Today, 03:07 PM
These are two performance sport utility vehicles that do have similarities. They are German, turbocharged, all wheel drive, and both feature dual clutch transmissions. Beyond that though we are talking very different vehicles as the GLA45 AMG is essentially based on a front wheel drive sedan platform.
That of course being the CLA-Class. The GLA45 AMG can be thought of as a CLA45 AMG on stilts. The test numbers show the GLA45 AMG matches its sibling pretty much across the board. That includes in curb weight as the GLA45 weighs only 3589 pounds.
The GLA45 AMG also features the M133 2.0 liter four-cylinder AMG engine. With 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque it is no slouch and capable of high 12's in the 1/4 mile in stock form.
The Macan Turbo though has a 3.6 liter twin turbo V6. The engine is less stressed and puts out more horsepower and torque in stock form. 400 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.
It's bigger, heavier (roughly 4500 pounds), more powerful, and more expensive. Would the 340 horsepower 3.0 liter twin turbo V6 Macan S that starts at $49,900 make more sense for this comparison? If you are trying to level the playing field a bit, yes. But even so the Macan S and Turbo are larger vehicles. The GLK is closer to size of the Macan. Regardless, this comparison pits these two together and is what it is.
The straightline testing has the Macan Turbo come up with the quicker 0-60 at 4.2 seconds to the GLA45 AMG 4.3. The 1/4 mile result though favors the GLA45 AMG as the Macan Turbo manages 12.9 @ 106.2 whereas the GLA45 AMG does the 1/4 mile sprint in 12.8 @ 107.9.
There is something to be said for power to weight but it is highly impressive the GLA45 AMG is quicker and faster in a straight line. Especially when one considers it has two less cylinders and has a 1.6 liter displacement penalty.
To test the handling prowess they closed off a section of a canyon road. It is not super scientific but the GLA45 AMG comes out just ahead by less than a tenth of a second. The GLA45 AMG is lighter, more tossable, and offers a bit more steering feedback but the Macan Turbo does very well. It's practically a wash.
MotorTrend picks the GLA45 AMG. If you want the vehicle that is more fun to drive that is the choice. If you want more utility the Macan Turbo is the choice. Considering the GLA45 AMG bang for the buck it is hard to argue against it here.