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New 2023 Mercedes CLA facelift spied with light camouflage

Mercedes is readying an update for its CLA, the coupe-like four door designed to go head-to-head with the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. These spy shots provide our first look at the facelifted car testing in pre-production form, with styling tweaks hidden by a thin disguise. 

The new CLA is expected to be unveiled near the end of this year, before landing in showrooms in 2023 alongside the revised A-Class hatchback on which it’s based. Design changes will be very mild, with these images revealing what appears to be a subtly reprofiled front bumper and new headlight units, which feature a dual-element signature for the daytime running lights. 

The facelifted CLA will retain the svelte profile of the outgoing car, with an arcing roofline, sinewy bonnet bulges and a single crease along the flanks. There appears to be a new radar system integrated into the windscreen, however, which could hint at upgraded ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technology. 

New wheel designs may arrive as part of the updates, and at the rear, the CLA will feature a new pair of taillights to smarten up the design. Our spies also photographed the more practical shooting brake estate variant of the car, which will sport the same round of styling tweaks. 

There won’t be any radical changes inside the CLA, which already boasts one of the most advanced cabins in the class. We expect it to retain the 10.25-inch dual-screen infotainment setup found in the current car, albeit with Mercedes’ most up-to-date MBUX software and potentially more processing power. 

The facelifted model is unlikely to receive the firm’s latest double-spoke steering wheel design, but a raft of new upholstery and trim options could arrive as part of the update. 

Minor tweaks are expected under the skin, with the CLA retaining the same platform and powertrain lineup as before. However, Mercedes engineers are likely to have retuned the suspension to provide a better ride and handling balance, while squeezing more efficiency out of the petrol and diesel engines with revised software. 

The CLA’s current range consists of a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with either 134bhp or 161bhp, alongside a puncher 187bhp 2.0-litre motor which can be specified with four-wheel drive. There’s also a plug-in hybrid variant built around the 1.3-litre petrol, which produces 215bhp. 

Despite falling out of favour with buyers in recent years, diesel power may also be available in the form of the 2.0-litre CLA 220 d. On the other end of the spectrum, spiced-up AMG models will top the range – the 302bhp CLA 35 and the racier 415bhp CLA 45 S could receive small power upgrades and chassis revisions as part of the facelift.

Given the changes, we expect the CLA’s current starting price of £33,070 to increase slightly when the facelifted car lands in showrooms next year.  

Click here for our in-depth review of the current generation Mercedes CLA…

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