This is the new Mercedes-Benz GLE and I got the opportunity to have a quick spin in it. In 1997 Mercedes-Benz launched the ML-Class which was its first premium SUV. The GLE model has been around since 2015 but this is the latest version to bear the name.
I drove the GLE 300 D AMG Line (pictured above). I am a sucker for metallic blue cars but in the sunshine this car looked simply amazing! This model has been treated with the more sportier AMG styling, such as the single bar grille (which is synonymous with the new Mercedes-AMG’s), its big 20 inch 5 spoke alloy wheels, bumpers with air vents and the contrasting silver and chrome touches around the vehicle gives it a sporty yet sophisticated look.
So, it has grown in size compared to the previous model and it now has a longer wheelbase too. All of this is good news because it has more room inside for the occupants and their luggage.
When I opened the door, I could tell straight away that the leather and the interior trim is made from high quality materials without even touching them. The look, fit and finish of the interior is excellent. Not only does the interior look good…. its so tactile to touch.
My eyes then immediately focused on the dashboard’s large black screen which has the high-resolution instrument cluster and infotainment display.
It looks good on or off.
You can interact with the Mercedes-Benz new MBUX infotainment system in a number of different ways. It is like having your very own “car butler” with you on every trip. You can speak to it by saying “hi Mercedes!” You can touch the screen, there are touch-pads on the steering wheel or you can operate it using the touchpad in the centre console.
(Watch me in the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class interacting with the system in my short YouTube video below).
Sitting inside, I found the cabin to be very inviting with a cool calm airiness feel to it. There is a choice of 64 different ambient lighting colours.
My perfect driving position was easily found thanks to its electric seat and steering adjustments.
Something I found reassuring was looking out of the windscreen and seeing two bonnet bulges or creased lines that run the length of the bonnet. It is a nice styling touch but it means I could use it as “a point of reference” for the front of the car when driving. My overall visibility around this car was brilliant.
This car was fitted with the £1,995 optional extra Premium package which adds Multibeam LEDs with adaptive high beam assist, memory seats, wireless charging, electrically folding mirrors and a 360 camera.
So I pressed the start stop button and set off. What was immediately apparent to me was how quiet inside the cabin is. No squeaks or dash rattles just the slight distance sound of the diesel engine. I must add that in NO WAY was the sound from the engine intrusive into the cabin or my ears. The steering is nicely weighted and precise. You can steer this car with minimum effort. I found that I immediately became relaxed whilst driving and it just seems to glide along the roads and around the bends.
The 9 speed gearbox changes gear really smoothly and seamlessly. I did use the paddles behind the steering wheel to change manually up and down the gearbox. The shifts were quick but I liked having it in D mode (Drive mode) and letting the automatic gearbox change gear for me.
It was a dry sunny day and its handling was very composed (even when I drove it on some quite challenging roads). It has a good level of grip from its tyres, and great traction (thanks to its all wheel drive system). The brakes were sharp and are well up to the job of stopping this car at speed.
I know that I only had it for a few hours….but I could tell straight away that, thanks to its relaxing cabin and smooth driving nature, this car would be ever so easy to live with!
I could easy forget that I was driving an SUV and that’s what makes this car so appealing.
I will sum it up by saying that Mercedes-Benz have moved the luxury SUV game on again in this class.
We Blog Any Car stats:
- 2.0 litre 4 cylinder diesel engine
- 245 bhp
- 7.2 seconds 0 to 62 mph
- 140 mph top speed
- 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission
- 4MATIC all-wheel drive
- 20 inch 5 spoke alloy wheels
- 162 g/km CO2 combined
- 37.2 mpg combined
- £54,140 GLE prices start from
A special thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Bristol for the use of their GLE.
I really didn’t want to give it back!