Mike Dork
Oct. 31, 2015 9:24 p.m.

I drove a GLA45 AMG last weekend. I think I like it, and the missus is giving it her wholehearted support. I'll probably also drive a CLA45 AMG, but the GLA250 and CLA250 also (my interest would be solely for the 4MATIC versions) aren't slouches either.

So, what does the hive think?

captdownshift UltraDork
Oct. 31, 2015 10:07 p.m.

I decided today the the GLA is a modern, German AMC Eagle with a Berkeley ton of power. And that's not a bad thing

irish44j PowerDork
Oct. 31, 2015 10:41 p.m.

I think the GLA is pretty cool looking, but that said they seem kind of pointless (much like the Range Rover Evoque)....an SUV that doesn't really have much actual utility space. They always look to me like the size of a regular hatchback that someone put big-ass wheels on.

I'd be more interested if it was lower to the ground and had non-huge wheels. I.E. just make it a performance hatchback car, not a performance small SUV with marginal "U." That said, the performance specs look pretty good on paper and I'm sure it drives and rides nice, like most Benzes.

The CLA, I personally think has terrible lines and makes me think of a first-gen Altima or something with that sloping-down and narrow trunk. I see a LOT of them around here (they, along with 3-series BMWs, are common commuter cars in this $$ area). And I can't say I've ever seen one and not thought to myself "gee, that is one ugly Benz." IDK what it is....the proportions just seem strange. Front end seems too beefy for the car (and has a lot of overhang) and rear end seems too low and narrow for the car. Feeels like they found some kind of econo-sedan and then gussied it up with M-B styling features that don't really work with the car.

YMMV of course....style is subjective.

And that said, if you like it and the wife likes it.....that's pretty much a settled case!

bgkast UberDork
Oct. 31, 2015 11:42 p.m.

The GLA amg is more of a hot hatch than an SUV. They aren't very big in person.

Too bad they aren't offered with a manual.

Mike Dork
Oct. 31, 2015 11:49 p.m.
irish44j wrote: I think the GLA is pretty cool looking, but that said they seem kind of pointless (much like the Range Rover Evoque)....an SUV that doesn't really have much actual utility space. They always look to me like the size of a regular hatchback that someone put big-ass wheels on. I'd be more interested if it was lower to the ground and had non-huge wheels. I.E. just make it a performance hatchback car, not a performance small SUV with marginal "U." That said, the performance specs look pretty good on paper and I'm sure it drives and rides nice, like most Benzes.

You just described the A45 AMG, which we can't get in the USA. I'd say more, but you described it exactly.

irish44j wrote: The CLA, I personally think has terrible lines and makes me think of a first-gen Altima or something with that sloping-down and narrow trunk. I see a LOT of them around here (they, along with 3-series BMWs, are common commuter cars in this $$ area). And I can't say I've ever seen one and not thought to myself "gee, that is one ugly Benz." IDK what it is....the proportions just seem strange. Front end seems too beefy for the car (and has a lot of overhang) and rear end seems too low and narrow for the car. Feeels like they found some kind of econo-sedan and then gussied it up with M-B styling features that don't really work with the car. YMMV of course....style is subjective. And that said, if you like it and the wife likes it.....that's pretty much a settled case!

I also think the GLA has better lines than the CLA. The upside is that it's been out longer, so it has had more time to depreciate.

bgkast UberDork
Oct. 31, 2015 11:55 p.m.

In reply to Mike:

The GLA amg is available in the USA: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/amg#!layout=/amg/models&waypoint=models

Mike Dork
Nov. 1, 2015 12:23 a.m.
bgkast wrote: In reply to Mike: The GLA amg is available in the USA: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/amg#!layout=/amg/models&waypoint=models

Thanks. I was saying the A45 isn't available here. I drove a GLA last weekend.

The A45 is lower and closer to the ground, but not by much.

irish44j PowerDork
Nov. 1, 2015 9:32 a.m.
bgkast wrote: The GLA amg is more of a hot hatch than an SUV. They aren't very big in person. Too bad they aren't offered with a manual.

curious. I've seen several (someone at work has one) and maybe it's just the reference point but they always look larger than a hot hatch. Maybe just the proportion of the big wheels (same way the Toyota Venza looked larger than it actually was) that does it.

I was behind a GLA in traffic and I was "looking up" at it I thought - but maybe that's because the tiny rear window gives it the look of a higher beltline (and me being in a mildly lowered WRX, lol).

In any case, I stand corrected. With that known, I'd say the main issue is that it's a "hot hatch" without a stick shift, which is a dealkiller for me, lol.

Mike Dork
Nov. 1, 2015 10:12 a.m.
irish44j wrote:
bgkast wrote: The GLA amg is more of a hot hatch than an SUV. They aren't very big in person. Too bad they aren't offered with a manual.

curious. I've seen several (someone at work has one) and maybe it's just the reference point but they always look larger than a hot hatch. Maybe just the proportion of the big wheels (same way the Toyota Venza looked larger than it actually was) that does it.

I was behind a GLA in traffic and I was "looking up" at it I thought - but maybe that's because the tiny rear window gives it the look of a higher beltline (and me being in a mildly lowered WRX, lol).

In any case, I stand corrected. With that known, I'd say the main issue is that it's a "hot hatch" without a stick shift, which is a dealkiller for me, lol.

That photo is of an A45 4MATIC AMG, which is the Merc hot hatch, and not the compact SUV.

Just to muddy the waters further though, the GLA-class is Mercedes' compact SUV. It comes in two versions: the GLA250 (front drive or 4MATIC) and GLA45, which always comes with AWD.

Both versions would be an SUV, right?

Nope.

The GLA45 is closer to the ground than some criteria, so the EPA calls it a "mid-size station wagon" while the GLA250 is a "small sport utility vehicle."

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