Mercedes CLS gets mid-life update


Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mercedes has revealed face-lifted versions of the CLS four-dour coupe and CLS Shooting Brake estate, ahead of the pair's official public debut at this month's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The German brand has opted for the subtle approach when it came to giving its attention grabbing model a mid-life nip and tuck. Indeed, externally the car is largely a verbatim copy of its predecessor, with changes limited to a re-styled front bumper and grille, and revised headlamps.

The interior is similarly familiar; though the integrated sat nav screen has been replaced with a freestanding iPad style affair, bringing the CLS's cabin in line with Mercedes' current design themes. A new steering wheel, changes to button layouts and range of new leather trim options complete the makeover.

Elsewhere, the engine line-up has been revised, with four-cylinder diesel models receiving Merc's BlueTEC exhaust treatment to reduce emissions. A new entry-level diesel, the CLS220 BlueTEC, is now offered, and produces 168bhp from its 2.1-litres. Buyers can also opt for the V6 CLS350 BlueTEC diesel, which develops 254bhp.

Petrol power is provided courtesy of the CLS400, which uses a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, and replaces the 3.5-litre unit previously offered in the CLS350. Despite the smaller engine, power is up 26bhp, now at 328bhp.

Refreshed Mercedes CLS-Class

Refreshed Mercedes CLS-Class

The hugely powerful CLS63 AMG will continue to be offered, though its 549bhp 5.5-litre turbocharged V8 engine will not be offered in conjunction with four-wheel-drive in the UK as it is in other markets. All engines except the AMG variant will come with a new-nine speed gearbox in place of the outgoing seven-speed item.

Where Mercedes has been restrained with altering the looks of its successful four-door coupe, it hasn't held back with the toys. Amongst the new additions is Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can detect an imminent collision and apply the brakes to mitigate the fallout – this device will not only increase the car's safety rating, but may also lead to reduced insurance premiums for owners.

The tweaked headlamps are also very high-tech, featuring LED technology, which Mercedes claims performs better than the laser light technology recently implemented by rivals Audi and BMW. Boasting 24 individual LED light projectors, the lights can be minutely altered to provide maximum illumination without dazzling oncoming drivers.

A new AMG Line Plus trim level and a new array of options packages further increases the scope for customers to individualise their CLS.