This hot 4×4 sits squarely in the ‘crossover’ camp. It makes an Audi Q3 RS look like a bespoilered tower block, and has a silhouette much more like a generously proportioned family hatchback than a jacked-up station wagon. However, while it makes the GLA undeniably distinctive, that positioning does invite questions about exactly what’s on offer in this car.
Fitted initially with a 355bhp, 332lb ft turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, identical to the powertrain found in the A 45 and CLA 45, the GLA is reputed to be capable of 0-62mph in 4.8sec and limited to 155mph. This was later upped to 375bhp in 2015, after Audi put Mercedes-AMG’s nose out of joint with its more powerful RS3.