Mercedes-Benz’s facelifted CLA models roll into Singapore

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This is the new CLA Coupe and CLA Shooting Brake. No, really. They’ve been facelifted. Honest

  • Minor cosmetic updates are hard to spot
  • Two 1.6-litre versions are available, one in Cat A and one in Cat B
  • The Singapore price for a CLA 180 is $170,888 with COE — in either Coupe or Shooting Brake form

SINGAPORE — Two facelifted Mercedes models have gone on sale tonight, with revamped versions of the CLA Coupe and CLA Shooting Brake rolling into town.

Don’t expect much change for either car, as the two have been only subtly altered. The easiest giveaway? New headlights, best identifed by an angular projection element inside. It used to be round.

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The cars now have a diamond radiator grille (in black) as standard, along with a new front bumper with a silver, black or chrome trim strip. Early buyers of the car will get the diamond grille with sparkly chrome elements, a cost option, for free.

The rear bumper can now be optioned with a trim strip in chrome or black between the tailpipes, with the intention of making it look wider. Told you it was a subtle facelift.

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Changes to the cars have been made inside, too, with new upholstery and trim panels, and additional chrome to class up the place.

While you might have to squint like hell to spot the facelift items, there’s nothing new to look for under the bonnet.

The range kicks off with the CLA 180 Coupe and CLA 180 Shooting Brake, both identically priced at $170,888 with COE. As before, they have a 1.6-litre turbo engine with 122 horsepower and 200Nm of peak torque, driving the front wheels through a twin-clutch, seven-speed auto.

The Shooting Brake model trades a tiny bit of performance for a lot more practicality. At 9.3 seconds, it takes 0.1 seconds longer to reach 100km/h than the CLA 180 Coupe, but its boot offers 495 litres of space (1,354 litres when you fold the rear seats) to the four-door model’s 470 litres.

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The Shooting Brake offers a significant amount of additional rear headroom, too.

The next model up at the CLA 200 Coupe at $181,888 with COE and the CLA 200 Shooting Brake, which costs $1,000 more. They have the same 1.6-litre turbo, albeit tuned for 156 horsepower and 250Nm of peak torque. They’re swifter as a result, getting to 100km/h in 8.5 and 8.7 seconds respectively.

But if it’s speed you’re after, it’s the CLA 45 for you. Or the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4Matic Coupe, to give its full name its due. It takes longer to say that out loud than it does for the 381hp, 475Nm car to hit 100km/h (4.3 seconds). And it’s still the most powerful 2.0-litre car you can buy in Singapore, which ought to give you some comfort when you shell out the $290,888 it costs for one.

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Like the hatchback A 45, the revamped CLA 45 has been given a suspenstion overhaul, and should have shed its harsh ride as a result.

There’s no Shooting Brake version of the CLA 45 on the local price list, alas, but it will go on sale here, most likely as an indent-only model.

While the A45 model is the one that offers fireworks, it’s the CLA 180 versions that rule the roads. They allow Mercedes-Benz to bite the Category A slice of the COE pie, and account for the vast majority of CLA sales here; by our estimates Mercedes-Benz probably sells more than two CLA 180s for every CLA 200. The price for the latter, after all, is close enough to that of a larger model like the C 180 for buyers to cough up and make the jump.

Then there’s the fact that the CLA in general serves as a starter model for Mercedes-Benz, attracting “conquest” customers from other brands, which explains the CLA 180’s relative popularity over the CLA 200.

The launch of the facelifted CLA models takes Mercedes closer to the end of an extremely busy year here. There are three models still on the launch calendar for the three-pointed star, although they will be niche models. Before 2017, Mercedes will introduce the plush S-Class Cabriolet, the smaller C-Class Cabriolet (pictured below) as well as the GLC Coupe, a sporty crossover.

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Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.