Marmite, because the yellow flashes added to this range-topping variant will be a love/hate thing for many. Those who prefer discreetness are likely to be unimpressed by its brashness, but those who love to celebrate the madness of today’s compact performance cars may see the fun side of the theme.
The Yellow Night’s standard-fit AMG sports seats and AMG steering wheel make the cabin feel like a significantly more serious place to sit. The wheel’s thick, soft Alcantara-wrapped rim and yellow centre line feels just right in a car with this much poke. Only the button-strewn dashboard spoils the party, as it looks dated and cluttered.
Despite being no quicker than the pre-update car, the latest GLA 45 feels every bit as fast as it did when the model was launched. The car’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which runs in front-wheel drive for most of the time before sending up to 50% of torque rearwards when it's needed, provides ample traction, meaning off-the-line launches are savage.
0-62mph is knocked off in 4.4sec and the engine feels no less urgent beyond that, with the car’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic supremely quick at swapping cogs and satisfyingly responsive when controlled by the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. Our car features the £510 option of an AMG performance exhaust, which pops, crackles and burbles as the engine spins through its rev band, as well as the AMG driver’s pack, which removes the 155mph limiter.
Rein things in and the GLA 45 will offer 38.2mpg, a respectable figure for a car with such snappy performance. The car rides nicely, too, with noticeably more pliancy from the suspension than in the technically similar AMG A45 hatchback. The GLA 45 rides 15mm lower than the regular GLA, but it's still 40mm higher than the low-set A45.
This raised position does make the GLA 45 a less sharp offering, but the body never rolls or pitches like you might expect an SUV to, especially when fitted with the optional (£1395) AMG dynamic plus pack. This adds AMG ride control sports suspension, which helps the car remain flat and composed over bumpy sections of road, as well as a traction-boosting front locking differential. Point to point pace with this set-up is superb and the car’s willingness to be hustled makes it extremely fun to thread along a B-road.