2020 GLE-Class Cuts the Rug Up at 2018 L.A. Auto Show
Mercedes new tech-laden SUV breakdances on the showroom floor. Literally.
All eyes may have been on the AMG GT R Pro at Mercedes’ L.A. Auto Show stand, but perhaps its biggest reveal of the week is the all-new GLE-Class. Sure, the AMG may be the fastest GT R ever, but its production is limited to 750 cars. The GLE-Class, on the other hand, is a big seller for Mercedes in America. And now that we’ve seen the redesigned SUV, what it can do, and its price, it could become even more popular.
“The GLE is larger and more athletic than ever before. Inside, the GLE is more spacious, quieter and more luxurious – and now offers an optional third row with seating for seven,” says Mercedes-Benz US President & CEO Dietmar Exler. The 2020 GLE-Class will start at $53,700. For those of you keeping score, that’s nearly $2,000 less than the outgoing GLE 400.
The base 2020 GLE 350 makes 255 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and sends 273 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Standard features include LED headlights, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking. It also runs Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system. That features a head’s-up display, large digital screens, and gesture control.
Stepping up to the GLE 450 will set you back at least $62,145, but that gets you all-wheel drive, a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and much more. For starters, there’s a mild hybrid system that uses Mercedes’ new 48-volt electrical system. And that powers Mercedes’ impressive new E-Active Body Control. With a 48-volt pump at each corner, it can adjust the height of individual wheels.
The results are impressive; each wheel can raise up to 4.7 inches above and drop 3.1 inches below the GLE’s standard ride height. There’s even a function that wiggles the truck out of a sand trap. Mercedes demonstrated the feature on the stand, with the truck wildly dancing as each wheel independently raised and lowered. All we can say is don’t try this at your local country club.
The GLE 450 arrives at dealerships in the spring, with the GLE 350 following not long behind it. It may not be a track-focused supercar (though there’s undoubtedly going to be an AMG version), but Mercedes’ latest big people mover is a handsome, tech-laden powerhouse. Expect to see the new GLE-Class everywhere by this time next year.
Photos & Video by Derin Richardson.