Mercedes-Benz CLA facelift 2023 revealed, due out this year in Australia

Mercedes-Benz CLA facelift 2023 revealed, due out this year in Australia

Alongside its European station wagon brother, the Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan has received a gentle makeover with a revised design, improved technology and mild hybrid power.

The facelift 2023 Mercedes Benz CLA was unveiled ahead of an Australian launch in the third quarter of this year (July to September).

The facelift of the CLA sedan – and its Europe-only Shooting Brake estate derivative – follows in the wheel tracks of the updated A- and B-Class hatchbacks and introduces an updated exterior, interior and engine range.

An Australian launch is planned between July and September 2023 in sedan form only. The model range is intended to reflect the existing Mercedes-Benz product range with the variants CLA200, CLA250 4Matic, AMG CLA35 and AMG CLA45 S.

Exterior updates include a streamlined front bumper and new star-patterned grille – similar to the larger C-Class – along with a redesigned lower rear bumper and new LED headlight and taillight graphics.

Buyers can choose between three new light-alloy wheel designs for standard Mercedes-Benz models with a diameter of 17 to 19 inches and two new paint colors, Hyper Blue and Spectral Blue.

Other upgrades for the Mercedes-AMG CLA35 and CLA45-S versions include the addition of the ’45 ‘Panamericana’ grille to the 35, an AMG badge above the grille (replacing the second Benz star), new front bumpers, new 18s or 19-inch wheel designs and revised taillight graphics for the 45 models.

Inside, the Australian-standard dual 10.25-inch screens are now fitted to all European models – and the center stack trackpad for the infotainment system has been ditched in favor of touch-only control of the screen.

The screens get updated software with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (in addition to wired), redesigned instrument gauge views, an improved “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, and an improved “Telematics” smartphone companion app.

Other technological changes include Dolby Atmos technology for the optional Burmester surround sound system, an additional USB-C port in the interior and lighting for all USB ports.

There’s a new steering wheel, carried over from other Mercedes-Benz models – and upholstered in Nappa leather or “Artico” synthetic leather – as well as new trim inlay options and new seat trim and color options for various models, many of which contain more recycled materials than before .

For the first time, a heated steering wheel is also available in the AMG Line versions.

Meanwhile, the full AMG 35 and 45 S variants get a new AMG Performance steering wheel with rotary controls for driving mode and new AMG screens for the infotainment system.

You also get new upholstery options for the regular sport seats or upgraded AMG Performance shells – a new shade of brown for the Artico and Microfiber combo, sage gray and black for the Artico faux leather, and red pepper and black for the full leather seat option.

Safety has been improved with refinements to Lane Departure Warning and an improved automatic parking function including a 3D view for the 360-degree camera.

Buyers in Europe can choose from an upgraded range of four-cylinder engines which – in the case of the standard non-AMG petrol engines – add 48-volt mild hybrid technology to reduce emissions and add a 10kW boost under hard acceleration.

The standard Australian range is likely to continue to offer a choice of petrol variants with the CLA200 front-wheel drive (120kW / 250Nm) and CLA250 4Matic all-wheel drive (165kW / 350Nm). It is unclear whether Europe’s mild hybrid technology will be offered locally.

The plug-in hybrid variants offered in Europe have also been upgraded with larger battery packs, more powerful electric motors and faster charging – although these are not available in Australia.

The AMG CLA35 also gets mild hybrid power in Europe, a new front cooler and changes from a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the newer eight-speed unit from the AMG CLA45 S.

Engine output remains the same in both AMG versions – apart from the mild hybrid technology for the 35 – with 225 kW/400 Nm from a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder in the CLA35 or 310 kW/500 Nm from a other 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the CLA35 the CLA45 S.

A new special model, the AMG Street Style Edition for the CLA 45 S, will also be introduced to overseas markets with the facelift.

The edition adds a matte Mountain Gray paint finish, AMG exterior decals, orange accents, 19-inch matte black alloys, red brake calipers, AMG aerodynamics, Night I and Night II packages, and an AMG fuel cap.

It also includes suede upholstery with orange stitching, AMG performance bucket seats with “CLA 45 S” headrest embroidery, a leather and microfiber steering wheel, AMG door sills, red ambient lighting and unique floor mats.

the 2023 Mercedes Benz CLA Range is due in Australia in Q3 2023 (July to September). Prices will be confirmed shortly before launch.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017 when he launched his own website Redline. He worked for Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from leafing through car magazines at a young age to growing up surrounded by performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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