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HomeNewsMercedes-Benz GLE updated with Maybach features and hybrid-only engines

Mercedes-Benz GLE updated with Maybach features and hybrid-only engines

The popular Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupe have been updated for the first time since launching in 2018.

For the mid-life refresh, the SUV series has gained minor exterior design tweaks, the latest generation of the MBUX infotainment system, and hybridised diesel powertrains.

The range-topping AMG models have also been enhanced with more standard equipment, as well as a bump in power for the “53” variants.

What’s new

The standard GLE line-up is now electrified throughout, all petrol and diesel motors paired to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and integrated starter generator (ISG).

This has resulted in a higher output for most models, the GLE 300d now producing 198kW and 550Nm, the GLE 450d doing 270kW and 750Nm, and the GLE 450 generating 280kW and 500Nm. Courtesy of the new hybrid underpinnings, each derivative also has an additional 15kW of “Boost” from a standstill.

Consequently, the 300d finishes the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.9 seconds and maxes out at 230km/h, consuming fuel at a rate of 6.8-7.7l/100km.

Both 450s then do the deed in 5.6 seconds with a top speed of 250km/h, while the diesel returns a consumption reading of 7.6-8.6l/100km and the petrol 9.5-10.8l/100km.

Additionally, the entire GLE range is offered exclusively in all-wheel drive, with a nine-speed automatic transmission handling power. This allows it to scale gradients of up to 45 degrees and tow a maximum of 3,500kg.

The GLE in Europe is also offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain producing between 245-280kW and 600-750Nm, depending on the model, with an all-electric range of up to 109km on tap.

However, it remains to be seen whether these underpinnings will make it to local showrooms as the automaker’s South African subsidiary currently sells no plug-in vehicles despite there being a few on its global product list.

Mercedes-Benz has further revised the Off-Road Engineering Package for the facelifted SUV to be able to offer this add-on at a lower price, considering “most drivers of a GLE only travel on paved roads or in easy to moderately difficult off-road terrain,” said the manufacturer.

Components include an underride guard and, in combination with the optional Airmatic air suspension, 30mm more ground clearance.

Moreover, the luxurious high-rider now boasts a “Trailer route planner” which takes into account the width, height, and weight restrictions of a certain road as well as the trailer being towed.

“On the central display, the occupants can plan routes that are suitable for driving with the previously defined trailer and do not involve large diversions or loss of time,” said Mercedes.

Once inside, the GLE was on the receiving end of design enhancements taken straight out of the Maybach GLS and S-Class.

This encompasses a new multifunction steering wheel with touch surfaces on the horizontal spokes, chrome surrounds on the dash and air vents, galvanised air vent slats, more colours for the ambient lighting, a Burmester stereo with Dolby Atmos, and piano lacquer black finishes which, when optioned, are paired with Nappa leather seats.

Catalana beige/black and bahia brown/black leather combinations are now also available, and the Coupe AMG Line is further offered with a model-exclusive black/classic red upholstery scheme.

More upgrades include the fitment of the second-generation MBUX infotainment hub that brings a 12.3-inch central screen and a digital driver’s display of the same size which can be configured through three display styles and four modes – navigation, assistance, service, and off-road.

The system is kept up-to-date through over-the-air software updates and enables Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, online music streaming, and the Hey Mercedes voice assistant and Smart Home functions that allow an owner to control their home’s temperature, lights, shutters, and electrical appliances all from within the GLE.

AMG-specific enhancements

On top of what has been added to the standard GLE line-up, the AMGs come with a host of exclusive appointments.

This includes redesigned LED daytime running lights and taillights and the AMG emblem on the nose instead of the iconic three-pointed star.

The “53” variants additionally get a revised front apron with “jet-wing” inspired air intakes, whereas the “63” now sits on model-unique 22‑inch forged wheels in a ten‑twin‑spoke design – which is optional on the 53.

Two new exterior paints have also been added to the palette, namely alpine grey uni and sodalite blue metallic.

Mercedes-Benz says customers of the pre-facelift AMG GLE frequently requested optional gear, but for the new model, most of these features are now installed across the range.

These no-cost fitments are the Burmester sound system, blind-spot assist, smart keyless entry and start, the 360-degree parking pilot, and the memory package for the driver’s seat, front passenger seat, steering column, and exterior mirrors. For the Coupe, it further includes the MBUX augmented reality functions and multi-beam LED headlamps.

A panoramic sliding sunroof, heated front seats, and adaptive highbeam assist are standard on all AMG variants, too.

Under the hood, the AMG 53 still sports a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, twin-turbo engine but with the help of a software tune and a larger turbocharger, output has been upped to 320kW and 560Nm – a 40Nm improvement over the outgoing model.

Mercedes also states that the retune provides extra spontaneity and sharper agility, with 0-100km/h now handled in 5 seconds flat, down from 5.3 seconds, while top speed is capped at 250km/h.

The 63 has retained the legendary 4.0-litre, V8, bi-turbo powerplant capable of 450kW and 850Nm, eclipsing 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and going on to a maximum of 280km/h.

Both the AMG drivetrains are electrified by means of an ISG and a 48‑volt electrical system, providing hybrid functions such as boosting, recuperation, load point shifting, sailing, and “almost-imperceptible” restarting of the engine during the start/stop function.

Also common to these models are the AMG Ride Control+ adaptive suspension system and AMG Performance exhaust.

South African availability

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the new GLE family will go on sale in South Africa in the second half of 2023 still, following the release of its smaller sibling, the new GLC.

The local model range and pricing have yet to be revealed, however, with these to be announced closer to launch.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63s

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63s Coupe

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