If by any chance you’re not a fan of the latest CLS and A-Class, then you’re probably not going to be very impressed with the automaker’s new mid-size SUV either, seen as how it also features Mercedes‘ ‘Sensual Purity’ design philosophy. That basically means there’s an absence of strong design lines and creases.
As with all new things, it will take some getting used to, but odds are, people will start to appreciate newer Benz models the more time goes by, which bodes well for the 2019 GLE, seen as how you could actually characterize it as being very simple-looking, compared to its predecessor.
Where’s the visual aggressiveness?
Among the old W166 GLE’s styling traits was its ability to look properly menacing thanks to its sharp shoulder line, strong bonnet creases and dynamic profile. Add an AMG styling kit or just pick an AMG-powered model out of the bunch and you could argue in favor of the GLE as being one of the best-looking SUVs in its segment – which is actually surprising given its age.
The old GLE was a re-branded and facelifted version of the third-generation M-Class, on which development began no less than 12 years ago. So while the third-gen ML came out in 2011, its design was first sketched all the way back in 2006. Case in point, aside from a new set of LED taillights, the GLE’s rear end is pretty much identical to the ML’s.
When the GLE was launched in 2015, we could see that the most impactful cosmetic changes occurred either towards the front fascia or inside, the latter representing a much-needed overhaul: a new steering wheel, 7-inch free standing screen, new dashboard, new colors and so on.
But before we talk on-board tech, let’s conclude the exterior design chapter of this story by reaffirming how the automaker went from the 2016 GLE’s angular design to something a lot more classy, which is great as long as you like that sort of design – BMW sure doesn’t, at least not at the moment.
The 12.3-inch screens are standard
The new GLE’s dual-touchscreen display consists of two 12.3-inch screens that genuinely put the old GLE’s 7-inch display to shame.
There’s also a completely new dashboard design with leather-wrapped grab handles (like the old M-Class), a touchpad controller for the latest-gen MBUX system and a new steering wheel. As for the ambient lighting, the GLE had that too, although we’re guessing the new model will allow you to play with a lot more colors, just like you would in the latest A-Class or any other recently-unveiled Mercedes.
Speaking of impressive things, the new GLE has also been fitted with the latest in driving assistance technology. Future owners will be able to rely on systems such as Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Distance Assist, Active Brake Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. You could say that the 2019 GLE is actively whooping the old model’s behind when it comes to this sort of stuff.
The fight goes on
Technically speaking, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE certainly doesn’t need to worry about its predecessor. What Mercedes need to worry about is making sure the car is well-equipped to challenge for the segment crown among rivals such as the latest BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and even the VW Touareg in some markets.