Mercedes CLA facelifted – a tiny bit

It used to be that a car’s mid-life facelift would bring big, noticeable changes to the styling. The whole front end and probably the interior would be new. But not any more.

These days, most facelifts are virtually imperceptible. Take the latest Mercedes CLA as a prime example. According to Mercedes, the bumpers are new, the grille is now black and features a diamond pattern and there are new trim strips and wheel designs. But, so far as we can tell, the single biggest change is that the rear bumper now features flush-fitting tailpipe trim panels.

Inside, meanwhile, there are new seat covers, a thinner free-standing infotainment screen, chrome detailing and a new coat hook. If that can’t get excited about this, nothing will.

Equipment levels and trim/upholstery packages have been tweaked across the range. There’s some new gadgetry as well, including optional LED headlights, and multitudinous infotainment/connectivity options.

The engine range has been tweaked too, including the CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Edition diesel, which emits a Toyota Prius-matching 89g/km of Co2.

More interesting, though, is the CLA45 which receives the same upgrades bestowed on the A45 hatchback last year. Power is bumped up to 376bhp and 350lb/ft of torque – from a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit, don’t forget – which it from 0-62mph in 4.2secs (4.3secs in the Shooting Brake) and a top speed of 155mph. Thank a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and four-wheel-drive for that.

Hopefully, the CLA45 will also get the A45’s chassis upgrades; though hugely fast, the current version isn’t especially involving.

The four-door CLA will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show next week, while the Shooting Brake will debut at a sporting awards ceremony in Germany in April. Both models arrive in showrooms in July, pricing to be announced later.

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By Only Motors

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