Mercedes-Benz India has launched the new GLE in India today at a starting price of Rs 58.90 lakh ex-showroom Delhi for the 250 d variant of the model. Essentially the new, rechristened version of the erstwhile M-Class, the GLE adds some swishy, urbane lines to the relatively straight cut exterior of the SUV. The more powerful GLE 350 d variant of the SUV is priced at Rs 69.9 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.
The GLE is meant to offer its buyers a good combination of on and off-road driving, with great space, comfort and features. The launch of the brand new SUV will further augment Mercedes-Benz’s presence in India.
The GLE 250d is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine with an output of 204hp of power and 500Nm of torque. The more powerful 350 d version gets a 6 cylinder power plant with 258 hp of peak power and peak torque of 620 Nm.
The GLE comes equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s shiny new 9G-TRONIC transmission, touted to be the world’s first nine speed road going transmission in the luxury segment. The new transmission can be used in conjunction with longitudinally mounted engines, and offers a sportier, more dynamic driving thanks to more closely spaced gears. Power is transmitted to the tar via the 4MATIC permanent AWD.
The car comes with five modes to select from, what M-B prefers calling DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control. The DYNAMIC SELECT changes parameters such as the characteristics of engine, transmission, steering and suspension. The five different driving modes are ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Slippery’, ‘Individual’ and ‘Off-road’.
The AIRMATIC air suspension on the new GLE is capable of changing its damping based on the selected mode. SPORT focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality. Conversely, COMFORT mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics. The new suspension ensures constant vehicle level irrespective of loading and raises the maximum ground clearance to 232 mm and also automatically lowers the suspension by 15 mm at high speeds.
On the outside, the new GLE appears a tad wider than the outgoing ML, owing to its squatter stance. Key exterior design elements include a bold radiator grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star and two sculpted louvres. The front bumper has a huge central air dam, split in two horizontal parts, and covered in honeycomb mesh. Big faux side air intakes add some more muscle to the face. The front gets a nice splattering of chrome, a bonnet with powerdomes and LED daytime running lamps integrated in all new full LED headlamps.
The rear design is accentuated by an exhaust system with tailpipe trim elements, two-piece tail lights with all lighting functions in LED, including brake lights and reversing lights in LED.
On the inside, the new GLE gets a sporty 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel and the instrument cluster features newly designed pointers and dials for an enhanced sporty look. Quality and workmanship is of the top order, as you would expect in any Mercedes-Benz product.
The car gets the new generation COMAND Online with advanced telematics. There is a new 8 inch hi-resolution display on the inside. The new infotainment system offers a host of features including navigation, telephone, audio, video, internet and Wi-Fi hotspot.
Other features include Memory Package, Touchpad, Parking Package with 360°Camera, Easy Pack Tailgate, Thermotronic (3 Zone) climate control and Keyless GO Start/Stop.