Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class maybe more of a minor change version of the old M-Class it replaces but this is Mercedes' debutante as it as one of the firsts to implement its new naming structure For all SUVs, they've been given a GL suffix and because it has the E on it, think of the GLE as...well, an SUV version of the E-Class. The more you know.

Anyway, the new GLE starts at around 53,966 Euros, which sounds like a lot for a crossover of that size, but what do you get on this fresh new start on the old M-Class it replaces are a choice of petrol, diesel, and for the first time, a PHEV.

The PHEV in question is the GLE 500 e which features a 3.0L V6 BiTurbo engine producing 333PS combined with a 85kW hybrid module, resulting to a combined torque output of 650Nm and combined power output of 442PS. Mercedes says it combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with the fuel consumption of a three-litre car and the versatility of a premium SUV. Sounds too juicy for me. The GLE 500 e offers different modes that varies on the driving such as HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE, and CHARGE. This model is mated with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS while its energy is stored in a li-ion batery with an energy content of 8.8kWh.

The ideal diesel model for the GLE is the GLE 350d 4MATIC, which comes with a 3.0L V6 diesel engine delivering 258PS of power and 620Nm of torque. It can do 0-100kph in 7.1 seconds and goes all they way to 225kph. As for fuel consumption, the 15.6km/L rating isn't too shabby for the V6 diesel even if it comes with an overloaded 9-speed automatic gearbox. Sure, its least powerful diesel model can do 18.5km/L, but it's best to be off with it.

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63

However, if you want something more for the GLE, there's the high-performance GLE63 AMG, which features some of AMG's sporty enhancements that will make the GLE more exciting in the driver's mind, it still comes with the good old M157 AMG 5.5L V8 BiTurbo engine, which in the S model, can churn out 585PS of power and 760Nm of torque. Mated with the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic, it can do 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds and it's electronically limited to 250kph but there's an optional extra where the limit can be raised to 280kph. Now that's as fast as any hi-po SUVs would do. One thing I do hope for if you had one of these is try to stay out of harm's way before someone gets alerted by its shouty V8 noise under the bonnet.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class interior

Because the GLE-Class is made to be different than the M-Class it replaces, it has all the right gizmos as well as the updated suspension system and 4MATIC four-wheel drive system so while driving on the road, it feels like an executive saloon in all the right places but when it traverses the rough terrain, the GLE-Class isn't such a bad car to drive, well, except for the GLE63 anyway because this was made to be racy rather than adventurous.

On the inside, it feels more exactly what you expect from the old M-Class except for the updated dashboard and some added gizmos for convenience purposes. If you didn't mind the tech stuff, you can say that this is still fit for a family car even if it wears a luxury car badge in it. There's more ample space at the back fit enough for any lifestyle you see fit.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

The new GLE-Class maybe more of a facelifted M-Class at first but it's a breakthrough crossover that carries over from the M-Class and with the introduction of the first ever GLE 500 e PHEV, looks like Mercedes-Benz is expecting high hopes for this eco car of that size. In my mind, peeking at the GLE feels like you've tasted it before because this is essentially an M Class but mark its words because once you tried it, you'll regret about having the M-Class in the first place.

Photo: Daimler AG

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