Mercedes-Benz GLE revealed in all its glory – full details and pictures

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Mercedes-Benz GLE has been revealed ahead of its planned New York debut, next week. Formerly known as the ML-Class, Mercedes’ big SUV gets a new name and a new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, on top of the customary styling upgrade.

Design-wise, the new GLE features familiar styling cues inherited from the recently launched GLE Coupé. These include more aggressive front-end styling with brand-new bumper, engine bonnet, grille and LED lights at both ends. Roof rails are now standard while the rear bumper sees dual integrated exhausts.

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Mercedes has also given its GLE SUV a thorough make-up to its interior. Biggest news are the 7.0-inch free-standing infotainment screen with touch-sensitive controller, mounted on the centre console, the same system already in use across the range. The steering wheel and center console design are also new. Mercedes will offer a wider choice of interior colours and trim materials, which include wood and carbon fibre and new colors for the leather upholstery: ginger beige, espresso brown, saddle brown or porcelain. AMG Line brings Artico leather upholstery, sports multifunction steering and beefier front and rear bumpers plus 20-inch alloys.

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The big premiere is the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid SUV in Mercedes-Benz history, the GLE500e 4Matic, which adopts the same system used by the S500 Plug-in-Hybrid. This translates to a 328hp (333PS) 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine matted to a 114hp (116PS) electric motor for a combined output of 436hp (442PS) and 650Nm.

Power is sent to all-four wheels through a 7G-tronic with the driver having the ability to change between four different modes named “Hybrid”, “E-Mode”, “E-Save” and “Charge”. In pure-electric “E-Mode”, the GLE 500e has a driving range of around 30km (19 miles) at speeds of up to 130km/h (81mph) and a mixed consumption of 3 l/100km (78.4 mpg UK or 94.2 mpg US). Charging from a wall box takes around two hours.

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Also available in the GLE are a 201hp (204PS) 2.0L four-cylinder diesel (GLE 250 d), a 255hp (258PS) V6 diesel (GLE 300 d) and two gasoline units, the 328hp (333PS) twin-turbo V6 in the GLE 400 and a twin-turbo gasoline V8 producing 429hp (435PS) in the GLE 500. The most potent GLE models remain the GLE 63 AMG, powered by the 549hp (557 PS) 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 and the GLE 63 AMG S with the 577hp (585PS) flavour of the same engine.

Across the range, fuel consumption and C02 emissions have improved by 17%, a feat certainly helped by the fact that all diesel GLE models come with Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.