Believe it or not, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is already three years old. The swoopy compact four-door coupe and its equally sleek CLA Shooting Brake sibling (introduced much later) have helped reel in younger buyers into the German carmaker's stable.
"Shooting brake," by the way, is how the Brits call their station wagon.
Not resting on its laurels, however, Mercedes-Benz is giving the stylish duo a midlife refresh. The touch-up comes in the form of the mandatory front bumper revision, now sporting a black, silver or chrome strip. The grille likewise gets the diamond treatment, also set in black. And the rear bumper can also be ordered with either a chrome or black strip (for the Night Package). The rear even receives a new sporty touch via bumper-integrated tailpipes for a more youthful vibe.
More style is afforded by the new set of alloy wheels. There are five choices on offer, and these include a sleek five-twin-spoke look for the AMG trim, as well as wheels painted in either black or titanium gray. The car’s sleek appearance is enhanced by the optional LED headlamps, while a new paint scheme, Cavansite Blue, shows off its sporty lines.
Apart from the exterior, the facelift extends all the way into the cabin. There are now chrome-plated controls, new seat materials, and an eight-inch multimedia display. The free-standing unit even features a new glass cover for a more modern look. Plus, red instrument-cluster needles give the driver that sporty feeling while on the move.
Despite their compact moniker, the CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake offer some of the most advanced safety systems that have trickled down from their bigger brethren. Collision Prevention Assist Plus (or active brake assist) is just one fine example. Then there is Dynamic Select that alters the driving characteristics, depending on the chosen mode. And Mercedes even lets owners choose their own mood lighting inside the car via the ambient lighting feature. Just as with the other models, this one gives a slew of 12 colors to play with.
As before, the CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake will come with a host of gasoline or diesel engines, as well as front- or all-wheel-drive (4Matic) options. New for 2016 is the CLA 180D BlueEfficiency with a fuel-efficient 1.5-liter in-line four-cylinder motor that puts out 109hp and 260Nm. While not particularly fast (accelerating from rest to 100kph in a leisurely 11.6 seconds), it does promise to average 28.5km/L. Those who want the ultimate performance machine can still opt for the top-dog CLA/CLA Shooting Brake 45 4Matic. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder in this configuration dishes out 381hp and 475Nm.
The revised Mercedes-Benz CLA and CLA Shooting Brake will be delivered to eager customers beginning in July this year. This follows a world premiere for the former at the upcoming New York Auto Show (March 25 to April 3), with the latter set to see daylight at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin next month.