Mercedes has released the full details of its all-new GLE, the new X5-rivalling premium SUV that can fit for the first time up to seven passengers.
With the previous GLE being on the market for so long, it’s no wonder that the new generation is significantly overhauled in every area. Highlights include the new 48-volt E-Active Body Control suspension, the MBUX multimedia system and the new electrified powertrain in the GLE 450 4Matic.
The latter is combining a straight-six petrol engine with the EQ Boost system, making it a mild hybrid with a set of rather impressive figures: 362hp (367PS) and 368lb-ft (500Nm) of torque, with an additional 21hp and 184lb-ft available from the EQ Boost over short periods.
Mercedes says that the electrified GLE 450 is capable of a 0-62mph (100km/h) in 5.7 seconds and of a top speed of 155mph (250km/h). A plug-in hybrid version will be added to the range on a later date. The rest of the US range includes the GLE 350 and GLE 350 4Matic, both powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo with 255hp and 273lb-ft of torque. And yes, there’s an AMG version, complete with a V8, coming.
The Euro-only diesel engine range includes the four-cylinder GLE 300d 4Matic, offering 241hp (245PS) and 368lb-ft (500Nm) of torque; the six-cylinder GLE 350d, with 268hp (272PS) and 442lb-ft (600Nm) of torque; and the GLE 400d, with 325hp (330PS) and 516lb-ft (700Nm) of torque. The six-cylinder diesel models are the first SUVs in the world to comply with the Euro 6d emissions standards, which will become mandatory in 2020.
Working in conjunction with the new Airmatic air suspension, the E-Active Body Control controls the springs and dampers individually in order to counteract not only body roll but also pitching and squat. There’s even a special “Curve” function, which makes the new GLE lean into bends in order to eliminate most of the centrifugal force and further improve comfort levels.
But perhaps the biggest party trick of the new E-Active Body Control is its ability to help the GLE free itself if it gets stuck off-road; the system starts to automatically raise and lower the suspension several times, improving the ground pressure of the tires. Αn SUV rocking itself free? That’s something we need to witness.
The interior features the twin-display setup with the latest MBUX infotainment system that debuted in the smaller A-Class, featuring a pair of 12.3-inch screens and the optional Interior Assist voice control system. The third row of seats is optional while luggage capacity is now up to 825 liters (29.1 cu ft) behind the second row.