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New Mercedes-Benz GLE: All you need to know

Written by: Neil

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the first batch of details on its second-gen GLE, ahead of the SUV's full reveal at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

Once known as the M-Class, the premium mid-size SUV has been given a subtle styling update and two new engines in a bid to put it ahead of the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.

You can have one in Spring 2019 but for now, here’s all you need to know about the new Mercedes-Benz GLE.

New engines

The GLE’s engine range will comprise one petrol and one diesel unit.

Petrol buyers can opt for the GLE 450 4MATIC, which uses a 362bhp in-line six-pot unit, supported by 48-volt hybrid technology to improve performance and minimise emissions. Drive it on a balanced mix of motorway and inner city roads and you can expect it to return up to 34mpg, emitting around 190g/km of CO2.

Diesel drivers get the four-cylinder two-litre GLE 300 d. Mercedes says it’ll be the more economical option – and we believe them – but consumption figures won’t be confirmed until UK pricing is announced in the autumn.

New(-ish) look

Merc’s designers presumably played a lot of ping-pong when styling the new GLE because it looks pretty much the same as before.

There are some subtle tweaked here and there though. There’s the big bold grille you’d expect from any SUV worth its salt, as well as sharp LED lights, while the back-end gets blacked-out D-pillars and slimmer tail lights. The new GLE claims to have the best aerodynamics in its segment too, with a Cd figure from 0.29.

What's the GLE like inside? 

Inside, there’s an adapted version of the dual-screen infotainment system you’ll find in the A-, E-, and S-Class, with two 12.3-inch screens sitting about the air vents.

An 80mm extension to the wheelbase has resulted in more interior space, especially for rear passengers. Comfort has been improved even further with an extra 33mm of headroom and electrically-operated seat backs.

Elsewhere, boot space is up by 125 litres – now 825 litres – expanding to 2,055 litres with the rear seats flipped down.

Off-road champion

A statement from Mercedes-Benz hailed the GLE as a competent all-rounder.

“The new GLE is not only more comfortable than ever before on the road, but also shows its superior off-road character off the beaten track,” it read.

“Significantly more space in the interior, the new control concept, considerably extended and refined assistance systems, the best aerodynamics in the segment, a completely new range of engines and numerous other innovations emphatically underline our claim to leadership in the SUV segment.”

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “The changes may be slight but Merc seems confident that it has done enough to keep it in with the big boys.”

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