The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wealth of innovations. For example, the active suspension system E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on a 48-volt basis is a world first. While the driving assistance systems take another step forward with Active Stop-and-Go Assist. The interior is even more spacious and comfortable, with a third seat row available on request. The infotainment system has larger screens, a full-colour head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and the MBUX Interior Assistant, which can recognise hand and arm movements and supports operating intentions. The exterior design not only exudes presence and power, but also sets a new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment. The GLE will receive a completely new range of engines on market launch in early 2019. The new 4MATIC ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track. At a later stage a plug-in hybrid variant with a particularly long range will be added to the drive portfolio.
“In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since then, more than two million customers have decided in favour of the off-roader,” says Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With a new control concept, innovative driving assistants, a new engine range and significantly more space, the new GLE is set to continue this success story.” “The GLE exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “With its design idiom it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, thus representing modern luxury. The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design and the digital high-tech of our MBUX system.” The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has the best aerodynamics in its segment, with a Cd figure from 0.29.
In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since autumn 2015 the model family has borne the name GLE, emphasising its positioning as an SUV in the E-Class model family. More than two million customers have decided in favour of the off-roader since the launch of the M-Class, and the GLE is the bestselling SUV in the history of Mercedes-Benz. At present Mercedes-Benz is highly successfully represented with seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS, G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE was presented to the public for the first time at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
The five most important innovations in the new GLE:
- E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: Fully networked hydropneumatic, active suspension on a 48-volt basis, for the first time in combination with the likewise newly developed air suspension.
- This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat.
- Active Tailback Assist: This driving assistance system enables the GLE to recognise tailbacks at an early stage, actively support the driver in stop-and-go traffic up to approx. 60 km/h and even help to form a rescue lane
- Turn-off function of Active Brake Assist: If there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning off across a carriageway, the Mercedes-Benz GLE can be braked at the speeds typical of such manoeuvres.
- 4MATIC: Available for the first time for models with six and eight-cylinder engines and the plug-in hybrid, fully variable all-wheel drive (Torque on Demand, TonD) controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0-1 00 % depending on the selected driving mode. With the optional Offroad package, and as a world first, likewise fully variable all-wheel drive (TonD) with a low and high range is available. This makes the GLE more off-road capable than ever.
- Seating comfort: The new GLE has a much longer wheelbase (plus 80 mm), with corresponding interior spaciousness. Comfort is particularly enhanced by the optional, fully electrically adjustable second seat row – a third seat row is also available as an option.
Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLE. The vehicle’s proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels already leave no doubt that it feels at home and cuts a good figure on any terrain. The Mercedes-Benz GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements. The aesthetic appeal of the Mercedes-Benz GLE is based on the harmonious interaction between emotion and intelligence, which is designed to awaken desire. This is characterised by timeless beauty, a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship and reduction to what is really important. The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two powerdomes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night.
Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE conveys self-assured stability. The striking, dark wheel arch claddings and the new, larger wheels in sizes 18 to 22 inches clearly emphasise the SUV character of the vehicle, and ensure a powerful presence. The pillared roof rails or the optional illuminated running boards likewise confirm the robust SUV character of the vehicle. The chrome surrounds of the windows are however reminiscent of a premium saloon model. The sporty and athletic appearance of the GLE is continued into the rear end. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the rear lights a flatter appearance. They are also in two sections. This not only gives an impression of width, but also creates an unmistakable night design with illuminated blocks typical of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, in this case with backlit edge lighting. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated underguard.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends around the driver and front passenger to meet the doors. As in the luxury-class saloons, this greatly accentuates the impression of width while conveying security and elegance. At the same time it creates the impression that the upper cockpit section is free-floating. The instrument cluster and media display (2 x 12.3-inch as standard) are housed behind a shared, continuous glass surface to form a large, free-standing screen. There is a touchpad in the centre console as a further means of controlling many vehicle functions. The ambience lighting impressively illuminates the dashboard, with optical fibres coursing throughout the cockpit. The four rectangular air vents are prominently embedded in the trim element.
The interior of the new GLE has grown considerably compared to the preceding model. Its 80 mm longer wheelbase (2995 mm) particularly benefits rear seat passengers, who now have well over one metre of legroom (1045 millimetres, +69 mm compared to the predecessor). This is where the new GLE also unveils a premiere in the form of the first fully electrically adjustable second seat row in this segment. A third seat row with two further seats which are almost full-size is available as another option. And also in the front seats, the impression of spaciousness is much more generous thanks to a steeper A-pillar. A spacious, variable interior is important to many SUV buyers, and they receive it in full measure. The generous interior can be conveniently and easily varied. Three child seats fit into the rear next to another, for example, and the increased legroom makes it easier to strap children in. Even the rear seat unit of the standard version, with a continuous bench seat and 40:20:40 split-folding backrest plus a folding centre armrest, makes it possible to enlarge the luggage compartment when all five seats are not needed. When folded down, the backrest sections extend the luggage area forward without a step. A handy 138-litre stowage compartment is available under the luggage compartment floor – except on the seven-seater and the future hybrid.
Four powerful engines from the off: The new Mercedes-Benz GLE initially comes with a choice of three diesel engines – the six-cylinder GLE 400 d 4MATIC, the GLE 350 d 4MATIC and the four-cylinder GLE 300 d 4MATIC. The line-up also includes the new six-cylinder petrol engine in the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC with EQ Boost. Other engines, among them a plug-in hybrid, will follow. For the first time the OM 654 and OM 656 four- and six-cylinder diesel engines in the new GLE make use of an additional SCR catalytic converter including ammonia slip catalyst in the underbody. Thanks to this enhanced exhaust gas aftertreatment, the GLE 400 d 4MATIC and GLE 350 d 4MATIC with six-cylinder diesel engine already meet the Euro 6d (RDE (Real Driving Emissions) level 2) standard which will not become mandatory until 2020. RDE measurements conducted by independent testing institutes confirm that nitrogen oxide emissions fall to around 20 milligrams per kilometre as a result of application of this advanced technology on the Mercedes-Benz GLE 400 d 4MATIC, and even drop to substantially lower levels on individual journeys.