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Mercedes-Benz GLE (Preview)

A brand new Mercedes-Benz GLE is on the way and although we have yet to get behind the wheel, we do feel this one is worth a quick preview. So where did it all start? Well with a lineage that traces back to the M-Class and the 1997 birth of the premium SUV segment, Mercedes brought us the good looking GLE in 2015 followed by its successor in 2018. This new arrival to Ireland of the latest updated GLE SUV signals yet another milestone in the life of the SUV within Mercedes-Benz. It has always been a segment bestseller no doubt aided by its sporty sibling, the GLE Coupé but we have been reliably informed this new GLE SUV has been updated and made better in almost every way!


So looking at these pictures we can clearly see it has been updated both outside and inside. The detailed exterior changes include new front bumper styling with a revised front spoiler and expressively-shaped side air intakes formed in a super cool jet-wing design. New LED daytime running lights and revised LED rear lights are also evident giving it a distinctly more modern appearance. On the GLE Coupé models punters will now get the AMG Line exterior as standard. Fresh upholstery colours, trim parts and two new body colours have been introduced including an Alpine Grey and Sodalite Blue Metallic. As part of this major model update, the range of standard equipment has been extensively upgraded with 19-inch light-alloys replacing the previous 18-inch versions. There is also a touch-button, fully-electric, retractable ball hitch for towing that comes equipped with bolts for fixing a cycle rack. Inside the pictures reveal features have become even more digital and intelligent. The latest generation MBUX infotainment system which is now capable of ‘learning’ thanks to enhancements in hardware and software will make your life easier with use of the ‘Hey Mercedes’ function. Your on board personal assistant, if you will!


The powertrain choice includes mild hybrid diesel models with 48-volt system and Integrated Starter Generator as well as fourth-generation plug-in hybrids with all-wheel drive 4MATIC standard across the range. Expect this GLE to have the muscle to tow loads up to 3.5 tonnes. The range is comprised of three mild hybrid models: GLE 450 (2999cc), GLE 300 d (1993cc) and GLE 450 d (2989cc) and two plug-in hybrids: GLE 400 e (1999cc) and GLE 350 de (1993cc) with AMG 53 and 63 S versions also included in the mix.


As we know safety is always a priority for Mercedes-Benz and by bringing in some of the technology found in other models the GLE will be an incredibly safe vehicle. Occupant protection includes driver and front passenger airbags, driver’s knee bag, and first and second row window bags. Front side airbags are also standard. Add to this Active Brake Assist, Active Speed limit Assist, Lane Keeping Assist function along with a blind spot warning system, which is now, fitted to all Mercedes cars. As mentioned above all GLE models sold here in Ireland also include ‘Hey Mercedes’ driver assistance feature with all of their navigation and electric intelligence supports.


In Ireland focus will likely fall on the GLE 350 de 4MATIC which boasts 103 km of electric driving range also under WLTP. The sales manager in Ireland for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars Ciaran Allen stated this vehicle is said to be “significantly better equipped and more technically advanced than the versions being replaced,” the range comes on the market here at €105,900 with further pricing to be announced.


We have been told the ‘driver assistance’ improved functions that have been added will be a game changer to the new GLE. The previously extensive package on offer is now supported by a number of optional equipment lines the most significant of which, is an Off-Road Package. If you do plan to be off road in your GLE, this is a must! It features an underride guard system that when used in combination with the air suspension, ground clearance can be increased by an extra 30mm. When driving off-road, a ‘transparent bonnet’ links with the MBUX system to feed information to the driver of conditions facing the vehicle underneath. You might find yourself wading through water but this system can detect any invisible hazards that could cause damage! Another helpful option is a Trailer Manoeuvring Assist package which, again is a must if you tow items like a horse box, race trailer or caravan. These options along with the massive list of standard spec will no doubt make the new GLE incredibly popular. We just can’t wait to spend a week with it.

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