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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Design wise I have to say the old one. Having seen newer AMG SUVs models in person has made me see similarities of that to a breadbox.

Sound wise the older one definitely no competition there.

I haven’t had a chance to be in a newer model so I’m not going to be biased here. Just want to know what other people prefer and the comparisons.
26740
 

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Wrote much of this in late February with a touch of an update today.

We have had the 2016 (we still own it, in Italy) then a 2017 (USA) which was sold when we moved to Toronto and got a 2018 GLA45 (Cda) . Three montha ago we exchanged our leased 2018 for an ordered|leased 2021 GLA45 (Cda) . The comments below are offered after 12 weeks and about 2000 miles of driving.

The new vehicle is a whole different creature. The old car is a sporty rocket (more like the current A class AMG hatch we get in Canada thatis not sold in USA), somewhat cramped, that handles like a fairly decent sports car> it has severe turbo lag, a transmission that is not at all smooth and the COMAND infotainment system is simply awful. The new animal does not feel as "quick" or as sporty to drive as the old one but is filled with new technology (some of which is optional at significant extra cost). The 10” AMG instrument cluster is fine but it is not more informative than the gauges on the previous series. The infotainment system is pretty good and a huge improvement over the prior series, though the touchpad on the new model is something we do not love as it is rather indeterminate. Navigation is excellent in comparison with the COMAND navigation.

Despite the un-sporty column-mounted shifter, the new 8 speed TC transmission is fabulous (shifts are very fast) and the new engine smooth with very little turbo lag (more like a larger naturally aspirated V8 but with way more low end grunt). The new vehicle is a small SUV while the old one was (IMHO) a CUV. The 2021 has a lot of hard plastic and seats that are not great, which neither my wife nor I feel is in keeping with a car at this price point (get in a Volvo and you will understand). WTS, the new GLA45 is nice to drive, easier to see out of and get in|out of plus our bikes fit in the back without any problem. The new vehicle is very different and not something you can easily compare with the previous series GLA. The new model is tad wider and very much taller so the interior volume is significantly larger. It looks longer but is about 1 cm shorter! New 45 is somewhat heavier so is not as responsive but is still a fine piece of work and something I sense we will come to rather like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wrote much of this in late February with a touch of an update today.

We have had the 2016 (we still own it, in Italy) then a 2017 (USA) which was sold when we moved to Toronto and got a 2018 GLA45 (Cda) . Three montha ago we exchanged our leased 2018 for an ordered|leased 2021 GLA45 (Cda) . The comments below are offered after 12 weeks and about 2000 miles of driving.

The new vehicle is a whole different creature. The old car is a sporty rocket (more like the current A class AMG hatch we get in Canada thatis not sold in USA), somewhat cramped, that handles like a fairly decent sports car> it has severe turbo lag, a transmission that is not at all smooth and the COMAND infotainment system is simply awful. The new animal does not feel as "quick" or as sporty to drive as the old one but is filled with new technology (some of which is optional at significant extra cost). The 10” AMG instrument cluster is fine but it is not more informative than the gauges on the previous series. The infotainment system is pretty good and a huge improvement over the prior series, though the touchpad on the new model is something we do not love as it is rather indeterminate. Navigation is excellent in comparison with the COMAND navigation.

Despite the un-sporty column-mounted shifter, the new 8 speed TC transmission is fabulous (shifts are very fast) and the new engine smooth with very little turbo lag (more like a larger naturally aspirated V8 but with way more low end grunt). The new vehicle is a small SUV while the old one was (IMHO) a CUV. The 2021 has a lot of hard plastic and seats that are not great, which neither my wife nor I feel is in keeping with a car at this price point (get in a Volvo and you will understand). WTS, the new GLA45 is nice to drive, easier to see out of and get in|out of plus our bikes fit in the back without any problem. The new vehicle is very different and not something you can easily compare with the previous series GLA. The new model is tad wider and very much taller so the interior volume is significantly larger. It looks longer but is about 1 cm shorter! New 45 is somewhat heavier so is not as responsive but is still a fine piece of work and something I sense we will come to rather like.
The turbo lag is what gives the driver his character (from the assumption of other people). I love not being able to get from a stand still on a hill at 2200-2900rpm and have the BOV just frantically activate and make me look like a baffoon that is driving a manual car with a failing clutch ha. Also the transmission holds gear for too long but that all depends on what speed your asking from the car.
I know you shouldn’t put 95 RON in as a regular fuel but then changing to TESCO momentum 99 you can hear and feel the difference between the fuel mappings built in. Just wondering if the new GLA has this same mapping when poor fuel is in the tank? Or haven’t you tried it.
 

