The all-new Mercedes GLE is now on sale with prices starting from £55,685. Deliveries are expected to commence in spring 2019.
A choice of four engines are on offer, all of which feed their power through a nine-speed automatic gearbox to a four-wheel-drive system. The base-model GLE 300 d 4MATIC is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with 242bhp and 500Nm of torque; enough to shove the GLE from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. Mercedes claim a fuel consumption figure of 46.3mpg, and emissions ratings of 162g/km of CO2.
The mid-range GLE 350 d 4MATIC starts at £61,995 and comes fitted with a 268bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine in two states of tune. A more powerful the GLE 400 d 4MATIC uses a 325bhp version of the same engine and costs from £64,230.
The GLE 450 4MATIC is the only petrol option available, and is priced from £62,300. Its 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine is supported by a mild hybrid system to improve efficiency. Performance figures stand at 362bhp, 500Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds. Naturally, fuel economy isn’t comparable to the diesel options, at 33.6mpg.
Standard equipment includes 20-inch AMG alloys wheels, a pair of 12.3-inch display screens borrowed from the latest A-Class (one for the gauge cluster and one for the infotainment system), air suspension, active parking assist, automatic four-zone climate control and electrically adjustable and heated front seats.
A raft of optional extras are available for the Mercedes GLE, including an off-road package for £1,695 which adds hill descent, additional off-road driving modes, a sump guard and underbody protection.
The Premium Plus package is priced at £4,295 and adds a Burmester sound system, keyless-go, remote boot closing, a panoramic sunroof and Mercedes’s AIR-BALANCE system, which fragrances and filters the air inside the cabin.
Safety tech and driver assistance systems will be plentiful. For example, the £1,695 driving assitance package add Mercedes’s active distance assistance system, DISTRONIC. This driver aid detects and responds to tailbacks with the help of in-built LiveTraffic software, and can alert the car to potential hazards.
Active stop-and-go assist can then control the car in traffic by recognising lane markings as well as the traffic ahead. If the car is brought to a halt, the GLE will re-engage drive if the vehicle ahead moves off within 60 seconds.
Mercedes’s BMW X5 and Audi Q7 rival takes an evolutionary design approach, adopting a larger, more prominent front end, with a larger grille and fresh LED headlights. The rear has been revised too, with a black-out D-pillar and slimmer tail-lights.
The latest GLE’s wheelbase has been stretched 80mm beyond the outgoing model, and headroom is increased by 33mm. The 825-litre boot is 125 litres bigger than before, while a total volume of 2,055 litres makes the GLE as practical as the largest cars in its class.
In addition, Mercedes will offer the GLE with seven seats for the first time. It’s standard on the 450 petrol and part of a £1,995 option on lower-specced models, which also adds electric adjustment for the back seats, adaptive LED headlights and a couple of extra USB ports.
Mercedes’s new GLE will also get ‘fully networked’ hydropneumatic E-Active Body Control suspension. Working with the newly developed air shocks, the system can control the damping at each wheel wheel to counteract roll, pitch and squat. In theory, it should make the GLE both more comfortable and better to drive.
Later in its life-span, Mercedes will add a GLE 350 de diesel plug-in hybrid to the line-up. A range of AMG variants and a GLE Coupé will also likely feature in the range by 2020.
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