OverviewThe new Mercedes-Benz GLE: The main points at a glanceShort version: The new Mercedes-Benz GLE: The SUV trendsetter completely reconceivedThe new Mercedes-Benz GLE under the microscope: E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension systemPowertrain: The six-cylinder diesel already meets Euro 6d and the RDE 2 emissions standardMBUX Mercedes-Benz User Experience: A new control experienceInterior Assist: An even greater experienceVariable interior: Comfort in up to seven seatsThe exterior design: Powerful presenceAerodynamics and aeroacoustics: Shaped by the windDriving assistance systems: Superior support in tailbacksENERGIZING COMFORT: Active comfort, now with instructions4MATIC all-wheel drive: Agile on the road, superior when off-roadOrgano panel front-end member: Plastic body panelsThe next-generation head-up display: Larger, sharper, brighterMAGIC VISION CONTROL and panoramic sliding sunroof: A brighter view: a clear view to the front – and of the starsThe new GLE in trailer operation: A real workhorseNoise, Vibration, Harshness: Untrammelled calmPassive safety: All-round protection when the worst happensInterior design: Luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressiveClimate control: Mastering the atmosphereSound systems: Let the music playHeadlamps: Very bright indeed – LED as standard, MULTIBEAM LED as an optionSuspension and brakes: Surefooted both on and off the roadBodyshell and lightweight design: The battle for the ideal weightNew operating and warning sounds: Precise feedbackProduction: Made in TuscaloosaThe heritage: Success storyTechnical data

Short version: The new Mercedes-Benz GLE: The SUV trendsetter completely reconceived

Nov 21, 2018
Stuttgart/San Antonio

Stuttgart/San Antonio. The exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE not only exudes presence and power, but also sets a new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment, with a Cd figure of 0.29. The SUV trendsetter is full of innovations. For example, the active suspension system E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on a 48-volt basis is a world first. The new driver assistance systems further increase the level of active safety. The interior is even more spacious and comfortable, with a third seat row available on request. The infotainment system boasts larger screens and MBUX Interior Assist, which can detect hand and arm movements to assist with control functions. On market launch in early 2019, the GLE will feature a completely new range of eight and six-cylinder petrol engines and four and six-cylinder diesels. At a later stage a plug-in hybrid with a particularly long range will be added to the drive portfolio. The new 4MATIC ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track. Prices of the new GLE in Germany begin at 65,807 euros (including 19% VAT).

"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," says Ola Källenius, the member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. "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."

E-ACTIVE Body Control: The 48 V suspension

Even better ride comfort and agility plus completely new functions such as rocking mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat. Together with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the curve inclination function CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL makes an extraordinary level of comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes-Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.

Powertrain: in-line six-cylinder diesel already meets Euro 6d

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE is the very first SUV anywhere to meet the coming Euro 6d standard. The OM 656 six-cylinder diesel engine comes with 243 kW (330 hp) and 700 Nm of torque in the GLE 400 d 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption: 7.5-7.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 199-184 g/km),[1] while in the GLE 350 d 4MATIC it boasts an output of 200 kW (272 hp) and 600 Nm of torque (combined fuel consumption: 7.5-6.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 198-184 g/km)1. It is particularly clean, too: Thanks to its extended exhaust aftertreatment with an additional underfloor SCR catalyst, this is the first Mercedes-Benz model to be certified to the Euro 6d standard, which will not become mandatory for new models until 01.01.2020.

Also available on market launch is the four-cylinder GLE 300 d 4MATIC with 180 kW (245 PS) and 500 Nm (combined fuel consumption: 6.4-6.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 169-161 g/km)[2]. Thanks to further enhanced emission control technologies, the powerful four-cylinder from the modern OM 654 engine family remains below all emission limits even in demanding driving situations and environmental conditions far beyond the norm.

Six-cylinder petrol engine: electrified with 48-volt technology

The first petrol model powered by a six-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology is the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption: 9.4–8 .3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 214-190 g/km)2, and is available on market launch. Its performance data: 270 kW (367 hp) and 500 Nm of torque, with a further 250 Nm of torque and 16 kW/22 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated starter/alternator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. Other engines, among them a plug-in hybrid, will follow.

MBUX: now with Interior Assist

The GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. As standard it includes two large 12.3-inch/31.2 cm screens arranged next to each other for a sublime widescreen look. The information of the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. An emotive presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.

The new, optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the centre console, the media display changes and individual elements are e. g. highlighted. The camera in the overhead control panel is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example.

