The CLS is already one of the most attractive sedans on the market, so it doesn’t come as a surprise Mercedes is not fiddling too much with the winning recipe for the model’s mid-cycle facelift. Arriving at US dealers early next year, the updated model has gone through subtle design tweaks you’ll have a problem noticing right away unless you are a diehard fan of the three-pointed star.
We’ll make it easier for you to spot the changes and point out the 2022 CLS in the standard AMG Line specification for North America has a redesigned front bumper with black inserts and a silver chrome splitter. The high-gloss black air intakes with their vertical bars are new, and so is the radiator grille with the numerous corporate logos in chrome silver.
Rounding off the changes on the outside are two new 19-inch alloy wheel designs, a couple of fresh colors for the 20-inch alloys, plus a Starling Blue Metallic hue for the body. Inside, Mercedes is adding Open Pore Brown Walnut and High-Gloss Grey Wood as trim finishes, along with Sienna Brown/Black and Neva Grey/Magma Grey leather upholstery options.
The handsome sedan welcomes a redesigned steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather and high-gloss black spokes with silver chrome edging. The paddle shifters behind them come in silver chrome as well, while the steering wheel’s rim incorporates sensors needed for the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist systems. That means the driver doesn’t have to move the steering wheel anymore to inform the assistance systems, making the semi-autonomous driving system easier to use.
Mercedes-Benz USA will offer the gorgeous sedan in the usual CLS 450 4Matic specification with an inline-six 3.0-liter gasoline engine equipped with mild-hybrid technology (aka EQ Boost). It features an integrated starter-generator (now in its second generation) and 48-volt electrical system with as much as 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of electric boost.
The silky-smooth six-cylinder engine is good for 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, enabling the revised all-wheel-drive CLS to hit 60 mph in an estimated 4.7 seconds before topping out at 130 mph. The mild-hybrid powertrain benefits from energy recovery to maximize efficiency, also helped by the ability to coast with the engine turned off.
For the time being, Mercedes is not providing any details about the rear-wheel-drive CLS 450 or the high-performance CLS 53.