The New Mercedes Benz GLE, The Best Chinese Looking SUV You Can Buy From Alabama
Looking like an SUV offered by a never before heard of Chinese auto start-up the all-new Mercedes Benz GLE looks like an SUV from a never before heard of Chinese auto brand. But it is what it is. Underneath that Chinese looking, all-new, exterior is a wealth of new Mercedes Benz innovation. Exclusive German technology exclusively manufactured in… Alabama.
For example, the Mercedes Benz GLE active suspension system (E-Active Body Control) uses a 48-volt system. A world first says, Mercedes. We don’t know what that means or what it does, but it sounds good to us.
But it could mean this. The new integrated 48-volt powertrain architecture is designed to enhance the all-new air suspension. By adopting such a system the all-new Mercedes Benz GLE should provide better comfort and damping while improving agility.
Only one model will be initially offered, the GLE 450 4MATIC. Power will be sourced from a 3.0-litre in-line, six-cylinder engine. Using the latest 48-volt standard, the 450 4MATIC will offer 367bhp and 500Nm of torque. EQ Boost adds 22bhp and 250nm of torque.
EQ Boost is effectively an electric turbo booster in all but name. It’s a complex system. In very simple terms it works to kind-of-like compliment traditional, mechanical turbo’s. Many new cars are adopting this 48-volt powertrain standard. They are also being marketed as mild-hybrids.
Anyway back to the Mercedes GLE. Soon after the initial launch a range of diesel models will filter into the range. Thereafter a full hybrid model will be offered.
A manual (stick-shift) Mercedes is very rare to find, and you won’t find one in a GLE. It’s a fully loaded 9-speed automatic. Interestingly the electronically controlled clutch is able to variably control torque between the axles. In other words, you can engage a 4×4 system.
But let’s be honest when was the last time you saw a Mercedes Benz GLE off-roading? But it’s nice to know that you have this 4×4 back-up when you are crawling through a pot-holed McDonald’s drive-thru.
The new GLE is bigger than the previous generation. Bigger in car parlance is measured in a few centimeters. That means more passenger space and luggage space. There’s even enough room for an optional third row of seats.
The new GLE will be offered with Mercedes’ latest suite of in-car technology. A 12.3-inch twin-screen infotainment is standard. Expect the latest in digital and smartphone connectivity. nd of course a premium sound system.
Also offered is the latest driver assist technologies such as Active Blind Sport Assist with exit warning, Active Brake Assist, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assis. Some will be standard others will be model specific and or optional extras.
UK pricing will be announced in the autumn with first deliveries expected in Europe and the US in Q1 2019. China deliveries are expected to arrive in spring 2019.