance RS Q3. It develops 335bhp, does 0-62 in 4.8 seconds and is the standout choice. It won’t be cheap to run though and we don’t expect it to return any higher than 32.8mpg economy.

Overall, though, the engine range is fairly economical. As well as the sole diesel returning 53.3mpg, the smallest 1.4-litre petrol engine is good for returns of 51.4mpg economy, while the bigger 2.0-litre four-wheel-drive petrol returns a respectable 42.8mpg. That’s not bad.

On the outside, the Audi Q3 Hatchback is a rather dour-looking family car. Inside, it’s much more typically Audi. The cabin is spacious and beautiful, and there is quality everywhere. Soft-touch plastics smarten things up, the controls for the stereo are gorgeously executed, and insulation is excellent.

That said, it lacks cutting edge and isn’t as modern as some Audis. Still, it comes with the brand’s MMI integrated entertainment system and Bluetooth.

It’s reasonably practical, too. More usable and bigger than a mainstream Hatchback, it comes with a 420-litre boot that’s well-shaped and comes with a small load lip. Fold the rear seats and you can extend it to 1,325-litres. However, these seats don’t fold totally flat.

Leg and headroom is mostly good, with only the middle rear-seat passenger getting a bum deal. Storage spaces are everywhere, air conditioning cools the glovebox, while the rear doors are massive!

Price:

Mercedes –

Audi – £27,600 – £37,600

Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback vs Porsche Macan

The new Porsche Macan is a beautifully designed compact SUV that’s spacious and the best to drive in this review.

This kind of car isn’t really meant for off-road and it certainly isn’t endowed with go-anywhere ability. At the same time, it can be taken off-road and won’t let you down – as long as you don’t expect too much from it. It’s all down to its impressive four-wheel-drive system that deploys all of its power effectively when the conditions are poor.

bright blue Porsche Macan driving away from a city

The suspension is excellent, too, and ensures that all models are terrific fun to drive. For even more composure and better ride quality, you can add air suspension. It lowers ride height and basically enhances the car’s cruising abilities.

In terms of its engines, the Macan S diesel is an absolute steel. It’s relatively inexpensive to buy outright, delivers 258bhp, covers the 0-62 dash in 6.3 seconds, and returns 45mpg economy. It’s the sole diesel, and as the Macan’s entry-level model, it’s quite the performer.

However, the petrol engines have more sex appeal. A turbocharged 3.6-litre engine powers the Macan Turbo. It does 0-62 in less than 5.0 seconds, keeps going until 165mph, and benefits from the brand’s intelligent PASM suspension setup for sharper handling.

Add the Performance Package, and you can boost its 0-62 time to 4.4 seconds while increasing its power to 434bhp. It also adds a sports exhaust and bigger brakes for a formidable package.

The GTS Macan model gets this system as standard. Powered by a meaty twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine, it pumps out 355bhp, doesn’t cost as much as the Turbo model, but can still do 0-62 in 5.2 seconds.

As mentioned, the diesel is pretty frugal for a car of this type, but the petrol models are much more expensive to run. Porsche claim the Macan Turbo model can return 31.4mpg economy, but we reckon you’ll find that hard to match. Add the aforementioned Performance Package, and that figure gets pegged back to 29.7mpg.

Inside, comfort and insulation are both good, while the dashboard has been designed to be both sporty and durable. It should stand up to whatever you and your family throw at it, while a beautiful clock, a DAB radio and electrically adjustable seats are all highlights.

Practicality-wise, the Macan fares well. Those upfront get plenty of room, the electrically adjustable seats make it easy to get into the right seating position, while the car’s height ensures headroom is good for all. That said, adding the panoramic sunroof reduces rear seat headroom.

Three people in the back should be well accommodated, with knee room decent. There is no option for seven seats, while the boot measures 500-litres. Fold the rear seats down, and you can extend it to 1,500-litres. Its wide opening is a bonus.

Price:

Porsche – £45,900 – £69,500

Verdict Of Our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback Review

This is a hugely tempting proposition. A pimped-up version of the GLA crossover, it’s got speed, it’s got grip, and it’s got usability. There is a lot going for it, but because of its high listing price you need to do some soul-searching before buying. Is it a necessary car? Or are there less expensive rivals that – although a bit more sensible and boring – do just as good a job as the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback?

Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback

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Related MERCEDES-BENZ GLA CLASS AMG HATCHBACK Articles

Review of the Model

Review of Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class AMG Hatchback: Features / Price / Comparison

28th January 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA Class AMG Hatchback is based on the CLA Coupe and the A-Class hatch but is a high performance variant of the GLA small 4×4. Although the family it joins is already quite extensive, there is still space for this one. Despite its relatively high-rise body, it’s actually a really fast car.

Presented by Will Titterington


 

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