It’s the grand-daddy of Mercedes-Benz SUV range - and now the GLE has been completely overhauled for 2019.
The GLE, originally known as the Mercedes ML, is now in its fourth generation, having been around since 1997.
It’s now the biggest and most technologically advanced Merc SUV yet, getting a total revamp inside and out to help it compete with serious rivals like the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.
Initially launched with a choice of two engines in the UK last month, this week Mercedes announced an additional two new, more powerful engines.
The addition of these two new powerplants means the on-the-road price range is now from £55,685 to £64,230.
The new GLE features a seven-seat configuration for the first time, opening it up as a premium SUV of choice to larger families.
It also comes with significant new technology including the latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system, two 12.3-inch display screens, Nappa Leather, ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation and Airmatic adaptive suspension.
The base model is the GLE 300d 4Matic which features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, producing 245 hp and 500 Nm of torque.
It will make the sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 140 mph. It can officially achieve 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 162 g/km of CO2 (depending on wheel size).
The GLE 450 4Matic is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with EQ Boost, which has an output of 367 hp and 500 Nm of torque.
EQ Boost uses a 48-volt onboard network with an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – the system adds 22 hp to the car’s overall output.
This model sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. It delivers up to 33.6 mpg on the combined cycle.
The GLE 350 d 4Matic and GLE 400 d 4Matic are powered by a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 272 hp and 600 Nm of torque in the GLE 350 d and 330 hp and 700 Nm in the GLE 400 d. They are both capable of delivering up to 40.4 mpg on the combined cycle.
The GLE 350 d 4Matic can travel from 0 to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 143 mph, while the GLE 400 d 4Matic can sprint to 62 mph from standstill in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph.
An Off-Road package can be added to higher spec models for £1,695 and comes with Off-Road engineering which includes additional off-road driving modes and downhill speed regulation; and underbody protection which provides an underguard for the engine, together with reinforced underfloor panelling the full length of the vehicle.
The new GLE is on sale now, with deliveries beginning in the spring.
The GLE is now completely unrecognisable from the original ML, which rather underwhelmed back in 1997 against the X5, although it did significantly improve with every upgrade to get where it is today - a serious premium SUV.