A lightly refreshed exterior and the latest infotainment technology are the key highlights of the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLA “coupe” and shooting brake.
Anyone hoping for a radical redesign will be disappointed. The main changes are a new front bumper, and redesigned graphics for the LED headlights and tail-lights. Many models also sport a new grille with mini three-pointed stars throughout.
The updated CLA will arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2023.
On the inside the changes are similarly subtle with a Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel now standard. Trim elements have been tweaked, and include faux carbon-fibre and open-pore brown lime wood, with microfibre trim available on AMG models.
More recycled fabrics are used throughout the cabin, with the base fabric seat trim now featuring 100 per cent recycled material.
The rectangular slab atop the dashboard comes fitted with a 7.0-inch display as standard ahead of the driver, with more expensive variants using a 10.25-inch screen.
The infotainment setup is powered by the latest iteration of the MBUX system, and all variants have a 10.25-inch touchscreen display as standard. The trackpad in the centre console has been replaced by a storage area, and the system supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Mercedes-Benz has added an extra USB-C port to the CLA range, and illuminated all the charging ports. The optional Burmeister surround sound system now includes Dolby Atmos support.
All regular CLA drivetrains, at least in Europe, feature some form of electrification, mostly in the form of a 48V mild-hybrid setup that includes a 10kW starter-generator.
In Europe the petrol offering includes a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo in 100kW/230Nm CLA180 and 120kW/270Nm CLA200 trims, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo in 140kW/300Nm CLA220 4Matic and 165kW/350Nm CLA250 4Matic forms.
There are also three versions of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel: the 85kW/280Nm CLA180d, 110kW/320Nm CLA200d, and 140kW/400Nm CLA220d.
The biggest upgrade is for the CLA250e plug-in hybrid, which has a new electric motor boasting 80kW and 300Nm, up 5kW from before. Paired with a 120kW/270Nm 1.3-litre engine, the 250e has a total output of 160kW and 450Nm.
Charging for the 15.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack has been improved too, with the 250e now supporting 11kW AC charging, up from the previous maximum of 7.4kW. The peak DC charging rate is still limited to 22kW.
As for the AMG-branded models, the most significant change is for the CLA35 4Matic, which gains the 48V engine starter-generator mild hybrid setup from lesser models. This not only provides better automatic engine stop/start functionality, but can give a 10kW power boost when necessary.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is still rated 225kW and 400Nm, and the 0-100km/h time is unchanged at 4.9 seconds.
The CLA45 S 4Matic+ has an unchanged 2.0-litre turbo that’s said to make 310kW and 500Nm.
There is, however, a new Street Style Edition available for the CLA45 S, which includes twin five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels, an AMG aero package with blacked out pieces and orange trim, grey Magno matte paint, prominent AMG lettering on the doors, and a chequered flag design above the sills. The interior sports microfibre trim with contrasting bright orange highlights.
We expect the updated CLA range in Australia will continue to offer CLA200, CLA250 4Matic, AMG CLA35 4Matic, and AMG CLA45 S 4Matic+ variants.