2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45

MSRP $54,500

Ranked #7 in Subcompact Suv

7.6

Overall Rating

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2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: October 8, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class has been one of the most anticipated releases from the reliable German carmaker. The vehicle was launched back in 2013 and is currently in its first generation, bringing in minimal updates every year to keep its freshness and trend. Its improved engine and cabin will make it nothing less than a performance-tuned SUV in the 2021 model year. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Fuel efficient

Mind-blowing acceleration

Good ride and sharp handling

Catchy aesthetics

High-reliability ratings

Cons

Fewer standard driver-assistance features

Cramped rear seats

Cramped cargo capacity

What's New?

Except for a few small engine refinements, it is otherwise unchanged from its predecessor


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$54500

bodystyle

dr SUV

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

382 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

350 lb.-ft.. lb.-ft. @ 2250 rpm

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$54,500 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 in Cosmos Black Metallic color
Cosmos Black Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

8.3

Interior

6.5

Exterior

8.5

Safety

8.0

Competition

8.0

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.6

Overall Rating


Due to its unique skills and capabilities, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 holds a unique position in the class. Apart from being an impressive performance car, the AMG GLA 45 is also the best in terms of fuel efficiency. It accelerates swiftly, gains speed faster and effortlessly. The AMG GLA 45 is priced at $54,500. It offers stiff competition to the Jaguar E-PACE, Porsche Macan GTS, and BMW X2 M35i. With the best-in-class power delivery and brisk acceleration figures, the GLA 45 stands out in the class. Let’s see how good it shines over its rivals.


8.3/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Interior

8.5/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Features

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 is offered as a standalone trim with a decent number of features onboard. The $54,500 price tag is justified by the underpinnings and equipment that the SUV gets to the buyers. With standard features like power-adjustable mirrors, passive entry and smart access card, MBUX infotainment system, and VSC, the GLA 45 stands apt for buyers in the class. However, we miss certain standard driver-assistance features that most of the rivals offer.

The standalone trim gets 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, which shall be upgraded to 21-inch wheels at an extra payment. The vehicle also gets fog lights as standard. Connectivity is ensured by Bluetooth and USB ports. The 10.25-inch standard infotainment display, offering crisp and engaging graphics. The voice control system within the infotainment unit makes controls easier. Features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Traffic, Navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot make the deal sweeter. The infotainment is paired with the premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Trim

AMG GLA 45

MSRP

$54,500

Key Features

19-inch alloy wheels

 

MBUX infotainment system

 

Bluetooth

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

 

Vehicle Stability Control

 

SiriusXM Traffic and Navigation

 

Harman Kardon sound system

 

10.3” infotainment display

 

Voice Controls

 

Power-adjustable exterior mirrors

Which trim should you buy?

Being a standalone trim, one shall not get confused in buying the GLA 45. The single trim offers plenty of standard and optional features that any buyer would demand in this class. Despite its modest price point, it outperforms most of its rivals when it comes to performance and has ample power to handle your commuting needs. 

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Engine and Performance

8.3/10

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is equipped with the handcrafted AMG 2.0L Intercooled Turbocharged Inline 4-cylinder engine, which is immensely capable and ensures high power output. The engine churns out a massive 382 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is delivered to all 4 wheels via AMG's SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Transmission system. The AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive extracts the maximum performance out of the small engine, making it highly efficient and practical.

The immensely capable powertrain offers breath-taking acceleration figures, which makes it the fastest in the entire class. Despite being an SUV, the AMG-tuned athletic and sporty chassis promises faster sprints. It takes just 4.3 seconds to cross the 60 MPH mark on the speedometer, starting from a perfect standstill. Take the GLA 45 4MATIC+ for the quarter-mile race. You would be surprised to see it completed in a short 12.6 seconds. These figures are impeccable and promising, proving the goodness of the AMG-touch on a Benz. The vehicle gets to a top speed of 155 MPH under electronic limitations. The performance-tuned transmission and drivetrain make it a perfect sporty SUV, easily grabbing appreciation.

