Mercedes-AMG’s GLA 45 S is the undisputed champion in the high-performance compact SUV category. Building on the facelifted GLA, Mercedes-AMG has introduced several enhancements to the GLA 45 S for the 2023 model year, combining improved interior technology with a fresh appearance.
Mercedes-AMG boasts an extensive lineup of models, including a range of SUVs, with the smallest among them being the Mercedes GLA, available in 35 and 45 variants. The GLA 45 S, in particular, has received subtle updates.
At first glance, the exterior of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S may appear largely unchanged, but a closer look reveals new LED signatures in the headlights and rear lights, a revised front bumper, and an AMG crest on the bonnet for a touch of distinction.
The 21-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the 45 S and are nestled within body-colored wheel arches, a departure from the previous black-painted arches. The SUV’s performance identity is emphasized with a sizable rear spoiler, faux diffuser, and a quad-tip exhaust system.
The interior of the GLA 45 S has also received attention. It now features the new AMG Performance steering wheel and an updated AMG-specific MBUX infotainment system designed to enhance the user experience. Connectivity remains strong with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with an additional USB-C port.
While hybrid technology has made its way into the 35-badged AMG models, like the facelifted A 35 earlier this year, the more potent GLA 45 S retains its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing an impressive 310 kW and 500 Nm of torque sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. These power figures enable the GLA 45 S to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 270 km/h.
With performance metrics that rival sports cars, the GLA 45 S now stands in a league of its own, especially with the discontinuation of the Audi RS Q3. Even the most potent M35i version of the BMW X1 and Audi SQ2 falls well short of the Mercedes in terms of power.