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Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S hot SUV updates keep it miles clear of any rival

415bhp Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S has the high performance compact SUV game all to itself

Following on from the facelifted GLA, Mercedes-AMG has tweaked its GLA 45 S for 2023. The performance-focused small SUV gets a bump in interior technology and a new look. 

Mercedes-AMG has a huge range of models these days, including a variety of SUVs, the smallest of which is based on the Mercedes GLA and offered in 35 and 45 iterations. The latter has been given a minor update.

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On the outside the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S looks broadly similar to before but on close inspection you’ll find new LED signatures within the headlights and rear lights, a revised front bumper and, to top it off, an AMG crest on the bonnet. 

The 21-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the 45 S and they sit within body-coloured wheel arches (these were previously painted black). A large rear spoiler, faux diffuser and quad-tip exhaust system feature to emphasise the GLA 45 S’ performance

The interior of the GLA 45 S hasn’t been forgotten either. The new AMG Performance steering wheel has arrived and the AMG-specific MBUX infotainment has been revised for a greater user experience. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity remain plus there’s an additional USB-C port.

We’ve seen hybridisation arrive on 35-badged AMG models like the facelifted A 35 earlier this year, but the more powerful GLA 45 S gets the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as before with a thumping 415bhp and 500Nm of torque going to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. That’s enough for a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds and a 168mph top speed. 

Those sports car-rivalling numbers really place the GLA 45 S in its own field now that the 400bhp Audi RS Q3 has gone off sale. The most potent M35i version of the BMW X1 and Audi SQ2 have well over 100bhp less than the Mercedes.

Pricing for the updated 45 S has yet to be announced but we expect the range-topping GLA model to comfortably be over £60,000 when it arrives in the next few months.

Read our review of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 here...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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