The Mercedes-Benz GLE has marked a new era for the mid-sized SUV segment. Years after getting a new identity with a change from the M-Class nomenclature to the GLE, the best-selling Mercedes-Benz SUV continues to set the pace. In October 2018, the latest installment of the GLE was presented to the public for the first time at the Paris Motor Show with a number of mouthwatering innovations that are revolutionizing the premium SUV segment. Weststar Associates Limited, authorized General Distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria will be introducing the new GLE to the market by 1st quarter, 2019.
The new GLE comes with a handful of innovations that have completely reconceived the SUV trendsetter. Features like the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz assistance systems, 4MATIC which makes the GLE more off-road capable than ever, seating comfort with corresponding interior spaciousness and MBUX have been highlighted as the most important innovations in the new GLE.
The exterior design of the new GLE exudes a powerful presence. The front emphasizes this with the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two powerdomes. The distinctive headlamp design is another key feature; this comes with MULTIBEAM LED lights; the brightness of the main beam headlamps covers over a distance of more than 650 metres. The side view highlights the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE, large wheels in sizes from 18 to 22 inches and the pillared roof rails or the optional illuminated running boards. While the rear stands out with the rear lights, reflectors and chrome plated underguard.
The interior design of the new GLE is luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive. It comes with a sporty and stylist cockpit design in the dashboard. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends around the driver and front passenger areas to meet the doors. There is a new sport steering wheel with a striking, sculptured spoke design emphasizing the impressive appearance of the SUV’s interior. Other features include good ergonomics, flowing leather surfaces, a broad area of trim and flush-fitting sunblinds. All the controls and displays are now in a new design.
The new GLE also comes with more space, it has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2995 mm, plus 80 mm). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 69 mm to 1045 mm. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 split backrest has been increased by 33 mm to 1025 mm. As a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with 6 fully electric adjustments is now available. Another key highlight is the luggage capacity which is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats and up to 2055 litres when the second seat row is folded down.
The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) is one of the key highlights in the new GLE, it makes its debut in a Mercedes-Benz SUV after its successful introduction in the A-Class last year. This latest generation multimedia system comes with even more improved functions when compared to the first edition in the A-Class. Improvements that this revolutionary system debuts include two large 12.3-inch/ 31.2 cm screens as standard, which are arranged side-by-side for an impressive wide-screen look. The information from the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. Showcasing elements in an emotively appealing manner underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure and impresses with brilliant graphics. Users can set up the MBUX with four different styles from Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive and Discreet style. Key features of the MBUX in the GLE include; the widescreen cockpit, navigation services, smartphone integration, vehicle set up app, LINGUATRONIC voice control, LTE communications module for Mercedes me connect services and Burmester surround sound system.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC comes with a 6-cylinder petrol engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. It has an estimated output of 367 hp and torque of 368.781 ft-lb. In the new GLE, 4MATIC comes with fully variable all-wheel drive that controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0‑100 percent depending on the selected driving mode, this greatly enhances the off road capacity of the new GLE. In all variants of the new GLE, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, the broad ratio spread of gears 1 to 9 allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy, efficiency and ride comfort. The driving experience in the new GLE is further enhanced with the E-ACTIVE Body Control 48-volt suspension.
The latest generation of Mercedes-Benz assistance systems have been introduced in the new GLE. Boasting of unrivalled functions in its segment like the Active Brake Assist which helps the driver to brake in good time when approaching the end of a tailback. Other assistance systems include the Active Steering Assist, Active Stop-and-Go Assist and the Active Blind Spot Assist which helps lower the risk of a collision with other road users, it monitors the blind spot when at standstill, and can warn the driver of approaching vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles when opening the door.
Mr. Mirko Plath, Managing Director, Weststar Associates Limited, has described the new GLE as one of the welcome innovations in the global automobile industry. He pointed out that with features like the MBUX the world continues moving towards a more digitalized era and that Nigeria isn’t left out. With the growing demand for Mercedes-Benz cars in Nigeria, he believes the new GLE will be well received.
The new GLE remains an iconic member of Mercedes-Benz SUVs and its newest installments has largely exceeded expectations. With first of its kind innovations and an even more personal interaction between the driver and car, customers can look forward to a futuristic driving experience. The driving performance has also been further enhanced with 4MATIC which ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track. The new GLE is expected to be at Weststar’s authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Nigeria by beginning of April, 2019.