Auto motor und sport magazine put face to face two new fast and powerful Plug-In Hybrid luxury SUVs: Mercedes GLE 500 e 4Matic and the Volvo XC90 T8 AWD.
The strong fragrance are kept in small bottles. Do you remember the Swedish bitter? A kind of Swedish bitter is also the most expensive version of the Volvo XC90. The T8 AWD is powered by a downsizing 4 cylinder 2 liter engine which deliver an impressive 320 HP and 400 Nm to the front wheels while an electric 65 kW engine drives the rear wheels.
This “hybrid” four wheel drive system is very clever because eliminates the drive shaft and create space for the 9.2 kWh battery in the center tunnel. But the running of the two engines is not so harmonious like we expect from a luxury SUV. In pure electric mode, Volvo XC90 T8 is a rear wheel drive electric SUV but only for 21 km until the energy from the battery was gone. The official figure of the electric range is 43 km.
Mercedes GLE 500 e 4Matic is a traditional SUV with power distributed to all four wheels by a combination of a conventional 3.0 liter V6 engine with 333 HP and 480 Nm and an electric engine with 85 kW, placed between the conventional engine and the gearbox in the housing of the seven speed automatic gearbox.
You pay more than 80,000 euro for a Volvo and you will get a 4 cylinder engine which does not create any emotion and sometimes blares like a Prius engine. The Biturbo V6 engine from Mercedes sound much more pleasant even at high speeds and has a more convincing power.
But the 120 kg heavier Mercedes and the powerful engine reduce the real electric range to only 17 km.
If you look for dynamic performance, Mercedes is in all disciplines better. Especially from 160 km/h up, Mercedes is more relaxed while the 4 cylinder in Volvo must work hard due to the fact that electric motor is disengaged at 170 km/h.
On the other side, Volvo is more economical. In the Eco-round, Volvo needs 5.1 l/100 km and 14.4 kWh while Mercedes uses 6.4 l/100 km and 14.3 kWh. But Volvo has a tank of only 50 liter and the total range is shorter than in Mercedes which benefit of a 80 liter tank.
Thanks to positioning of the battery in the center tunnel, Volvo XC90 offer seven full size seats and the enormous luggage of 640 liter, meanwhile Mercedes has a smaller luggage with only 480 liter (690 liter in the conventional GLE 500) due to position of the 8.7 kWh battery in the luggage compartment.
Despite the air suspension present on the Volvo test car (2,270 euros), the 20 inch wheels affect the comfort especially on the short bumps. With the Airmatic suspension on board, Mercedes has also a firm suspension but is more harmonious and fits perfectly with the sporty V6. And the steering with a better feedback make the Mercedes GLE 500 e more pleasant to drive.
Surprinsing, Mercedes is a little cheaper with a base price of 74,197 euros and we expect to win this comparison. But Volvo has better brakes and a better standard equipment. With R-Design package (3,700 euros) Volvo offers four-zone clima, LED headlights and panoramic roof for which you have to pay at Mercedes.
If you understand german language, you can find here the original article.