- Electrified: new diesel models with 48-volt system
- Even more to experience: useful functions for off-road use and trailer operation
- Digitised: MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system now even more intelligent
Stuttgart. Versatile: the Mercedes-Benz GLE and its sporty offshoot, the GLE Coupé, are just as suitable for families and leisure time as they are for long-distance journeys and transporting loads. 4MATIC ensures that you can get through even in poor traction conditions or off-road terrain on gradients of up to 100 percent. A towing load of up to 3.5 tonnes makes it possible to pull a horse trailer, a valuable classic car or a larger caravan.
Mercedes-Benz has now updated the exterior, interior, technology and equipment of the model generation launched in 2018. The engine range is now electrified throughout. It includes mild hybrids with a 48-volt system and Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) as well as fourth-generation plug-in hybrids. Most models now have more power than the previous versions.
The Driving Assistance Package contains further improved specific functions, for example for the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. The Parking Package with 360°camera supports the driver when manoeuvring into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. Another new feature is the “transparent bonnet” function. If the off-road drive program is switched on, the central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle – helping to make this noticeably easier in steep terrain.
The GLE’s lineage began with the M-Class. With it, Mercedes-Benz established the premium SUV segment in 1997. The global success continued with the GLE launched in 2015. The current model series followed in 2018. The GLE and GLE Coupé are produced at the Tuscaloosa Mercedes-Benz plant (USA).
Equipment: designed for off-road use and towing a trailer
Most drivers of a GLE only travel on paved roads or in easy to moderately difficult off-road terrain. Mercedes-Benz has therefore recompiled the scope of the Off-Road Engineering Package in order to be able to offer it at a much lower price for the purely combustion-engined models of the GLE. Components include an underride guard and, in combination with AIRMATIC air suspension (optional extra), 30 millimetres more ground clearance.
The “Off-Road Mode” in the current MBUX generation turns special content such as gradient, roll angle, compass and steering angle into a visual experience. In conjunction with the optional Parking Package with 360° camera, it offers the “transparent bonnet” function. When the Off-Road Mode is active, the central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle, including the front wheels and their steering position. The view is composed of the images from the 360° camera. The “transparent bonnet” is extremely helpful: it enables the driver to better recognise obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes in his/her path. This function also offers advantages when driving over ramps or crests.
The GLE pulls off even more: all-wheel drive and a gear ratio designed for traction enable a high towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes and a tongue weight of up to 140 kg. The fully electric trailer coupling is particularly convenient: via a button in the tailgate or a panel on the central display, the ball neck together with the socket for the trailer electrics is swung out from under the car at the touch of a button and automatically fixed in the operating position. After use, it retracts back into its rest position behind the bumper equally effortlessly. A special feature is also provided for those who do not use the coupling to tow a trailer, but to carry bicycles for example: the trailer coupling has two extra bolts on the ball neck to carry a suitable cycle rack safely. Its load capacity is 100 kg – this means that e-bikes can also be taken along.
The extended Trailer Manoeuvring Assist now works via a camera-based system and is thus also suitable for trailers with their own stabilisation device against rolling movements. In addition, the assist system makes manoeuvring with a trailer even easier, and is more convenient and safer. The system automatically regulates the steering angle of the towing vehicle up to a speed of 5 km/h and an uphill gradient of up to 15 percent. It is also integrated into MBUX and can be operated intuitively via the touchscreen. In addition to stabilising the combination when reversing, the system can also guide it around freely selectable bends of up to 90 degrees. The steering of the towing vehicle is operated automatically so that the selected angle is maintained. This allows more precise positioning of a trailer. Drivers can also select a corresponding function once the trailer has reached the desired direction and needs to reverse in a straight line. The entire manoeuvring process can be followed from different camera perspectives on the central display. Dynamic guide lines show the path ahead and the vehicle width. The system must be briefly trained. However, no markings on the trailer are necessary for the visual measurement of the drawbar length.
Thanks to improved surround sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when manoeuvring. Integrated into MBUX, they can be operated more intuitively and quickly. Unlike in the predecessor model, Active Steering Assist now remains activated in towing mode. The system helps the driver to stay in lane automatically, even when cornering slightly.
Exterior design: new daytime running light signets
A number of detailed changes to the exterior give the GLE SUV and GLE Coupé a distinctly more modern appearance. The new front bumper provides more visual presence. Two horizontal louvres with chrome inserts run through the radiator grille of the GLE. The grille of the outer air intakes has been given a horizontal chrome fin.
The so-called light flare in the headlamps is characteristic of Mercedes-Benz. With the standard LED High-Performance headlamps, two light points complement the distinctive daytime running light signet, while with the optional MULTIBEAM LED there are four light points. The designers have also revised the interior of the tail lights: on the GLE, the light signet is formed by two horizontal blocks, on the GLE Coupé it is two bars.
The AMG Line exterior is now standard on the GLE Coupé. Elements of this line include the diamond grille with Mercedes-Benz pattern in chrome, the AMG front apron with chrome trim, AMG side sill panels and wheel arch cladding in the vehicle colour, as well as the AMG rear apron with diffuserlook insert.
