While Mercedes says the full-LED headlights it uses for the facelifted CLS are “futuristic,” we’d call them quite conservative (compared to Audi’s LED Matrix) and part of a generally very subtle mid-life makeover that it just received. It’s a similar story inside, where you’d have to have owned the non-facelifted model to spot the changes.
Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic gearbox is also part of the package, being used on all engines but the top-spec AMGs, including the new CLS 220 BlueTEC with 168 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) – it’s probably not the best one to buy, though. If you want the four-pot efficiency plus a fast(er diesel) Merc, then the manufacturer also offers a CLS 250 BlueTec with 201 hp and 500 Nm (368 lb-ft). The latter can also be had with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Another new engine can be found under the bonnet of the CLS400 model. It sports a twin-turbo “3.5-liter” (according to Mercedes‘ PR, but it’s likely a typo as the same unit has a displacement of 3.0-liters on other cars) V6 that makes
330 hp 333PS (329hp) and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft).
At the top of the range sits the AMG model. It’s powered by an untouched version of the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8, making the same 549hp or 577 hp as before.
Mercedes says the standout feature of the facelift are the headlights. Called Multibeam LED, these can “provides an active light function, which is also camera-controlled, with unprecedented characteristics. For instance, it offers a preview function which already swivels the active light function when the driver has yet not turned the wheels.” It even has a special roundabout function that prevents the cornering function from failing when one is approached.
Visibly different is the entire front end, with special emphasis on the less aggressive bonnet than before, though you only really spot the differences if you put old and new side by side.
For owners of the previous car, the addition of a revised 8-inch display inside is welcome, and the sporty three-spoke steering wheel (also new) looks quite attractive…
By Andrei Nedelea