The new Mercedes-Benz GLE: The SUV trendsetter completely reconceived
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wealth of innovations. For example, the active suspension system E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL using a 48-volt system is a...
The best-selling SUV in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, the new GLE-Class – previously known as the M-Class – gets a fresh new look, complemented by a choice of two EU6 compliant diesel drivetrains that are 17 per cent more efficient across the range, as well as a powerful but frugal biturbo petrol unit. As well as featuring enhanced safety and driver assist technology, the GLE range sees the debut of the GLE 500 e, the first plug-in hybrid SUV from Mercedes-Benz.
New styling inside and out
The GLE-Class can be easily identified by its new front grille, headlights, new front bumper design, power-domed bonnet and flared front wings. At the rear, new taillights are joined by a new bumper and tailgate design. The wind-cheating design of the GLE-Class results in a low Cd value of 0.34 making it one of the most aero-efficient cars in its segment. Inside, the revised cabin features a bold new centre console design with integrated eight-inch tablet-style central display.
GLE 250 d
The GLE 250 d is powered by an advanced EU6 compliant 2,143 cc four-cylinder engine that develops 204 hp at 3,800 rpm, and 500 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 1,800 rpm. This downsized four-cylinder engine posts combined economy and CO₂ emission figures of 47.9 mpg and 156 g/km – an improvement of 2.3 mpg and 7 g/km over the outgoing ML 250 model. It drives both axles through a 4MATIC intelligent electronic all-wheel drive and 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.
GLE 350 d
The GLE 350 d features an EU6 compliant 2,987 cc V6 diesel engine that develops 258 hp at 3,400 rpm and 620 Nm of torque at 1,600-2,400 rpm. It returns 42.8 mpg on the combined cycle with CO₂ emissions of 179 g/km making it significantly more efficient than the outgoing ML 350, which posted combined cycle figures of 39.2 mpg and 189 g/km. Like the GLE 250 d, this engine drives both axles through a 4MATIC intelligent electronic all-wheel drive and 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.
The GLE 450 features a 2,996 cc V6 biturbo petrol-powered engine that develops 367 hp at 5,500-6,000 rpm and 520 Nm of torque at 2,000-4,000 rpm. It returns 32.8 mpg on the combined cycle with CO₂ emissions of 199 g/km. This engine drives both axles through a 4MATIC intelligent electronic all-wheel drive and 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.
GLE 500 e - the first plug-in hybrid SUV from Mercedes-Benz
Pushing the technology envelope, the GLE 500 e plug-in hybrid is powered by a 2,996cc BlueDIRECT V6 direct-injection petrol engine with 333 hp and a hybrid module with 116 hp of electric power. Emitting just 84 g/km of CO₂ and returning up to 76.4 mpg on the combined cycle, the GLE 500 e has a fully electric range of just over 18 miles. Intelligent powertrain management features include using the navigation system to exploit routes where the energy recovery is maximised.
Four modes are available in the GLE 500 e 4MATIC. The Hybrid system automatically selects the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimising overall energy balance. The E-Mode delivers all-electric driving, while E-Save mode preserves the current state of battery charge so it can be used later in the journey. The Charge mode ensures the battery is charged while driving.
Advanced safety as standard
All GLE-Class models feature ESP® with Curve Dynamic Assist and Crosswind Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus as standard. For the first time the GLE-Class will feature a number of optional safety systems that currently feature on the C-, E- and S-Class including Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot with junction assist, PRE-Safe® Brake with pedestrian detection and BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist.
The GLE’s six driving modes – Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Off-Road, Off-Road+(part of the Off-Road Package), Individual – are for the first time available with DYNAMIC SELECT which further enhances off-road ability. Drivers looking for even greater off-road ability can specify the optional Off-Road Plus Package which includes additional AirMATIC ride heights, a reduction gear and an inter-axle differential lock. In addition real-time data such as slope angle, tilt angle, steering angle and wheel direction are dynamically depicted on the car’s central display.
Continued sales success
With the launch of the GLE-Class, the best-selling SUV from Mercedes-Benz will tip the 1.6 million sales mark globally since the launch of the original M-Class in 1997. The international launch of the outgoing M-Class was held in summer 2012 and its UK launch in 2013.
Dimensions and towing
The GLE-Class models have a length x width x height of 4,819 x 1,935 x 1,796 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,915 mm. These dimensions make it 15 mm longer and 9 mm wider than the outgoing M-Class. The GLE 350 d can pull a 3,500 kg braked trailer, and Electronic Trailer Stability Assist, which counters any tendency of the trailer to fishtail, comes with the optional towbar.
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