There is a strong chance that if you love a compact hot-hatch, you are among the thinning population of human persons that actually love driving. They’re usually cars that are tight, quick, sporty and good looking, all depending on personal taste of course. That being said, when Mercedes first launched the GLA compact crossover in 2014, it was met with confusion; is it an SAV, a hatchback or an expensive soccer-mum’s car? Many still are undecided, but what we can say is that it’s AMG version, the GLA 45 4Matic, is a sensational hot rocket to drive from the word go.
It’s nothing like a supercar and yet quite far away from the usual whine of a turbocharged mill. I’m pretty sure it has been manually tuned to give off that sweet-spot growl and pop, but it is definitely addictive to the ear. Dip down on her short paddles, which have seven gears to shuffle in, and the acoustic galore that comes from the rear gets you all riled up and raring to go. Personally, it got me wishing for a nice empty Sepang Circuit to stretch her out on.
There are other fanciful reasons for this crossover’s appeal, besides her 4.4 seconds sprint time on the century dash. The GLA 45 AMG comes with a higher-tiered set of LED headlamps, also with an AMG Night package. They look really good with lesser light, and definitely quite menacing from a rear-view mirror’s vantage. These little accents make this facelifted model of the GLA a worthy option for hot-hatch fans… that is until the price comes into the fore: Without insurance, this facelifted Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic is priced at RM408,888. Is it worth paying almost half-a-million Ringgit for something that seems confused and lost between a hot-hatch and a compact SUV? You’re going to have to drive this one to figure out if your tastes can handle it.