As the anticipation for the New York Motor show grows we thought we’d take a look at the swashbuckling Mercedes GLE which is set to take aim at the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 in mid 2015. The GLE will be taking the place of the ML, which had enjoyed notable success, but whose appearance was beginning to look weary. The GLE will inject energy into the range and it’s stylish and edgy design pulls no punches.
Taking design cues from across the Mercedes range with the traditional sweeping headlights and grille which has become eidetic of many modern Mercedes vehicles.
There will be a number of engine types on offer including a top-of-the-range V8 petrol. Some engines have also remained from the old ML, including four six and eight-cylinder engines.
Most of the engines on offer are significantly more efficient (17% on average) than those they replace, including the 350d which Mercedes have proudly described as 9% more efficient. This improved efficiency is epitomized by the GLE 500e 4 MATIC; a plug-in hybrid that offers speeds of up to 80mph on pure electric with a range of 18 miles.
Another engine worth taking note of is the 3.0-litre V6 that serves-up 254bhp and entry-level 2.1-litre diesel with the latter offering CO2 emissions around 140g/km which is staggeringly impressive for a vehicle of the ML’s size. Both of these models are equipped with the nine-speed gearbox, 9G-TRONIC, which has been lauded for its fluid driving experience.
High-octane SUV driving is to be found with the S version of the vehicle which is a step-above all the other engines in every-way. Offering a jaw-dropping 577bhp the 5.5-litre V8 is no slouch – powering from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds.
Being a Mercedes vehicle, the GLE is not short on equipment and technology. This is demonstrated by the impressive infotainment system in the form of a 7” inch touchscreen that includes the COMAND controller and unique touchpad.
In terms of equipment you will find a 6-disc DVD changer and premium sound systems such as Bang & Olufsen. Collision Prevention, Crosswind Assist, stop/start technology as well as host of driver assistance tech such as active park assist is also available.
More information will be available following the vehicles reveal at the New York Motor Show, although already the GLE is looking like a fitting replacement for the warrior-like ML and we can’t wait to see how the future pans out for the new flagship SUV.