New Mercedes-Benz GLE the Best Luxury SUV on the Market?
The latest GLE is Mercedes-Benz's 4th iteration of its original SUV and shows how much fun a mild hybrid can be to drive.
The ML, two decades later
Originally launched under the ML name, Mercedes-Benz’s mid-size SUV has evolved into its fourth-generation as the GLE. Riding on a platform which has managed to stretch the wheelbase by 3-inches, this new GLE is also larger inside than any of its forebears. And that means greater adaptability to fit items like surfboards, skis, and all sorts of other adventure lifestyle toys inside.
Classy cabin, with many, many vents
The new GLE cabin is anchored by a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel, which contains a variety of functions. Spread across the dash and along the top of the center console are Mercedes-Benz’s latest digital display screens. All driving, vehicle and infotainment information is relayed, selected, and controlled by two 12.3-inch screens.
Mild hybrid heart, with in intent to perform
The GLE 450 has a 3-liter in-line six, which is turbocharged and can also add moments of electrically generated power when required. Peak power output for the six-cylinder engine is 362hp, but if you require a sustained surge of overtaking acceleration, the mild hybrid portion of the powertrain will add 21 additional horses to hurry you along.
Not intimidated by some rock crawling
Customers can choose to option an off-road pack for the new GLE, which enables 11-inches of ground clearance. With the off-road package, there is also a set of specially configured driver-assistance algorithms, appropriately calibrated for optimal traction on various terrain types. Mercedes-Benz also recognizes the value of a traditional locking rear-differential for serious off-road work, and critically, the GLE also features low-range gearing.
The slipperiest of all mid-size luxury SUVs
Overall, Mercedes-Benz can rightly claim that its fourth-generation GLE is the most aerodynamic luxury SUV of its size. With an overall drag-coefficient of 0.29 that cannot be disputed. And with an active grille and some clever aero features, it glides through the air, rolling along in the most efficient manner possible.
Presence and purpose from Stuttgart’s most established SUV
The traditional values remain unchanged: a luxury cabin, superb highway cruising refinement, and the ability to go wherever you desire. With its air-suspension system and 4Matic all-wheel-drive, the latest GLE is not constrained by terrain. There has been a huge increase in powertrain sophistication with the fourth-generation of the SUV. It features a 48-volt onboard electric architecture which allows Mercedes-Benz’s engineers to do many great things, inducing accommodating an integrated starter motor/generator.
Slick cabin commands an even slicker transmission
Engineers have also made the Mercedes-Benz on-board digital assistant akin to a Siri for your GLE’s infotainment system. More intuitive and able to understand accented nuances in speech. In-gear flexibility and overall economy both benefit from this abundance of gears, too, as the GLE450 features a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
For service and maintenance information on your car, check the how to section of MBWorld.com.