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Using the North American octane rating system, the current 45 is supposed to have 91 or 92 (what we call "premium"). Regular fuel is 87 in most areas and is not recommended. We also get "super premium" at 93 or 94 at many, but not all, outlets. In rural areas 87 is the main fuel.
WTS, we were stuck in a rural area and on "reserve". To get to a place with higher octane levels we put 20-25 litres of 87 in and have to say the difference was noticeable after about 10 minutes of driving> was like there was no spark advance. When we refueled about 150 kms down the road (having used about half of what we put in) with 94 (so the average in the tank was likely in the order of 92) the car returned to the way it was about about 25 kms of driving.
Conclusion: there must be some fuel mapping, not unlike the old 45. Our older 45 (kept in Italy) is quite octane sensitive and clearly runs better on 'the good stuff' so we normally only use what the locals call "superplus" which, I believe, is 98 on their rating system. What I can tell you is a tank of this fuel costs a lot more than it does here!
 

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Pre-2020 preference myself.

 

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Turbo lag on the old model is not as bad as the transmission not handling the clutch as I would prefer. If I come into a turn too slowly (say, at 30) and try to accelerate out hard, it takes FOREVER for the clutch to put power to the wheels. Not a turbo or power issue, the clutch is just going too slow.

I really, really wish there was something I could do about that, as it's my only gripe about the old model years. I can live with everything else.

You can't heel-toe your way out of it either, since it is throttle by wire. if you try, the throttle cuts off after RPM's go up 300-500 rpm. THAT is severely annoying as well, as you can not steer (track) by throttle in the brake zone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Using the North American octane rating system, the current 45 is supposed to have 91 or 92 (what we call "premium"). Regular fuel is 87 in most areas and is not recommended. We also get "super premium" at 93 or 94 at many, but not all, outlets. In rural areas 87 is the main fuel.
WTS, we were stuck in a rural area and on "reserve". To get to a place with higher octane levels we put 20-25 litres of 87 in and have to say the difference was noticeable after about 10 minutes of driving> was like there was no spark advance. When we refueled about 150 kms down the road (having used about half of what we put in) with 94 (so the average in the tank was likely in the order of 92) the car returned to the way it was about about 25 kms of driving.
Conclusion: there must be some fuel mapping, not unlike the old 45. Our older 45 (kept in Italy) is quite octane sensitive and clearly runs better on 'the good stuff' so we normally only use what the locals call "superplus" which, I believe, is 98 on their rating system. What I can tell you is a tank of this fuel costs a lot more than it does here!
The options for 98 or above in the UK is like an endangered species. Shell 98, Tesco 99, Gulf 102 (Silverstone racing circuit only) (BP depends on location, most are 97 but some are 102) I’m not counting the the ones which have a 97 rating because of the sticker that says 98 or higher. Shell is usually 10-12p dearer than regular whilst Tesco is 5-9p and I have never been to the Gulf one. Most of the BP near us have 97 so we don’t bother. Where we live it’s 7-12 miles to get to Tesco that sell 99 (if only they’d put momentum in the one that’s 3 miles away from us) Yeah so we have to fill just with 95 until it’s possible to change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Turbo lag on the old model is not as bad as the transmission not handling the clutch as I would prefer. If I come into a turn too slowly (say, at 30) and try to accelerate out hard, it takes FOREVER for the clutch to put power to the wheels. Not a turbo or power issue, the clutch is just going too slow.

I really, really wish there was something I could do about that, as it's my only gripe about the old model years. I can live with everything else.

You can't heel-toe your way out of it either, since it is throttle by wire. if you try, the throttle cuts off after RPM's go up 300-500 rpm. THAT is severely annoying as well, as you can not steer (track) by throttle in the brake zone.
Have you tried to double clutching and building the revs up between the neutral and selecting gear? Just don’t Rev up too high or you’d wear your clutch and wheel spin.
 
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