Mercedes-Benz GLE gets more space, seven-seats and hybrid tech for 2019

Published 12 September 2018

Mercedes-Benz has previewed the 2019 GLE, with new engines, active air suspension and the option of seven seats. The family SUV will arrive in April, with prices starting in the region of £50.000.

Headlines changes for the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE include the introduction of S-Class inspired air suspension, which scans the road ahead and adjusts the damping to mitigate the impact of potholes and rough surfaces. The system will also be available with a curve function that cuts bodyroll by tilting the car into the bend to reduce centrifugal forces.

The GLE uses a longer (80mm+) wheelbase that should provide significantly more head and legroom in the front and back. A third row of seats makes it to the options list, which means the GLE SUV becomes a fully-fledged seven-seater for the first time.

Luggage capacity is now 825 litres (up by 133 litres) behind the rear seats. A 72mm increase in the boot width should make the GLE much more practical than the outgoing model, with the air suspension featuring a useful load function, which drops the ride height by 40mm to make it easier to load/unload heavy items.

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The GLE will be launched with a single six-cylinder petrol engine, in the form of the GLE 450 4Matic. The 367PS petrol will return an advertised 34mpg and be linked to a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which will boost power by 22PS for overtaking. CO2 emission are still awaiting WLTP authentication, but expect the petrol unit to emit between 190-220g/km.

A four-cylinder diesel will be added in mid-2019, along a range or eight-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid diesel will be launched in 2020 and all will use a nine-speed automatic transmission and feature four-wheel drive as standard.

The adaptive cruise control now uses live traffic updates to warn the driver of lengthy tailbacks, which should diminish the risk of rounding a bend and arriving at the sudden end of a queue of vehicles. The GLE will also be able to control its throttle and braking in stop and start traffic and adjust the vehicle’s speed to match signposted limits when congestion clears. 

Like the A-Class, MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience – will provide more hands free options, with the voice control system automatically activating when the driver says “hey Mercedes”. A 12.3-inch colour screen dominates the dashboard, while a customisable digital instrument binnacle and colour head-up display will be offered as an option.

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