GLE and GLE Coupe: Now Even Better

Even more to experience: useful functions of off-road use and trailer operation.

Mercedes-Benz has now updated the exterior, interior, technology and equipment of the model generation launched in 2018. The updated models will reach dealers in Europe from July 2023. The engine range is now electrified throughout. It includes mild hybrids with a 48-volt system and Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) as well as fourth-generation plug-in hybrids. Most models now have more power than the previous versions. The biggest is the increase with 30 kW on the GLE 400 e 4MATIC (details for GLE SUV: Fuel consumption combined, weighted (WLTP): 1.1-0.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions, weighted (WLTP): 25-19 g/km, combined power consumption, weighted (WLTP): 27.3-24.7 kWh/100 km).

The Driving Assistance Package contains further improved specific functions, for example for the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. The Parking Package with 360°camera supports the driver when manoeuvring into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. Another new feature is the “transparent bonnet” function. If the off-road drive program is switched on, the central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle – helping to make this noticeably easier in steep terrain. Helpful features for towing include the Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, the mercedesupdated Trailer menu in the central display and the Trailer route planner. It can be used to find optimised routes when travelling with a trailer.

The GLE’s lineage began with the M-Class. With it, Mercedes-Benz established the premium SUV segment in 1997. The global success continued with the GLE launched in 2015. The current model series followed in 2018. The GLE and GLE Coupé are produced at the Tuscaloosa Mercedes-Benz plant (USA).

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé | 2023Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé | 2023

Equipment: designed for off-road use and towing a trailer:

Most drivers of a GLE only travel on paved roads or in easy to moderately difficult off-road terrain. Mercedes‑Benz has therefore recompiled the scope of the Off-Road Engineering Package in order to be able to offer it at a much lower price for the purely combustion-engined models of the GLE. Components include an underride guard and, in combination with AIRMATIC air suspension (optional extra), 30 millimetres more ground clearance.

The “Off-Road Mode” in the current MBUX generation turns special content such as gradient, roll angle, compass and steering angle into a visual experience. In conjunction with the optional Parking Package with 360° camera, it offers the “transparent bonnet” function. When the Off-Road Mode is active, the central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle, including the front wheels and their steering position. The view is composed of the images from the 360° camera. The “transparent bonnet” is extremely helpful: it enables the driver to better recognise obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes in his/her path. This function also offers advantages when driving over ramps or crests.

The GLE pulls off even more: all-wheel drive and a gear ratio designed for traction enable a high towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes4 and a tongue weight of up to 140 kg. The fully electric trailer coupling is particularly convenient: via a button in the tailgate or a panel on the central display, the ball neck together with the socket for the trailer electrics is swung out from under the car at the touch of a button and automatically fixed in the operating position. After use, it retracts back into its rest position behind the bumper equally effortlessly. A special feature is also provided for those who do not use the coupling to tow a trailer, but to carry bicycles for example: the trailer coupling has two extra bolts on the ball neck to carry a suitable cycle rack safely. Its load capacity is 100 kg – this means that e-bikes can also be taken along.

New to the GLE and GLE Coupé is the Trailer route planner for the navigation system: 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. Among other things, widths and heights of the route as well as weight restrictions are taken into account. The trailer is defined via the Trailer menu in MBUX. This automatically appears as soon as a trailer is electrically connected to the vehicle. Customers can choose between bicycle racks and two trailer sizes. They can also set the speed – in Germany, for example, 80 or 100 km/h. The Trailer route planner takes this information into account. Particularly convenient: the Traffic Sign Assist only displays speeds permitted for the car/trailer combination. And if DISTRONIC and Active Speed Limit Assist are activated, the vehicle now accelerates only up to the relevant speed limit.

