Conquer Bumpy Roads With the All-New Mercedes-Benz GLE

The latest iteration of the German carmaker’s mid-size luxury SUV is its best one yet.
IMAGE Mercedes-Benz

These days, almost every carmaker in the world has entered the lucrative sports utility vehicle (SUV) space. It took a while for them to catch up, but even luxury automobile brands are making up for lost time and are getting in on the action, offering variations of SUVs by tweaking their brand DNA and combining cutting-edge technology with the age-old promise to make land journey ever easier and more comfortable. 

There is some debate on which high-end carmaker actually pioneered the first luxury SUV, but ask Mercedes-Benz, and officials will tell you that the brand invented the premium SUV segment in 1997 when it launched the M-Class. Over two decades later, the German carmaker’s SUV lineup consists of everything from the sporty crossover GLA and compact GLC to the bigger and more refined GLE and GLS, and, of course, the imposing G-Class. Like most other brands, the strategy is to capture almost all of the smaller segments within the larger catch-all category of “premium SUV.”

Photo by Mercedes-Benz .

Features of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE

In early August, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the fourth and latest iteration of the GLE, which, it says, revolutionized the premium SUV segment when it was introduced in 1997. (Yes, what is now known as the GLE was once called the M-Class. It's a tad confusing, we know). The seven-seater premium SUV now comes with a set of intuitive safety systems, even more advanced tech, and a spacious and comfortable interior that makes the drive on and off-road as pleasant and as worry-free as possible.

And it’s a loooker, too. New features include a redesigned body capped by 21-inch light alloy wheels, chrome accents around the windows, new Multibeam LED with Ultra Range beams that ensure driving visibility on every road terrain, creatively designed rear lights divided into two sections, and a chrome-plated underguard in the rear.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz .

Under the hood is an in-line 4 Turbo Diesel engine with 9G TRONIC 9-speed Automatic transmission, with output and torque of 245 hp and 500Nm, respectively. The new GLE also offers 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive just like its predecessor, helping turn even the most punishing road conditions into an easy drive. An exciting new feature that Mercedes-Benz is making available in the Philippines for the first time in the new GLE is EQ Boost, which helps turn energy recovered from braking and systematic engine shut-offs into a boost of energy when needed or when eliminating turbo lag.

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The German carmaker clearly puts a premium on the overall riding experience of driver and passenger alike and this is best exemplified with its own Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). First becoming available in the A-Class, the updated MBUX is now in the new GLE. There are two 12.3-inch touchscreens arranged side-by-side for a wide-screen look that combines the functionalities of the touchscreen, a central console touchpad, and touch-control buttons on the steering wheel for less driver distraction and stress.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz.

Hey Mercedes!

If you can’t live without Siri, Alexa or Google, you’ll love the MBUX system’s virtual assistant, which can be activated by pressing a button in the steering wheel or by simply saying, “Hey Mercedes” from anywhere in the cabin. The virtual assistant can perform basic voice commands for infotainment functions such as destination input, phone call, music selection, climate control, and ambient lighting. The infotainment system also offers seamless Apple Carplay smartphone integration for a more hands-free driving experience.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz.

Safety features in the new GLE include Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist, an advanced 360-degree camera to provide support to the driver, as well as the latest generation of Intelligent Driving Systems, which are basically a host of risk-mitigating safety features.

"The GLE exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "With its design idiom, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, thus representing modern luxury. The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design and the digital high-tech of our MBUX system.”

Photo by Mercedes-Benz .

"In 1997, Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since then, more than two million customers have decided in favour of the off-roader. With a new control concept, innovative driving assistants, a new engine range and significantly more space, the new GLE is set to continue this success story," says Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The new GLE comes in the 300d 4MATIC variant and is now available at all Mercedes-Benz dealerships nationwide at a price point of P5.690 million.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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