Mercedes-Benz GLE review


What is?

This is the last Mercedes-Benz GLE, only the second SUV from Mercedes to bear the name, but really the last in a line of successful 4x4s from Benz dating back to the 1997 M-Class. Mercedes proudly says it invented the Premium-class SUV, but it conveniently skips the part in the BMW X5 and Volvo XC90, making it a better fist in the two decades since.

Not anymore, the new GLE is a very complete car. Among the headlines of this version is an 80mm longer wheelbase, opening up enough space for seven seats, a first for the GLE. In fact, the interior as a whole is one of the leaps over the outgoing GLE, resplendent with its huge twin 12.3-inch screens, modern feel and general air of solidity.

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Tell me about the engines.

Under the hood, the GLE is based on Mercedes’ latest family of engines, which means that once you get past the four-cylinder GLE300d, it’s the inline six, not the V6s, that get the job done. And while the four-cylinder is good, what you really want is the bigger 3.0-liter engine. It fits the GLE nicely, and once you do the math on the extra gear it comes with, it becomes more obvious.

All GLEs are all-wheel drive and equipped with nine-speed automatic transmissions. The impressive GLE450’s impressive straight-six engine is complemented by a boost of 48-volt electric power, branded by Mercedes as EQ Boost. It makes stopping the engine from starting an incredibly smooth affair, harvesting inertial energy and adding a helping hand of 20hp to shut down turbo lag. It sounds new, but it’s pretty much a universal need across the classroom to meet the latest emissions targets. So much so that Mercedes even adapts this system to the crazy and powerful GLE63S. Yes, it’s the one with a 604 hp V8. With two turbos.

What if I need more electrification?

A hybrid is much more relevant, especially for the fleet sector. Mercedes has gone diesel here: we’re expecting a ‘GLE350de’ with four-cylinder turbodiesel power coupled with EV urban driving capability. Still a diesel focused car, the GLE.

What are the strengths of the technology?

Of course, the GLE specializes in technology, with a fleet of driver-assist bangs ready to interrupt your favorite podcast if you cross white lines, mindlessly back out of your parking spot, or veer into that rest of the lane. hagger on his blind. point. The Siri-like “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant is always available, and optional extras are mostly grouped into easy-to-specify “packages,” which Mercedes says improves resale values, as customers Second-hand buyers find it easier to find the specifications they want. .

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That, in turn, means Mercedes’ finance rates are likely to be healthy and competitive, which, as the A-Class and C-Class have shown, can pay big dividends on big sales. Mercedes says it still hopes the E-Class Estate will outsell the GLE, but that’s not to say the GLE doesn’t have plenty of worthwhile metaphorical tricks up its sleeve. . The main one is a very smart and very expensive optional suspension. Don’t worry, you still have the stock suspension… but you won’t. Thin in the corners…

What’s the verdict?

A very balanced SUV, this one. Comfortable, quiet, practical, not too sporty and much better. More rival of the XC90 than of the X5”

It is a fairly complete car, the Mercedes GLE. It did what the Audi Q7 did: get extremely quiet and refined, without getting terribly ugly in the process. Its cabin is as luxurious as a Land Rover Discovery’s, but with no infotainment to make you swear impatiently (even if it’s a bit overloaded on its features).

It also follows in the vein of the Volvo XC90 by not being too sporty or too bold in its styling. It presents a friendlier image to the world than a Range Rover Sport or a BMW X5. So it may not be the first premium SUV to stumble when listing the class it invented, but it could turn out to be one of the most satisfying to live with.

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