Fresh additions to the colour palette of these two SUVs are sodalite blue metallic and MANUFAKTUR alpine grey solid. Two aerodynamically optimised light-alloy wheels in 19- and 20-inch sizes complete the line-up of choices for the GLE. They feature a high-sheen finish and a five-twin-spoke design. The AMG Line exterior also features a new 21-inch wheel design. The ambient lighting with animated projection of the Mercedes-Benz pattern is available as a new optional extra.
Interior: with fine details from the Mercedes-Maybach GLS and Mercedes S-Class
New on board the GLE and GLE Coupé is the latest-generation steering wheel with sensor surfaces on the horizontal spokes. With these touch elements on the right and left, the driver can operate the driver and central displays from the steering wheel.
A special eye-catching feature in the interior is the chrome look of the centre and side air vents. Previously they were edged in black, but now the slats are galvanised in real metal, as in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. For the interior colours, the equipment combinations catalana beige/black (GLE SUV) and bahia brown/black (GLE SUV and GLE Coupé) have been added. The black/classic red appointments available exclusively for the coupé and in combination with AMG Line are particularly sporty.
The trim range continues to be broadly diversified between classic and progressive. Familiar from the Mercedes-Maybach GLS and now also available for the GLE SUV and GLE Coupé is the “MANUFAKTUR piano lacquer black flowing lines” trim. If black appointments are selected, the seats are available in a nappa leather finish. With ambient lighting, the same colours and colour palettes can be selected as in the S-Class. Two USB ports (optional extra) delivering 100 W of power are available in the rear armrest as practical charging options.
The premium audio system Burmester® surround sound system which now also features the personal sound setup as well as the Dolby Atmos immersive audio experience. Thirteen speakers, 13 separate amplifier channels and a system output of 590 watts are further features of the Burmester® surround sound system.
Newly available as an optional extra is ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL. The system monitors air quality using air quality and fine particle sensors. A two-stage filter concept reduces fine particles and a large proportion of other pollutant components. Depending on the measurement value, the vehicle intelligently switches between fresh air and air-recirculation modes.
Latest generation of MBUX: intuitively operated and capable of learning
With the second generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, the GLE and GLE Coupé are now also up to date. The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: numerous vehicle and comfort functions can be controlled on the LCD screens in brilliant display views. The sizes of the driver and central displays, each measuring 12.3 inches, have been retained. The central display can be operated directly and conveniently as a touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available wirelessly.
The driver and central displays offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. They present information in a structured and clearly defined way. The appearance can be individualised with a total of three display styles (classic, sporty, discreet) and four modes (navigation, assistance, service, off-road).
Hey Mercedes: the increasingly sharp voice assistant
The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, occupants can trigger certain actions even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”. These include taking a telephone call, for example. Hey Mercedes also explains vehicle functions on hearing the “Help” command, and provides assistance when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found, for example. Hey Mercedes even recognises the position of the occupants. In addition, other vehicle functions such as the interior lighting or the blinds can now be controlled by voice commands.
Powertrain: systematic electrification
Thanks to mild hybrids with 48-volt technology and the Integrated Starter Generator, the GLE SUV and GLE Coupé are now electrified throughout. Most models now have more power than the previous versions.
Technical data at a glance
|GLE 4504MATIC||GLE 300 d4MATIC||GLE 450 d4MATIC|
|Add. output (Boost)||kW||15||15||15|
|Add. torque (Boost)||Nm||200||200||200|
|Combined fuel consumption, WLTP||l/100 km||10.8-9.5||7.7-6.8||8.6-7.6|
|Combined CO2 emissions, WLTP||g/km||244-216||203-179||226-199|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||s||5.6||6.9||5.6|
|Mercedes-AMG GLE 534MATIC+||Mercedes-AMG GLE 634MATIC=|
|Add. output (Boost)||kW||15||16|
|Add. torque (Boost)||Nm||200||250|
|Combined fuel consumption, WLTP||l/100 km||10.7-10.3||12.8-12.4|
|Combined CO2 emissions, WLTP||g/km||244-234||291-282|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||s||5.0||3.9|
Success story: the Tuscaloosa plant
When the plant was founded in 1995, the location was the first major Mercedes-Benz plant outside Germany. About two thirds of annual production is exported – making Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) based there one of the largest automotive exporters in the USA. Since 1997, about four million vehicles have rolled off the assembly line at the plant in Tuscaloosa. In 2021 alone, it was some 260,000 SUVs.
The Tuscaloosa plant uses modern digital, sustainable, efficient and flexible production methods. The site thus follows the blueprint of Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, which symbolises the future of automotive production at Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz invested in flexible production at an early stage and also used the modern digital production ecosystem MO360. This enables Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa to produce models with combustion engines, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles in large quantities in parallel.
[Note to editors: The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE will launch in South Africa in the second half of the year. The final line-up and pricing will be communicated in due course.]
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