Looking sharp: Merc’s swoopy CLS receives styling refresh

Merc’s slinky four-door coupé has received a raft of styling updates, bringing the stylish luxury car in line with the Three-Pointed Star’s other offerings

It’s not just aesthetic revisions, though. The interior has also been the beneficiary of some tweaks – a new steering wheel design, extended leather options, and new trim finishes provide customers more personalisation options.

The exterior changes are subtle but give the CLS-Class a sportier and more dynamic edge. The front bumper has been redesigned, now mimicking the larger S-Class. Two trim levels – entry-level Avantgarde and AMG Line – are available. Opting for the AMG package adds myriad styling add-ons, including a front splitter finished in silver chrome, an AMG lip spoiler, and sporty air intakes.

Mercedes-Benz CLS
A new steering wheel design, revised trim options, and new leather choices are part of the interior update.

While the basic architecture of the sumptuous cabin remains, two new colour combinations are now available for the leather trim. Neva grey/magma grey and sienna brown/black offer buyers more choice. Open-pore brown walnut or high-gloss grey wood trims are available to add a further feeling of sophistication to the interior.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa is yet to reveal any details about which engines are to be offered, although the pre-facelift CLS was available with just two powertrains locally; CLS 400d and CLS 53 AMG.

The CLS 400d is powered by a fabulous turbodiesel, producing 243kW and 700Nm of torque. The straight-six, three-litre motor is still capable of achieving a claimed fuel consumption figure of just 6L/100km. The CLS 53 is motivated by a sonorous three-litre, six-cylinder turbopetrol, capable of 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz CLS
The 320kW CLS 53 AMG remains unchanged performance-wise, with a few styling tweaks bringing it up to date.

The 320kW super saloon has also benefitted from the nip and tuck, gaining a redesigned front end. The sporty AMG bumper freshens up the look, while the AMG signature grille with the vertical bars ensures no one will mistake the CLS 53 for a common or garden Mercedes.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS has always been favoured by discerning buyers looking to stand out from the executive saloon crowd. When launched in 2004, the Merc had the marketplace all to itself. Now though, Audi’s massively capable A7, BMW’s polished 8 Series Gran Coupé and even Porsche’s Panamera all vie for a slice of the increasingly shrinking pie. This facelift should give the talented CLS a chance in a class of overachievers.

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