Ahead of the New York motor show next week, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE has been revealed. Previously known as the M-Class, the GLE is set to take on the likes of the BMW X5, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne.
The new GLE comes with a broad range of engines to accommodate for anyone’s needs. First up is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine in the GLE 250d which produces 201bhp and returns an impressive 52.3mpg. There is also the GLE 350d, with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which produces 254bhp with fuel economy at 44.1mpg. Most importantly however, is the GLE 500e 4Matic, which Mercedes are calling their first ever plug-in hybrid SUV. It is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine which produces 328bhp and works in conjunction with an electric motor for overall power at 436bhp. This hybrid can travel for up to 18 miles on electric power alone at speeds up to 80mph. This particular model also returns 85.6mpg, very impressive when it’s size is put into the equation.
There are four different driving modes in the hybrid version. E-save keeps the level of charge even, E-mode is all-electric driving, Charge mode aims to top up the battery and Hybrid mode offers the best balance between the diesel engine and the electric motor.
Inside, the GLE has been equipped with the 7-inch infotainment screen we have become used to across the Mercedes range. There is also a touch sensitive controller mounted on the centre console. There is certainly a familiar feel inside the new GLE, but Mercedes do say that a wider range of colours and materials will be available in this new model, including wood and carbon fibre features.
Another familiar feature is the AMG line spec version, which offers further luxuries and alterations both inside and out. This includes Artico leather upholstery as well as a leather multifunction sports steering wheel on the inside, and on the outside there are altered front and rear bumpers and 20-inch alloy wheels. As is the way these days, there is also a whole host of options that can be made such as their AMG Ride Control system, the company’s Airmatic suspension, as well as a collection of technological and entertainment upgrades.
At the top of the GLE pecking order however, is the Mercedes AMG GLE63 S, which doesn’t have a 3.0-litre V6. Instead, it has a 5.5-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine which produces 577bhp . This immense grunt allows is to go from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Fuel consumption has been slightly compromised in this model though, as it is down at 23.9mpg. But performance wise, this GLE definitely has the credentials to take on what the likes of BMW have to throw it is with their X5M and X6M models, each chucking out 564bhp.
Bespoke to this AMG model is the modified front bumper and grille as well as 20 inch AMG alloys – and if they’re not big enough, 21-inch alloys are also an option. The soundtrack from the V8 will also be unleashed through chrome exhausts.