The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA and 2016 CLA Shooting Brake mid-life updates arrive in Australia around August this year with a host of tweaks to keep it sharp against compact premium rivals such as the Audi A3.
Stylistically, the new-look CLA gets different bumpers, a diamond radiator grille and revised alloy wheel designs, plus a new cavansite blue metallic hero colour.
Inside the cabin, the updates are familiar from those changes introduced to the MY16 A-Class, which is based on the same MFA platform as the CLA. There are new seat trims, new chrome-plated buttons, a slimmer free-standing 8.0-inch tablet display and new trims.
Other options include LED headlights that never need a new bulb and are more powerful than halogen units, plus a new hands-free access system for the cargo area that opens when you swipe your foot under the bumper (the same system is used by Ford and the Volkswagen Group).
The revised engines include a handful of different base units for Europe, but those relevant to Australia are kicked off by the 115kW/250Nm CLA200 with its 1.6 turbo-petrol matched to a seven-speed DCT automatic.
A new variant is the the CLA220 4Matic, which upgrades to all-wheel-drive and gets a tweaked 2.0-litre petrol-turbo engine with 135kW/300Nm, cutting the 0-100km/h acceleration to by almost 20 per cent to 7.1 seconds. There's no confirmation that this will come to Australia but the company wants it here.
The top-selling CLA250 4Matic remains a 155kW/350Nm 2.0 proposition, but there’s also a new CLA250 4Matic Sport variant with 160kW/350Nm. This latter variant is also of interest to Mercedes-Benz Australia. The 0-100km/h time is a slick 6.5s.
On the diesel front, the CLA200d with its 100kW/300Nm punch and fuel use in the low 4s and 7-DCT gearbox, continues alongside a punchier new offering called the CLA220d, with its 130kW/350Nm outputs and optional 4Matic.
Rounding out the range is the uprated Mercedes-AMG CLA45, which gets the same tweaked, insane world-topping hand-made 2.0-litre turbo that features in the revised A45 hatch, with 280kW (up 15kW) and 475Nm, 4Matic, 7-DCT and 0-100km/h time of 4.2s., down one-tenth.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA45 echoes the MY16 A45 with its new headlights, redesigned front and rear bumpers and diffusers/lip spoilers and wheel packages. Inside are new buttons and the new tablet screen. The new mechanical front diff lock can be optioned, as with the A45.
The revised MY16 CLA range hits Mercedes-Benz Australia dealers in Q3, 2016. We’ll bring you pricing and specs for the local market closer to then. The current car retails for between $51,400 and $89,500.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA has been a roaring success for the company’s local arm. In 2015 it managed 3659 registrations, up 36.4 per cent, and was its second top-selling model. It also beat out its A-Class (3629) and GLA (3011) siblings.
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