Models

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

2021 Jaguar E-PACE

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 BMW X2 M35i

MSRP

$54,500

$53,943

$72,650

$47,445

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.9L Twin-Turbo V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed dual-clutch automatic

9-speed automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

382 hp @ 6,500 RPM

296 hp @ 5,500 RPM

375 hp @ 5,200 RPM

301 hp @ 5,000 RPM

Torque

354 lb-ft @ 4,750 RPM

295 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

383 lb-ft @ 1,750 RPM

331 lb-ft @ 1,750 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

4.3

5.9

4.7

4.7

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

12.6

15.5

14.3

14.9

Top Speed (MPH)

155

139

162

155

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 offers the best-in-class power figures and the fastest acceleration figures. The 4.3 seconds 0-60 sprints from the Mercedes SUV remain unbeatable in the entire class. The consistent performance is proved by the best quarter-mile figures. The Porsche Macan GTS comes second in terms of power and acceleration figures. The Macan GTS gets the highest top-speed of 162 MPH followed by the 155 MPH of the AMG GLA 45 and BMW X2 M35i. The Jag E-PACE is the least in terms of power and torque figures and holds the slowest acceleration figures too.

How well does the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 handle?

The Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is one of the best driving SUVs on the market. The powerful engine and capable drivetrain offer impressive driving dynamics and athletic handling characteristics. The Automatic SPEEDSHIFT DCT is a completely sports-tuned unit that shifts seamlessly and leaves no traces of lag in the power delivery. The power is pumped by the engine consistently, assuring a stable and progressive character in your drives. Being engineered as a crossover SUV, there is a need for some intelligent engineering in indulging the racing character into the GLA 45. This is what the engineers have done in this model. The AMG 4MATIC+ and the AMG Torque Control get two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches which are employed to distribute the power uniformly to each wheel, thereby maintaining optimum traction on different terrains of the drive.

The AMG-tuned suspension setup improves the sporty character of the vehicle. It lets you take the fast machine to any twists, turns, or corners with immense confidence, as it assures stability and keeps the vehicle planted on the track. It intensely reduces the body roll of the crossover, despite being as tall and bulky as a big hatch. It offers six driving modes that adjust the transmission, suspension, exhaust, etc., to tune the vehicle according to the needs of the driver. It can be tuned for a regular drive as well as a high-performer. The improved suspension setup has contributed drastically to improving the performance without compromising the ride comfort. However, the ride will be felt somewhat on the stiffer side, which is quite normal in any performance car. The vehicle features other features such as the adaptive damping system, precise and sharp steering, capable brakes, and the rest is assured.

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Braking Performance

The German automaker has always been keen on making its occupants safe inside its cars. The powerful and fast AMG GLA 45 thus requires one of the best braking systems that the manufacturer has ever made. And yes, they have done nothing less on it. The 2021 GLA 45 gets redesigned, strong and reliable brakes made out of high-quality equipment. The vehicle equips disc brakes on all 4 wheels, with internal ventilation and perforation to ensure maximum performance.

The vehicle gets 13.8-inch brake rotors at the front and 13-inch rotors at the rear. The front brakes get 4-piston monobloc fixed calipers while the rear gets 1-piston floating calipers. The big rotors let the vehicle halt from 60 MPH within 110 feet, which is one of the fastest halts in the class. The ventilated and perforated brakes increase the brake fade thereby reducing any nosedive during sudden brakes.

Models

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

2021 Jaguar E-PACE

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 BMW X2 M35i

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.8

13.7

15.6

N/A

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

13.0

11.8

15.4

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,461

4,175

4,370

3,721

60-0 MPH (feet)

110

130

110

N/A

The 2021 AMG GLA 45 is the lightest in the class and has very capable and reliable brakes. The braking system offers the fastest braking distance of 110 feet. The Porsche Macan GTS is the heaviest in the class and gets the largest brakes too. The machine also halts at 60 MPH within the same 110 feet.

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Fuel Economy

Apart from being the best-in-class performer, the 2021 GLA 45 is also the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the class. The turbocharged engine under its hood promises 22 MPG in city drives, 28 MPG on highways, and 25 MPG combined. However, the vehicle gets a smaller gallon tank with a 14.8-gallon fuel capacity. The vehicle thereby promises 326 miles of range in the city, 414.5 miles on highways, and 360 miles combined.

The AMG 4MATIC+ all-wheel drivetrain distributes power well and efficiently. The drivetrain extracts the most power out of the engine with the least fuel consumption, which makes it the most practical and recommended buy in the class. The sporty and sophisticated SUV is thus the most efficient buy in the crossover SUV market. However, it is lighter and smaller than rivals but has no compromise in utility and practicality.