In addition there are functions that can be controlled by simple hand gestures: the reading lamp can be switched on and off by extending a hand towards the rear-view mirror, for example. The driver and front passenger can both programme a personal, favourite function.

General MBUX operation has been improved in numerous respects. For example, the settings menus are in a new design and the initial setup assistant has been improved. There are also around 40 new MBUX functions in the GLE, for example support for off-road specific driving modes (Rocking mode and individual wheel actuation) and extended off-road displays in the instrument cluster and head-up display (linear and lateral inclination, torque on demand, level).

A unique feature of MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX can anticipate the driver's wishes – such as a regularly used navigation destination.

Interior: more space in the rear and third seat row on request

A size larger: the new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2995 millimetres, plus 80 mm). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 69 millimetres to 1045 millimetres. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 backrest division has increased by 35 millimetres to 1027 millimetres. And because the A-pillar is more upright than before, spaciousness and entry comfort in the first row has been further improved.

On request, a special second seat row with six fully electric adjustment options is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore-and-aft by up to 100 millimetres, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height. The backrest can also be completely folded down electrically, using a switch array in the luggage compartment. As in the previous model, three child seats can be installed next to one another in the second seat row. The outer seats have i‑Size/ISOFIX fastening points.

The luggage capacity is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2055 litres when the second seat row is folded down. A 72 mm increase in through-loading width allows bulky items to be stowed more easily.

Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third seat row, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.

Exterior design: powerful presence

"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."

Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLE. The vehicle's proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels already leave no doubt that it feels at home and cuts a good figure on any terrain. The GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.

The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two powerdomes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night. The ULTRA RANGE high beam of the optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps projects a particularly long-range beam of light.

Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE conveys self-assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 18 to 22 inches are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. The chrome surrounds of the windows are however reminiscent of a premium saloon model.

The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated underguard.

Aerodynamics: detailed fine-tuning for the best Cd figure in this class

The new GLE has a Cd figure from 0.29, the best in its segment. This is also a significant improvement over the preceding model (Cd 0.32). The good aerodynamic properties make a key contribution to low fuel consumption under everyday conditions. A host of details was optimised with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen. These measures include the cooling air control system behind the radiator grille for need-related metering of the airflow (AIRPANEL)

Driving assistance systems: superior support in tailbacks

The new GLE is the debut of the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. The level of active safety has not only been improved further compared to the preceding model - some Intelligent Drive functions are also without parallel beyond the SUV segment.

When Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation is active, the new GLE is able to respond to LiveTraffic info - ideally before the driver or the radar and camera sensors detect the hold-up or hazard. When a traffic jam is detected, the speed is reduced by way of precaution to approx. 100 km/h, unless the driver specifically decides otherwise.

New feature of Driving Assistance package Plus: When actually driving in a tailback, Active Stop-and-Go Assist can markedly reduce the driver's workload: where there are lane markings, the system is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining the safety distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 60 km/h. The vehicle can move off again automatically up to one minute after coming to a stop. A new feature of Active Steering Assist is that it can support the driver with the emergency corridor function on multi-lane roads. On motorways, at speeds under 60 km/h the vehicle refers to detected lane markings and applies swarm intelligence to take its bearings from vehicles in the surrounding area. If no such vehicles or markings are detected, the GLE will takes its bearings from the vehicle ahead, as previously.

Once the tailback dissolves, the GLE accelerates back up to the set speed for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation. Where traffic signs specify a different speed, Active Speed Limit Assist automatically selects the signposted speed limit.

Always ready to help: numerous other assistants are available

It is not only by giving driver support in tailbacks that the new GLE further expands Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive and takes another major step towards autonomous driving. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver in keeping a safe distance and steering. With Active Speed Limit Assist, identified speed restrictions are adopted automatically in anticipatory mode. Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist and Evasive Steering Assist are also available.

A totally new feature of Active Brake Assist in the Driving Assistance package is the turning-off function, which comes into play when the driver intends to turn off across the oncoming lane: in the event of a risk of collision with oncoming traffic, the GLE can carry out autonomous braking. In addition the new GLE is equipped with Active Blind Spot Assist which includes an exit warning. This function can lower the risk of a collision with other road users, e.g. passing cyclists.

ENERGIZING comfort control: now with a guide

ENERGIZING seat kinetics is another new feature. This supports beneficial changes in seated posture by means of minute movements of the seat cushion and backrest when on a journey.

ENERGIZING comfort control networks various comfort systems in the vehicle, and uses musical and lighting moods plus a number of massage modes for a wide range of feel-good programmes.

