• 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS officially unveiled ahead of fall debut
  • Features updated exterior, tweaked interior, new 9-speed automatic
  • CLS also adds an entry-level CLS400 model with a turbocharged V6

Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled an updated version of its sporty CLS ahead of the newly revised sedan's debut this fall. The 2015 CLS boasts a new look, new equipment and a new entry-level model designed to help boost sales.

The most obvious changes to the 2015 CLS come on the outside. In front, there are major revisions, including a new front bumper, new headlights and a new grille -- each of which help to harmonize the CLS with other newly updated Mercedes models. In back, changes are limited to slightly updated taillights and a revamped rear bumper. Other revisions include new wheel designs and exterior colors.

Inside, changes to the CLS are far less dramatic. While most items remain the same (including the steering wheel, the center control stack and the gauge cluster), the CLS's display screen trades its in-dash location for a pop-up screen above the center climate-control vents.

In addition to its exterior updates, the CLS boasts two major changes under the skin. One is transmission-related: While the all-wheel-drive CLS550 4Matic and high-performance CLS63 AMG will retain their 7-speed automatics, the rear-drive CLS550 will move to a 9-speed in an effort to improve gas mileage.

But an even bigger change is the addition of an entry-level CLS400 model. Featuring a standard twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 328 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, the CLS400 is offered in rear- or all-wheel drive. All CLS400 models will feature a 7-speed automatic transmission, along with more affordable pricing than the CLS550's base MSRP of around $73,000 with shipping.

Unfortunately, we're not sure exactly where the CLS400 will be priced, as Mercedes says it's keeping that detail quiet until we get closer to the sedan's on-sale date this fall.

What it means to you: The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS remains competitive in an increasingly crowded field thanks to a facelift and a new entry-level model.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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