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HomeWHAT'S NEWNEW MERCEDES-BENZ GLE: MORE MERCEDES

NEW MERCEDES-BENZ GLE: MORE MERCEDES

Mercedes-Benz yesterday uncovered the latest SUV to join its premium stable. It’s the newest iteration of the GLE and while it’s quite the looker, it also comes with an arsenal of forward-thinking technology.

Mercedes-Benz kicked off its premium SUV segment in 1997 with the M-Class. Since then, the three-pointed star has established itself as a lux-SUV powerhouse capable of churning out vehicles that appeal to nearly any and every one looking for practical luxury, that on occasion has brutal performance to boot.

And, while Merc’s South African arm doesn’t release model-specific sales figures, it doesn’t exactly take a PhD in rocket science to figure out that its SUV/crossover segments rake in a substantial portion of its gross domestic sales.

Well, that’s just judging by the amount of lux-meets-outdoorsy kind of Mercs, like the GLE, to be found at corporate complexes and shopping mall parking lots around SA.

NEW-FANGLED GLE EXTERIOR

Mercedes-Benz GLE

The GLE, which will make its first public appearance at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris later this year, will have a few dramatic re-styles up its metal sleeve.

And while the overall design looks sleeker and more flowing than say the current version what with newly styled headlights and its more upright grille and sleeker tail-light clusters, it’s in the more subtle dimension-changes where the tailored for better luxury alterations took place.

For one, the front and rear overhangs have been shortened, and while that adds an aesthetically pleasing element, it’s the longer wheelbase (an increase of 80 mm) that’s the icing on this German cake.

LUXED-UP INTERIOR

Mercedes-Benz GLE

This, as a result, translates into 69 millimetres of added legroom for rear-seated passengers that can now also, in an SUV first, electronically adjust their respective seats.

Like other Mercs, the adjustment levers are located on the door panels.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

With the rear seatbacks in an upright position, the GLE will be able to swallow 825 litres of luggage, while the folded second and third rows can up this to 2,055 litres.

At the front, Mercedes-Benz has employed the services of what it calls an ‘ENERGIZING’ function. Working in unison with the electric seat adjustment and memory function, this nifty feature ‘supports changes in the seating posture’ with small adjustments in the seat cushion and backrest.

ONE POWERTRAIN – FOR NOW

The luxury SUV will be launched in only GLE 450 4Matic guise that is powered by an in-line six-cylinder petrol mill. It will produce 270 kW and 500 Nm of turning power that is both supplemented with an addition of 16 kW and 250 kW over short distances courtesy of Merc’s energy recuperating EQ Boost.

LOOMING ON THE HORIZON

Mercedes-Benz GLE

According to Mercedes-Benz, though, a more extensive engine line-up that includes both diesel and hybrid options will follow the market launch of the new GLE at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris that takes place between 4 and 14 October 2018.

While information about its South African launch is not yet available, Mercedes says that the US-assembled GLE will be available in European and US dealerships from early 2019.

Report by DRIVEN | Images © DAIMLER

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