The extended Trailer Manoeuvring Assist now works via a camera-based system and is thus also suitable for trailers with their own stabilisation device against rolling movements. In addition, the assist system makes manoeuvring with a trailer even easier, and is more convenient and safer. The system automatically regulates the steering angle of the towing vehicle up to a speed of 5 km/h and an uphill gradient of up to 15 percent. It is also integrated into MBUX and can be operated intuitively via the touchscreen. In addition to stabilising the combination when reversing, the system can also guide it around freely selectable bends of up to 90 degrees. The steering of the towing vehicle is operated automatically so that the selected angle is maintained. This allows more precise positioning of a trailer.  Drivers can also select a corresponding function once the trailer has reached the desired direction and needs to reverse in a straight line. The entire manoeuvring process can be followed from different camera perspectives on the central display. Dynamic guide lines show the path ahead and the vehicle width. The system must be briefly trained. However, no markings on the trailer are necessary for the visual measurement of the drawbar length. Trailer Manoeuvring Assist is an optional extra and can also be unlocked as an “Over the Air” (OTA) update after purchasing the GLE.

Thanks to improved surround sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when manoeuvring. Integrated into MBUX, they can be operated more intuitively and quickly. Unlike in the predecessor model, Active Steering Assist now remains activated in towing mode. The system helps the driver to stay in lane automatically, even when cornering slightly.

Exterior design: new daytime running light signets:

A number of detailed changes to the exterior give the GLE SUV and GLE Coupé a distinctly more modern appearance. The new front bumper provides more visual presence. Two horizontal louvres with chrome inserts run through the radiator grille of the GLE. The grille of the outer air intakes has been given a horizontal chrome fin.

The so-called light flare in the headlamps is characteristic of Mercedes-Benz. With the standard LED High‑Performance headlamps, two light points complement the distinctive daytime running light signet, while with the optional MULTIBEAM LED there are four light points. The designers have also revised the interior of the tail lights: on the GLE, the light signet is formed by two horizontal blocks, on the GLE Coupé it is two bars.

The AMG Line exterior is now standard on the GLE Coupé. Elements of this line include the diamond grille with Mercedes-Benz pattern in chrome, the AMG front apron with chrome trim element, AMG side sill panels and wheel arch cladding in the vehicle colour, as well as the AMG rear apron with diffuser-look insert.

Fresh additions to the colour palette of these two SUVs are sodalite blue metallic and MANUFAKTUR alpine grey solid. Two aerodynamically optimised light-alloy wheels in 19- and 20-inch sizes complete the line-up of choices for the GLE. They feature a high-sheen finish and a five-twin-spoke design. The AMG Line exterior also features a new 21-inch wheel design. The ambient lighting with animated projection of the Mercedes-Benz pattern is available as a new optional extra.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé | 2023Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé | 2023

Interior: with fine details:

New on board the GLE and GLE Coupé is the latest-generation steering wheel with sensor surfaces on the horizontal spokes. With these touch elements on the right and left, the driver can operate the driver and central displays from the steering wheel.

A special eye-catching feature in the interior is the chrome look of the centre and side air vents. Previously they were edged in black, but now the slats are galvanised in real metal, as in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. For the interior colours, the equipment combinations catalana beige/black (GLE SUV) and bahia brown/black (GLE SUV and GLE Coupé) have been added. The black/classic red appointments available exclusively for the coupé and in combination with AMG Line are particularly sporty.

The trim range continues to be broadly diversified between classic and progressive. Familiar from the Mercedes-Maybach GLS and now also available for the GLE SUV and GLE Coupé is the “MANUFAKTUR piano lacquer black flowing lines” trim. If black appointments are selected, the seats are available in a nappa leather finish. With ambient lighting, the same colours and colour palettes can be selected as in the S-Class. Two USB ports (optional extra) delivering 100 W of power are available in the rear armrest as practical charging options.

The premium audio system Burmester® surround sound system which now also features the personal sound setup as well as the Dolby Atmos immersive audio experience. With the “Online Music” service5, Mercedes‑Benz has comprehensively integrated many music streaming providers into the MBUX infotainment system. 13 speakers, 13 separate amplifier channels and a system output of 590 watts are further features of the Burmester® surround sound system.

Newly available as an optional extra is ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL. The system monitors air quality using air quality and fine particle sensors. A two-stage filter concept reduces fine particles and a large proportion of other pollutant components. Depending on the measurement value, the vehicle intelligently switches between fresh air and air-recirculation modes.

Ali Burçin Titizel

Eğitimini hayatına yansıtmayan; Uluslararası ilişkiler ve Siyaset Uzmanı. Otomobilist, Fotoğrafçı, Blogger, Güvenli Sürüş Teknikleri Eğitmeni

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