Mercedes-Benz has jumped boots and all into the compact CUV market with its new, affordable GLA-class. The two-car lineup signals the German brand’s intention to compete in this ultra-fast growing segment – but comes with a bit of a conundrum.

The first and tamest of the two is the GLA 250. Even it is almost too low to be considered a CUV or crossover, but it does fit into the smaller end of that segment. The second, the firebreathing GLA 45 AMG, has a low, stiff stance that puts it firmly in the realm of an out-and-out hot hatch.