Future Models - Mercedes-Benz 2016 CLA
New York show: Mercedes sticks to its CLA guns
Mild mannered: Mercedes’ revamped CLA, including the five-door Shooting Brake, is expected to land in Australia in the third quarter of this year.
Mild makeover for Mercedes CLA as Benz sticks to its successful ‘coupe’ recipe
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16 March 2016
WHEN you are on a good thing, stick to it. That appears to be the attitude of
Mercedes-Benz as it dished out a subtle mid-life facelift of its game-changing
Previewed today in images released at three-pointed-star headquarters in
Stuttgart, the latest version will make its public debut in four-door form at
next week’s New York motor show, while the five-door CLA Shooting Brake wagon
will be seen in the flesh at a sports awards event in Berlin next month.
For Australia, where the new CLA will make its showroom debut in the third
quarter of this year, changes to the strong-selling front-wheel-drive vehicle
range will be mostly superficial.
A new nose with a fresh bumper design is the most obvious change, along with a
slightly re-designed “diamond-look” radiator grille that now goes across all of
the mainstream variants.
Improved connectivity and a hands-free opening function for the boot and wagon
hatch are among other upgrades.
In Europe, a new super-efficient 1.5-litre 180d BlueEfficiency diesel engine
capable of sipping just 3.5 litres per 100km and emitting a mere 89 grams of
carbon dioxide per kilometre will be introduced.
According to Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific, the engine line-up is expected to
remain largely unchanged for Australia where the CLA has a choice of four
variants, including one diesel, the 2.1-litre 200d in both ‘coupe’ and wagon.
Pricing is also expected to continue in the same ballpark. It currently starts
at $51,400 (plus on-road costs), rising to $89,500 for the firebrand CLA45 AMG
4Matic which, in the revised range, gets the neck-snapping 280kW/475Nm
2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine hooked up to the seven-speed
That AMG powertrain was announced at the Frankfurt motor show last year, so it
is unsurprising that AMG engineers kept their hands off it this time.
The updated engine powers the CLA45 AMG coupe to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, while
the Shooting Brake takes an extra one-tenth of a second.
The refreshed interior gets more liberal slabs of chrome plating, while the
seats get a new-look upholstery. The instrument dials have been restyled, and
now get red needles.
Improved connectivity now includes voice-operated iPhone Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto, while a new-look 8.0-inch free-standing touchscreen is optional.
Also optional on mainstream models is an LED headlight package instead of the
standard bi-Xenons. The CLA45 AMG now gets these as standard.
The lights package includes tail-lights with automatic intensity control to
reduce dazzle for trailing motorists.
The CLA45 AMG design is largely unchanged, with a twin-louvre grille in matte
A new front splitter design and a revised rear boot-lip spoiler on the ‘coupe’
are said to have improved aerodynamics, including reduced drag.
At the back, a new-look diffuser has four vertical fins in the modern fashion.
Further aerodynamic aides are optional, along with 19-inch cross-spoke alloy
wheels in place of the usual 18s.
Inside, the CLA45 AMG’s instrument panel and door trims are cloaked in faux
leather with red stitching.
The minor changes will not to rock the CLA boat too much, which is
understandable considering the vehicle’s world-wide sales success.
In Australia, the CLA remains one of the brand’s top sellers, last year scoring
3659 sales – up 36.4 per cent on 2014 – and trailing only the traditional
number one, the C-Class.
This year, CLA sales are up a further 31.4 per cent, although it has slipped to
third place due to the red-hot sales success of Benz’s new GLC SUV.