Models

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

2021 Jaguar E-PACE

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 BMW X2 M35i

MPG (City)

22

21

17

23

MPG (Highway)

28

27

22

30

MPG (Combined)

25

23

19

26

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

14.8

18.1

19.8

16.1

Range (City/Highway/Combined; miles)

326/414/370

380/489/416

337/436/376

370/483/419

The BMW X2 M35i is marginally the best in terms of fuel efficiency above the AMG GLA 45. With a combined mileage of 26 MPG and a 16.1-gallon fuel tank, larger than that of the AMG GLA 45, the range figures are far ahead of the latter. With an optimum efficiency rating and larger fuel tank, the Jag E-PACE gets the best-in-class range figures. Though the turbo engine under the hood of the Merc is far more efficient than the rivals, the smaller gas tank significantly reduces the range figures, which means you have to have frequent stops at the gas station.

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Interior

6.5/10

It is undoubtedly the epitome of sophistication and luxury to drive a Mercedes-Benz. The 2021 GLA 45 has plush interiors with a whole lot of features to make you satisfied. The interior is aesthetically beautiful and practical. The 5-seater configuration makes it a small crossover, rather than being called a big hatch. The front features sport bucket seats with 14-way power adjustability with memory function for the driver seat. The front seats are immensely spacious, letting you sit comfortably in the heated seats with ample room for your body. The rear seats, however, are in a different scenario. The rear seats offer cramped room for the passengers, which makes it difficult for bigger passengers to ingress and egress.

The cabin is highly ergonomic and sports-tuned. The rear seats offer split-folding functionality. The cabin is lit with ambient interior lighting, paired with Bluetooth streamed audio. The cabin also features dual-zone climate control to set the climate of the cabin comfortable for the occupants. The bespoke flat-bottomed steering wheel gets mounted controls to switch between the drive modes and get control over the other cabin functions. The red stitching and shades in the cabin make it look more appealing.

Models

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

2021 Jaguar E-PACE

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 BMW X2 M35i

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.0/54.8/41.9

38.4/56.1/40.1

N/A

39.8/55.6/40.3

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.2/53.1/27.3

38.3/55.8/35.1

N/A

37.1/53.9/36.7

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

17.2

24.2

17.6

21.6

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is the most spacious pick in terms of the front seats. It gets spacious head- and legroom, which is sufficient enough for the occupants to sit back and relax. However, the rear compartment disappoints us with the worst legroom. It is so cramped that a 6-foot tall adult would find it almost impossible to sit in the rear seats. Jaguar and BMW have offered decent space in both front and rear compartments, making it more practical than the GLA 45. Jag also gets you the best-in-class cargo capacity of 24.2 cubic feet, followed by the bimmer. GLA 45 gets the least cargo volume, making it unfit for hauling larger volumes of baggage. Some of the standout interior features are as follows:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • 14-way power driver seat with memory settings
  • Heated front seats
  • Bespoke steering wheel with mounted controls
  • Front sports bucket seats

What’s there to keep you entertained?

With a massive dual-10.25” touchscreen system at the front, the dashboard of the GLA 45 looks majestic and modern. One of them takes up the multimedia function, while the other stands as the digital instrument cluster. The system is so modern and intelligent that it packs a whole lot of features and advanced tech tweaks. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system powers the entertainment inside the cabin, which is advanced and intelligent. The system activates by the call of “Hey, Mercedes”, and has the Voice Control feature with Natural language understanding. Apart from voice commands, the system can be controlled via a Touchpad controller and the steering-wheel touch control buttons.

The intelligent system features connectivity aids such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a hands-free Bluetooth interface and Bluetooth audio streaming. It also gets four USB-C ports and an HD Radio Receiver. Apart from all these, one shall opt-out for several optional features such as the MBUX Interior Assistant, AMG Track Pace, Burmester Surround Sound System, MB Navigation with augmented video, Inductive wireless charging, In-car Wi-Fi, AMG Head-Up display, and 6-month Platinum Plan trial for SiriusXM. The MBUX Interior Assist uses an overhead camera to respond to the driver’s and front passenger’s movements and respond accordingly. 

While the hand moves towards the touchscreen or console touchpad, the system highlights desired features. The system also enables simple hand gesture controls, like pointing to the rearview mirror to turn on the map light or so. The optional Multimedia package would cost you $1,295 extra. Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • A 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • MBUX infotainment system
  • Optional Burmester surround sound system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • “Hey, Mercedes” keyword activation
  • Optional MBUX Interior Assist
  • Optional MB Navigation with augmented video
  • Voice Control with natural language understanding

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Exterior

8.5/10

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is one of the most stylish and elegant SUVs on the market. Moreover, the crossover SUV is quite compact in dimensions. The signature Panamericana grille makes it stand out in the crowd. The sleek LED headlamps and fog lights make up the front fascia. The AMG Performance calipers are not only capable and functional but also look distinct.

