Why mess too much with a winning recipe, right?
Revealed in late 2017, the current Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class remains one of the most stunning four-door vehicles in the world. It's not as practical as an E-Class, but that's never bothered buyers who wish to make more of a statement. To keep it competitive, the 2022 CLS-Class has just been revealed with a gentle facelift, showing off changes that were spied by our photographers in November last year.
For now, Mercedes has only revealed updates for the CLS 450 4Matic, but we expect these changes to filter through to the powerful Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 imminently.
When it was spied last year, the CLS had plenty of camouflage cladding around the lower front bumper, and now we know why. The bumper is new and gets revised air intakes along with additional chrome detailing for the front splitter and side louvres. The headlights are unchanged but they flank a refreshed grille complete with a three-dimensional Mercedes star pattern and a finish in chrome glass. The louver contrasts with this in its high-gloss black. While it remains a beautiful car, the new front bumper and splitter do appear needlessly fussy alongside the design of the pre-facelift model.
At the back, the bumper gains an insert that mimics a diffuser; it is finished in black with a strip in silver-chrome. The official pics showcase a new, multi-spoke alloy wheel design that looks great but will be a chore to clean - not that the average CLS driver cleans their own car. One new color, Starling Blue metallic, can be specced for the exterior.
Moving inside, the CLS has a new steering wheel that is strikingly similar to the one inside the magnificent EQS electric sedan. Finished in Nappa leather, this steering wheel has capacitive sensors that can be utilized when the car's semi-autonomous driving technologies are active.
Whereas the driver previously had to move the steering wheel to indicate continued attentiveness, the new system capacitively senses the driver's hands on the wheel, improving user-friendliness.
Mercedes has added the availability of two new trim choices: High-Gloss Grey wood and Open Pore Brown Walnut. The leather upholstery can now also be had in either Sienna Brown/Black or Neva Grey/Magma Grey, enhancing an already wide range of color and trim choices that are offered for this sedan. Several exclusive Manufaktur upholstery choices include Nappa leather in color combinations like Yacht Blue/Black, Tartufo Brown/Black, and Deep White/Black. Other than these changes, the cabin remains as before, dominated by dual 12.3-inch screens and the MBUX infotainment system.
Mercedes has also left the CLS 450's powertrain unchanged. The 3.0-liter inline-six turbo engine with a mild-hybrid setup still produces 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 48-volt electric system adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft at lower speeds, improving responsiveness and enabling a more efficient "glide" mode.
Arriving at dealers early next year, pricing for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has yet to be announced. Interestingly, Mercedes made no mention of the existing rear-wheel-drive CLS 450, leading us to believe that this variant will be dropped from the lineup. The current CLS 450 4Matic begins at $72,800.