The GLA45 AMG is about five inches shorter and eight inches lower than Mercedes-Benz's mainstream compact crossover, the GLK-Class. Compared to your typical hatchback, the AMG rides higher, has a more aggressive stance, and simply looks more purposeful. But that's not just the result of clever styling. Every example carries all-wheel drive with hill-descent control, an off-road transmission mode and 19-inch wheels.
The AMG is equipped with the same turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder found in the other GLA models, but the engine is specially tuned in this case to produce a rather incredible 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. To go with all the extra power, you get a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, launch control and a performance-spec seven-speed automatic transmission. You can expect to go from zero to 60 mph in a scant 4.8 second and still get 25 mpg in combined driving.
Standard equipment includes a power liftgate, HD radio, dual power seats (leatherette) with driver memory, Bluetooth phone and audio, bi-xenon headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. For safety, you get a driver alertness warning system and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking.
Most buyers will consider essential the Premium package, which includes automatic dual zone climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, satellite radio, an infotainment control interface and an integrated garage door opener. Premium-equipped models are eligible for the Interior package with leather seating and remote window operation; and the Multimedia package, which offers a hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a rearview camera and expanded audio features.
In addition to the AMG's standard safety technology, the Driver Assistance package gets you adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. On the performance end of things, there's the Driver's package with a firmer suspension, 20-inch wheels and red brake calipers. The Aerodynamics package adds a full aerodynamic body kit.
Individual options worth considering include a panoramic sunroof, a Harman Kardon surround-sound system, performance exhaust and Recaro sport seats.
While it receives plenty of performance upgrades, the AMG doesn't get any extra standard luxuries. That makes the Premium and Interior packages rather necessary in a vehicle of this exclusivity.
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