In Depth

Mercedes-Benz GLE 2019: prices, specs, release date and reviews

Buyers get all-new hi-tech interior and fuel-efficient hybrid engines

Mercedes-Benz has finally opened orders for its new GLE crossover, almost two months after the Audi Q7 rival was unveiled.

The all-new GLE is is the second-generation version of the German carmaker’s mid-size SUV, which replaced the M-Class as the marque’s mid-size SUV back in 2016.

Arriving next spring, the new crossover has been given a hi-tech overhaul both in the cabin and under the bonnet. Buyers get Mercedes’s new MBUX infotainment system and two digital panels as standard, while the 450d launch model features a 48V hybrid motor.  

Here’s everything we know so far about the new GLE:

Price and release

Mercedes has officially opened orders for the new GLE, with deliveries set to get under way in spring 2019, Autocar reports. 

Prices start at £55,685 for the entry-level GLE 300d, and £62,300 for the petrol-engined GLE 450, the magazine notes.

Buyers can expect a GLE 350de diesel plug-in hybrid model “later down the line”, along with an AMG-fettled flagship model in 2020, adds Auto Express.

Reviews

Mercedes-Benz’s SUV range has been looking a little “dated” in recent years, says Car magazine. But all that has changed with the new GLE, a “carefully thought-out SUV that majors on technology and comfort”.

Unlike its predecessor, the new model can be specced with seven seats, which should prove to “invaluable for large families”, the magazine says. 

Autocar is also impressed, describing the level of refinement offered from the engine and transmission as “outstanding”.

But the car’s “crowning achievement” is the way it masks its considerable size and weight with truly impressive handling traits while delivering a cosseting and pliant ride”, says the motoring mag.

Digital Trends goes so far as to say that the new GLE is substantially better than any of the Mercedes models that preceeded it. In fact, the SUV has no faults that are “worth mentioning”.

“Those who bought the last GLE or the M-Class before it will absolutely love the experience,” the website concludes.

Interior and tech

Interior technology is big news in the motoring world at the moment, and the GLE is packed with hi-tech features.

Arguably the most significant upgrade is the move away from the old car’s analogue dashboard, which has been replaced by a dual-screen digital system, says Auto Express. The first panel sits behind the steering wheel and displays the car’s speedometer, while the second is above the centre console and manages the infotainment settings. 

There are also a host of semi-autonomous driver assistance modes including Mercedes’s Active Stop-and-Go Assist, which autonomically controls the car in traffic, the mag says. Traffic sign recognition can also be specced, as can E-Active Body Control suspension to help balance the vehicle’s body roll around twisty corners.

The boot, meanwhile, has been upped by 125 litres compared with the old car, to a total capacity of 825 litres with the rear seats in place, says CarBuyer. That increases to 2,055 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

The GLE will also be offered with a seven-seater option for the first time, the site adds.

Engines and performance 

Mercedes is launching the new GLE with an entry-level 300d model and mid-spec 450 trim. 

The company has yet to reveal details about the base model, but the GLE 450 will be powered by a new straight-six petrol engine delivering 362bhp and 369lb-ft of torque, says Evo

Like its rival Audi, GLE 450s will be equipped with a 48V hybrid system, the magazine notes. This gives the combustion engine a 22bhp jump in power while also improving the car’s fuel economy.

Plug-in hybrid models, which are more reliant on the electric motor, are expected later in the car’s life cycle, as are high performance AMG versions.  

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