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Mercedes-Benz is preparing a facelift for the CLA-Class four-door coupe, as seen in these latest spy shots at the company's R&D center in Sindelfingen, Germany.


To be honest, the sub-$30,000 Mercedes-Benz CLA was more a theoretical than a real thing. Squeaking in at $100 below that magical threshold, not counting a $925 destination charge, snagging a CLA anywhere near $30k meant exercising extreme self-control with the options catalog.


UPDATE: As we feared, the CLA Shooting Brake is not currently slated for US availability. The text below has been adjusted accordingly.


Given its months of testing, the eventual launch of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Shooting Brake is a bit of a foregone conclusion at this point. Until now we haven't actually seen its hatchback rear undisguised, but the latest spy shots have given us a pretty certain idea of the design back there (right).


It's been a few months since we talked about the Mercedes-Benz CLA's status as an unmitigated hit, but a new story from Automotive News will allow us to revisit the sleek, fast-selling, four-door home run. Production has been increased again, with some of the extra capacity destined for US showrooms.


If you dig the style of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class but can't quite stretch from the $29,900 MSRP of the CLA250 to the $47,450 CLA45 AMG, we've got a bit of good news for you: Mercedes is offering a new Sport Package Plus for the CLA250 that at least punches up the visual attitude.


The Audi A3 is on fire in US showrooms. Not literally of course, that would be horrible, and the situation we're referring to is a good thing indeed, as the Four Rings has a serious hit on its hands with the compact luxury sedan. Looking at just its first three months on the market, the entry-level model is outselling the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class by nearly two to one.


Volkswagen may have paved the way for American customers to get used to the idea of German cars produced in Mexico, but it won't be the only one for long. BMW is said to be considering production of the 1 Series, 3 Series and Mini south of the border, Audi is working on its own factory in San Jose Chiapa, and now Mercedes-Benz is reported to be following suit as well. Only instead of building its own plant, Daimler is tipped to use a Nissan factory in Aguascalientes.


We give BMW a whole lot of grief for its niche-exploiting ways. Check our report on the rumored X2 to see what we mean. But in reality, Mercedes-Benz is very nearly as guilty. The latest batch of evidence supporting the argument is this, the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake.


It's still in the early going, but it's looking more and more like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a verifiable home run for the German brand. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the new small car isn't just widening the sales gap between Mercedes and BMW, it's attracting a new, younger breed of customers into the brand's showrooms. But that early success is straining supplies of the turbocharged four-door.


Last week, we showed you some images of the long-roofed Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. Those shots of the five-door Mercedes were from a distance and were quite grainy, unfortunately. Today, we have much better shots of the new model, shown testing somewhere in Europe.


The new Mercedes CLA-Class is still fresh on the market, but recent rumblings have indicated that Mercedes was working on a wagon variant of the car – possibly even in place of a sportier SLA Roadster. Our long-lensed spy shooters have captured our first look at the cargo-friendly CLA model, and while the image is grainy and the car's rear end is covered with camouflage, we now have a good idea of how sharp this car may look.


Mercedes-Benz has big plans for its new front-drive architecture. It's already rolled out the A-Class hatchback, B-Class minivan, GLA crossover and CLA four-door coupe. It's not about to stop there, but according to the latest reports, it won't go that much further, either.


With a starting price of under $30,000 in the US, one might be wondering how Mercedes-Benz plans to eke out a profit on its new entry-level CLA-Class. The answer, as with most other German offerings, will almost certainly be found on its long options list. And while there will be typical creature comforts like moonroofs and uprated stereos on the list, Mercedes is evidently also keen to cash in on the personalization craze that has been padding the bottom lines of brands like Mini and Fiat.


Would you buy a Mercedes-Benz if it were made in Mexico? That's what the German outfit is wondering, as it considers localizing production of its new budget model at a factory operated by Nissan, of which the automaker is a joint-venture partner.


Mercedes-Benz made news in December when we learned that Kate Upton, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model, would be pitching the automaker's all-new 2014 CLA at the Super Bowl next month. With Mercedes determined to target a more youthful buyer for its stylish compact sedan, choosing a beautiful 20-year-old pinup seemed to make good sense.

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