The new Mercedes-Benz GLE’s six-cylinder diesel engine comes with 243 kW and 700 Nm of torque in the GLE 400 d 4MATIC. Also available on market launch is the four-cylinder GLE 300 d 4MATIC with 180 kW and 500 Nm. Thanks to further enhanced emission control technologies, the powerful four-cylinder from the modern OM 654 engine family remains below all emission limits even in demanding driving situations and environmental conditions far beyond the norm.
The GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience. As standard it include a large screen Cockpit as 12.3-inch/31.2 cm screens arranged next to each other for a sublime widescreen look. The information of the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. An emotive presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.
The new, optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the centre console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted.
The new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor, which has increased by 80 mm. This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 69 mm. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 backrest division has increased by 35 mm. And because the A-pillar is more upright than before, spaciousness and entry comfort in the first row has been further improved.
As an optional extra, a special second seat row with six fully electric adjustment options is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore-and-aft by up to 100 millimetres, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height.
The backrest can also be completely folded down electrically, using a switch array in the luggage compartment. As in the previous model, three child seats can be installed next to one another in the second seat row. The outer seats have ISOFIX fastening points.
The luggage capacity is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2055 litres when the second seat row is folded down. A 72 mm increase in through-loading width allows bulky items to be stowed more easily.
Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third seat row, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.
“The GLE exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa. “With its design idiom it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, thus representing modern luxury. The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design and the digital high-tech of our MBUX system.”
Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLE. The vehicle’s proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels already leave no doubt that it feels at home and cuts a good figure on any terrain. The GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.
The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two powerdomes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night. The ULTRA RANGE high beam of the optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps projects a particularly long-range beam of light.
Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE conveys self-assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 18 to 22 inches; as optional; are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. The chrome surrounds of the windows are however reminiscent of a premium saloon model.
The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated underguard.
Pricing: From R1 210 500 – R1 329 400.