One would have thought it heresy to have an AMG built on a front-wheel-drive platform co-developed with Renault/Nissan, but that would be misplaced assessment after a moment with the utterly incredible GLA45 AMG. The GLA based on the same platform as its sibling the CLA , is a strikingly beautiful compact crossover. The design features striking lines and an emotion that evokes attachment. In AMG form you get more muscles in the form of additional body cladding and more brown in the form of a 2.0L turbo engine that produces 355 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 7-speed transmission along with a permanent all-wheel-drive system, Mercedes claims a 0-60 acceleration time of 4.8 seconds. I fell in love with the GLA45 AMG and fell hard. The 20-inch alloy wheels chewed up pavement as I made frequent trips across I-70 just to hear the tantalizing purr of the turbo with a rich note that is not only symphonic but operatic with its rich baritone. Mercedes even has an ECO mode with the GLA45 AMG and one would be surprised to learn it gets 29 MPG on the highway and sips 23 MPG in city driving due to smart technologies like start/stop during idling. With a base price of $48,300, the GLA45 AMG can get pricey fast with options like the special brown paint and brown interior in the model I drove. Additional options like an essential AMG performance exhaust, park assist, AMG performance steering wheel and seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, the famed Mercedes Premium package, and a Multimedia package brought the total to $64,975 delivered. Each AMG has a Bespoke engine with the technician signing each one which is part of the premium one pays, the other part is for exceptional performance and above all, the oldest automotive nameplate, who literally invented the car, Mercedes. For more information, visit www.mbusa.com.
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