After seven years in the market, first as the third-gen M-Class and then as the GLE (since the 2015 facelift), Merc has replaced its mid-size SUV with an all-new model in order to have a credible rival to the likes of the new BMW X5 and Audi Q7.
The initial range of the Euro-spec Mercedes GLE includes three diesel and one petrol variants, with the GLE 300d being the entry-level model.
The new GLE 300d is powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-liter diesel with 242hp (245PS) and 369lb-ft (500Nm) of torque. As will all models in the range, it comes paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
Despite being only a four-cylinder, the GLE 300d manages to get similar performance to the six-cylinder GLE 350d, with a 0-62mph (100km/h) in 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 140mph (225km/h).
However and despite the good performance, as Carwow notes in their latest review, the four-cylinder unit does make its cluttery presence felt under acceleration, robbing points off the GLE’s scoreboard. Another subject of criticism is the third row of seats, which proves to be cramped even for children, although passengers in the first two rows have plenty of room.
Overall, the new Mercedes GLE proves to be a premium SUV with a stress-free character and packed with all the latest tech. It might not be the sharpest drive or the most cavernous people and cargo hauler, but it still manages to position itself among the segment’s best.