Mercedes Benz is well known for producing a series of executive vehicles designed to meet both the blitz and glamorous needs of its various clientele.
To add more flare to its latest marquee designs, Mercedes’s has released the Mercedes-Benz Gle 350D 4Matic 2017/2018 model, a speed merchant which carries both the beautified interior and exterior plus a superb engine capacity to cover long distances in comfort.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a face-lifted version of the ML series, and forms the mid-range SUV which offers all the qualities which one may look for when purchasing a top of the range vehicle.
The naming convention change may seem strange, but it signifies the whole Mercedes SUV line-up into one easy to remember range- starting with the crossover-inspired GLA, the venerable G-Class and topped off by the GLS.
For now we are focusing on the GLE, which is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be offered in two distinctive body styles, the SUV and Coupé, in other words it is direct competition for the BMW X5 and X6.
“If your purchase priorities are built around practicality, economy and ease of driving more than style, performance and handling engagement, the GLE could be just the ticket” – said European Editor, Greg Kable.
Inside, there is a new dashboard with revised instruments, more contemporary controls, a new multi-function steering wheel, a free standing infotainment monitor and upgraded trims with high quality materials, all of which helps to lift its perceived quality on to a level at least equal to its key SUV rivals, the Audi Q7 and BMW X5.
As for trims there are four to choose from with the entry-level Sport models limited to only the 201bhp 2.1-litre diesel unit. It also comes with 19inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, reversing camera, adaptive LED headlights, heated front seats, climate control and Mercedes’ Command infotainment system complete with DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
The mid-range AMG Line models is available with either diesel engine or as a hybrid, and adds 20in AMG alloys, adaptive air suspension, an AMG-styled bodykit, a sports braking system and ambient interior lighting, while the designo trim adds ventilated and massaging front seats, 360-degree camera, panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable front seats and steering column, heated rear seats, climatised cup holders and a Harman & Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system.
There are also two AMG models – GLE 43 and GLE 63 S. The former is available with the designo trim, but the standard SUV comes with numerous black exterior details, including alloy wheels, and AMG-tweaked all-wheel drive system, suspension and exhaust system. While the range-topping GLE 63 S gets an aggressive bodykit, high performance braking system, active body roll control, and an electric interior sunblind.
The turbocharged 2.1-litre four-cylinder common rail diesel engine, used by the GLE 250 d 4Matic driven here, is the entry-level diesel engine, with the 255bhp 3.0-litre 350 d completing the diesel line-up. There is also the hybrid GLE 500 e, which is powered by a 310bhp 3.0-litre V6 and a 114bhp electric motor, which produces 84g/km of CO2 emissions. The AMG models begin withthe tuning-division breathed on GLE 43, which uses the same 3,0-litre V6 as the hybrid but churns out 362bhp, while the GLE 63 S is fitted with AMG’s mammoth 5.5-litre V8 producing 580bhp and the only engine mated to a seven-speed automatic.
Predictably, given that it weighs over two tonnes and boasts a relatively modest amount of power, the GLE 250 d 4Matic is far from the fastest five-seat SUV, a fact that is clearly reflected in Mercedes-Benz’s official standing start acceleration claim.
However, there is a decent amount of torque concentrated low in the rev range, and a new nine-speed automatic gearbox sending the drive to each wheel, so it manages to deliver decent performance through the gears. This is particularly evident at motorway speeds, where the flexible nature of its engine, long gearing and excellent longitudinal stability endow it with genuinely relaxed cruising properties, and the potential for outstanding economy