The power-adjustable exterior mirrors get body-color paints and integrated turn indicators. The standard 19-inch alloy wheels look good on the car and can be upgraded to 21-inch at an extra payment. An optional Panorama roof offers sweeping skyward views to both the rows, with a fully functional glass sunroof that can tilt up for ventilation. The sunroof can be opened and closed using the advanced voice control system.

Models

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

2021 Jaguar E-PACE

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 BMW X2 M35i

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,461

4,175

4,370

3,721

Length (inches)

175

173

184.5

172.2

Width (inches)

71

74.7

76.2

71.8

Height (inches)

58.2

64.9

63

60.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.2

8.8

6.7

7.2

Wheelbase (inches)

106.3

105.6

110.5

105.1

The Porsche Macan GTS is the longest, widest, and heaviest in the entire class. It gets the longest wheelbase too. Jaguar E-PACE gets to be the tallest and has a massive 8.8-inches of ground clearance, making it more capable for off-road commutes as well. The AMG GLA 45 is compact and the lightest too. However, it gets a decent amount of wheelbase when compared with its dimensions. Some of the standout exterior features are as follows:

  • Standard 19” 10-spoke alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Optional Panorama roof
  • 21” alloy wheels (optional)
  • Rear Spoiler and diffuser
  • AMG performance calipers
  • Signature Panamericana grille

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Safety

8.0/10

The 2021 AMG GLA 45 hasn’t been crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS. However, there is no point in doubting the safety of a Mercedes vehicle. It gets you a whole lot of safety features in standard as well as optional buy. One of the standard features includes active brake assist, which is a radar-based system that supports faster braking to avoid frontal collisions. A standard attention assist system is associated with the safety front of the vehicle, which continuously monitors up to 70 parameters of driving behavior, and provides alerts in the form of visual and audible warnings if it detects drowsiness. Apart from these, the vehicle gets blind-spot assist, rearview camera, crosswind assist, downhill speed regulation, heated windshield washers, and so on.

The stable and robust structure of the AMG GLA 45 makes it a safe vehicle to take up for longer drives confidently. Despite all these standard features, a wide range of optional features comes with the vehicle. This includes adaptive high beam assist, speed limit assist, PARKTRONIC with active park assist, active distance assist DISTRONIC, active steer assist, cross-traffic alert, active lane change assist, PRE-SAFE PLUS, PRE-SAFE Sound, route-based speed adaptation, surround view system, and many more. Some of the standout safety features are as follows:

  • Blind-spot assist
  • Crosswind assist
  • Downhill speed regulation
  • Heated windshield washers
  • Attention assist system
  • Active brake assist
  • Optional PARKTRONIC with active park assist
  • Optional active distance assist DISTRONIC
  • Optional PRE-SAFE PLUS

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Competition

8.0/10

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 vs Jaguar E-PACE

When considering the figures, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 gets an easy win over the Jaguar E-PACE. The former gets a better engine, better power figures, brisk acceleration, braking performance, and fuel efficiency. GLA 45 also gets more appealing aesthetics both in and out of the cabin and has proven better on the safety front as well. The only place where the Jag wins is the space on offer in the rear seats.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 vs Porsche Macan GTS

The sporty-looking Porsche Macan GTS is one of the toughest rivals to the AMG GLA 45. However, the GLA 45 gets a better engine, more horsepower, and brisker acceleration. Moreover, Mercedes offers better fuel efficiency as well.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 vs BMW X2 M35i

The BMW X2 M35i is a practical and efficient vehicle. It is roomy, ergonomic, and more fuel-efficient than the AMG GLA 45. However, the GLA 45 is still the best in terms of power delivery and acceleration figures, which means the Mercedes is a choice for those who prefer performance and the bimmer is for those who prioritize practicality and economy.

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 Final Verdict

With the exception of the cramped rear seats and cargo space, the new Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 is an excellent option for this class of vehicle. There is nothing better than a Mercedes with a touch of AMG. The GLA 45 is an affordable, heavy-duty machine with top-of-the-line acceleration and power figures. GLA 45 is an aesthetically pleasing, well-crafted, feature-rich machine well worth the price tag.

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