The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function based on an intelligent algorithm recommends one of the programmes depending on the situation and individual. If a Garmin® wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimise the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.

4MATIC all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off-road

In all variants of the new GLE, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. With the four cylinder engines, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is realised with a transfer case which transmits the drive torque to the axles in a fixed ratio of 50:50 percent.

A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch is used for the other engines, e.g. in the GLE 450 or GLE 400 d. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles. Also new, and available as an option, is a transfer case specially configured for superior off-road driving characteristics. In addition to the controlled multi-disc clutch with torque-on-demand function, this has a reduction gear set and an automatic locking effect from 0–100 percent for off-road driving.

The two fully networked transfer cases with torque on demand allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility also when driving on the road. This is achieved in particular during cornering, by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.

Lightweight construction: the battle for the ideal weight

With its high rigidity, the bodyshell of the new GLE makes a major contribution to meeting the demanding standards for vehicle dynamics, quiet running, perceived quality and crash safety. From PRE-SAFE® to the seat belts, from the bodyshell structure to the airbags: the new GLE provides comprehensive protection that commences well before an accident and continues to act afterwards.

Both statically and dynamically, the body structure of the new GLE is around 20 percent more torsionally rigid than that of the previous model. To this end it combines high-strength sheet steel with lightweight materials for certain assemblies. For example, the bonnet and front wings of the new GLE are of sheet aluminium, the shock absorber consoles at the front and rear axles are of diecast aluminium and the side members at the rear are partially reinforced with diecast aluminium. The front-end member consists of innovative organo panels (see separate section).

Head up: the next-generation head-up display

A next-generation head‑up display is available which sets new standards with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and an extended projection distance. A system of lenses and mirrors projects a full-colour image measuring around 45 x 15 centimetres into the windscreen. To the driver it appears to float above the bonnet at a distance of around 3 metres. Now more than twice the size, the virtual image is 20 percent brighter for better legibility and has space for further information.

A clear view ahead: the ultimate windscreen wiper system

The ultimate in windscreen wiper/washer systems is MAGIC VISION CONTROL, which has undergone further development for the new GLE and saves up to 50 percent of washer fluid compared to a conventional system – while ensuring a perfect view to the front. The intelligent system precisely meters the washer fluid according to the prevailing conditions, e.g. the ambient temperature and road speed. The warm washer fluid is distributed onto the windscreen along the entire length of the wiper blades by sophisticated channels and hoses, always on the side towards which the blade is currently moving. Accordingly the washing procedure can be fully automated according to the current conditions. Corresponding washer programmes are stored in the control unit of the wiper motor.

Trailer Manoeuvring Assist: support during slow manoeuvres

Trailer Manoeuvring Assist is new at Mercedes-Benz and optionally available for the GLE in Europe. It particularly makes reversing manoeuvres easier for inexperienced trailer users. Trailer Manoeuvring Assist controls the steering angle of the towing vehicle automatically. An articulation angle sensor in the ball-neck of the trailer coupling supplies the necessary information.

The gentle sound a Mercedes-Benz door closing

The new GLE is a haven of peace and calm. It currently sets the standard in its class for the absence of noises and vibrations. Both axles are connected to the body by subframes, and therefore doubly isolated. The insulation of transmitted sound from the powertrain to the passenger cell has also been optimised. The new GLE is so quiet that previously insignificant noises take on a new importance. This is because operating and functional noises are suddenly more obvious, and they have had to be reduced or modified to produce a harmonious and homogeneous sound impression. The door locks and doors of Mercedes-Benz models have always been designed to produce a typical sound when closing.

Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive

The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support.

The prominent, raised centre console creates a robust contrast with the flee-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre console. Flowing leather surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting roller blinds. All the ergonomically refined controls and displays feature a new design. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block.

The inventor of the premium SUV: it all began with the M-Class

In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since autumn 2015 the model family has borne the name GLE, emphasising its positioning as an SUV in the E‑Class model family. The GLE is the best-selling SUV in the history of Mercedes-Benz. At present Mercedes-Benz is highly successfully represented with seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS, G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be in the dealerships in early 2019 (USA and Europe), and in spring 2019 in China. The GLE is produced in Tuscaloosa (Alabama/USA).

[1] Figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method and correlated into NEDC figures. EC type approval and certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

[2] The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the "NEDC CO2 figures" according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. Further information on the vehicles on offer, including the WLTP values, can be found for each country at www.mercedes-benz.com