Mercedes-Benz India has unveiled today the facelifted M-Class which from now on will be sold as the GLE-Class. In our country, it will be offered as a GLE 250 d 4MATIC model with an inline-four 2143cc diesel engine producing 204 bhp at 3,800 rpm and 500 Nm between the 1,600 to 1,800 rpm range. Tipping the scales at 2,150 kg, this version will be able to achieve a top speed of 212 kmph which is not too bad given the car’s hefty weight.
Those who want more power will be able to opt for the beefier GLE 350 d 4MATIC which has a 2987cc V6 diesel with 190 bhp at 3,400 rpm and 620 Nm at 1,600 rpm. This one is a tad heavier at 2,175 kg, but even so it manages to have a higher top speed of 225 kmph thanks to the stronger turbodiesel engine.
Mercedes-Benz India will sell the GLE with a nine-speed automatic transmission known as 9G-TRONIC which comes with a built-in start/stop system and is lighter compared to the old seven-speed ‘box. At the same time, the new transmission improves drive comfort thanks to smoother gearing while the short shift response times will enhance agility and sportiness. With two extra gears, the transmission enables lower fuel consumption thanks to a lower operating engine speed while the Sport (S), Economy (E) and Manual (M) modes should suit all tastes and preferences.
As standard, the Mercedes-Benz GLE comes with a 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system and it also has a Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) system to help you whenever driving down (at speeds between 2 to 18 kmph). While the 250 d 4 MATIC gets a steel spring suspension setup, the more expensive 350 d 4MATIC is equipped as standard with the AIRMATIC package consisting of an air suspension and an Adaptive Damping System (ADS) to lower vibrations and boost comfort while maintaining driving dynamics.
In terms of design, it’s certainly a nice evolution over the outgoing M-Class and brings the SUV up to date with Mercedes-Benz’s latest design language. It gets LED headlight and taillights clusters, aero-optimized lightweight alloys along with aluminum roof rails while the chrome inserts are a nice touch and blend nicely with the aluminum-like running boards. Also noticeable is the two-pipe exhaust system with a chrome-plated look also seen on the beltline trim strip and side skirt.
Stepping inside the cabin, the Mercedes-Benz GLE has received a revised fit and finish which among others includes ARTICO / Leatherette upholstery, a sliding sunroof, three-spoke multi-functions steering wheel in Nappa leather, along with a Keyless GO system, ambient lighting and a centrally-mounted 7-inch COMAND infotainment system which has obviously been updated to the latest generation.
As far as pricing is concerned, the aforementioned 250 d 4 MATIC begins at INR 58.9 lakhs whereas the beefier 350 d 4MATIC kicks off at INR 69.9 lakhs. The GLE is locally produced at Mercedes-Benz's factory in Chakan, Pune.