The first-gen Mercedes GLA45 AMG sucked. It was an expensive heap that was perpetually uncomfortable and looked about as good as it drove.
Thankfully, Mercedes-AMG learned some lessons over the years.
Now, the new-for-2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 is a fully realized compact luxury crossover with a bonkers little powertrain tucked under the hood for good measure, making for one hell of a second act.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 doesn't really have much true competition.
Its diminutive footprint puts it a class below other higher-po luxury utes like the BMW X3 M40i and the Audi SQ5.
There are no analogous variants of the BMW X1/X2 or Audi Q3, either.
The BMW X2 M35i could be close, I guess, but it's closer to the slightly less peppy GLA35
That's probably for the best, though.
Any automaker would have a hard time topping the GLA45's equal doses of entry-level luxury and flat-out powertrain insanity.
Keep scrolling or clicking to check out even more pictures of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45.