Mercedes-Benz GLE – Things you need to know
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE is longer and wider and comes with a longer wheelbase too. It is easily identifiable as a new model. The engine is BS6-compliant and its 1950cc engine produces 241bhp and 500Nm of torque, mated to a 9-speed transmission. The engine also uses twin sequential turbos.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE gets a few details from the M-Class, like the raked-forward signature C-pillar, the huge Cyclops eye and a huge three-pointed star on the radiator grille. At first glance, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE appears masculine with those massive wheel arches and a strong stance. Up-front, it features headlamps with a pair of LED bars that have been lifted from the E-Class, also made by Mercedes-Benz Cars. The bonnet gets ridges on it and the sharp nose looks modern and aggressive.
About the engine
On the outside, dimensions of the Mercedes-Benz GLE haven’t increased much, but the interior suggests otherwise. It’s not only spacious; it’s luxurious too. The cabin gets a white leather theme and the huge panoramic sunroof gives the cabin an airy feel. Besides the size, it’s how sophisticated and classy everything appears to be. Quite a bit of bling is apparent; you get a pair of huge digital screens that are mounted on the same plane, along with a lot of chrome around in the cabin, plus LED highlights in so many corners. Mercedes-Benz Cars have built it to look beautiful.
We also loved the four block-like AC metal vents, finished in chrome. The grab handles sport leather lining on both sides of the central console and the well-designed chromed-over buttons. There’s also a strip of matte wood that runs the width of the dashboard, and the steering wheel looks and feels on-point. The quality of the dashboard at the bottom is a bit disappointing, but it gets huge door bins and we wish the gear stalk felt a bit solid. Everything works efficiently, right from the MBUX system, the trackpad to the touchscreen. We also liked the touch pads on the steering wheel.
When it comes to seating its passengers in comfort, the GLE has it nailed. The lower variant does not feature an adjustable front seat and the manual steering adjust put us off a bit. However, the seats provide good comfort and support. The front seats are wrapped in strong leather. Comfort at the rear, and for the ones who like being driven, the GLE will not disappoint, and hopping into the back is a cinch. The doors open up wide and legroom is aplenty. Rear occupants are seated at a good height and under-thigh support is good; however, the backrest cannot be reclined. Variants higher up the range feature a six-way powered rear seat, a 360-degree surround camera, gesture control and wireless charging.
Powered to please
The GLE 300d never seems to run out of steam even on highways, and we can thank the 9-speed transmission for ensuring the engine is in its power band. Performance is strong, and the GLE will reach top speeds above 160 kph and despite its heft and low drag coefficient, this SUV glides through air seamlessly, so you don’t feel the weight at all. Once you start pushing it to the red-line, the engine gets vocal and road noise becomes evident on badly paved roads, but apart from that, this is an SUV that is refined and quiet even as you start to hurry up. Around corners, the steering has a nice amount of weight to it with good levels of grip for as long as body roll doesn’t show up too much. The brakes could’ve provided a little more confidence, especially at high speeds.