When it comes to SUV, there aren’t many carmakers who have embraced them quite much as Mercedes-Benz. It all started 20 years ago when the German manufacturer introduced one of the first luxury SUVs, the M-Class back at a time where luxury was reserved only to sedans.
Now known as the GLE-Class, the model has taken the automotive industry by storm with more than 2 million people referring to it as their preferred luxury SUV. Three generations in, what’s next for this best- selling Mercedes-Benz SUV? With a new decade comes new disruption, this year, the GLE is fully redesigned and refined with greater features and capabilities.
This fourth-generation has grown bigger in every dimension and looks sportier than ever before. Featuring a new design anchored by a rock-solid stance, the model stands out from the crowd from every angle without losing the Mercedes-Benz SUV DNA. Built upon the same visual presence from the AMG line, the car boasts a more dynamic appearance with pronounced shoulders, prominent twin-blade radiator grille and the A-Wing that accentuate the model’s broad, muscular silhouette.
Inside, it doesn’t fall short in terms of comfort, boasting a roomier space thanks to a 3-inch increase in the wheelbase. Depending on your driving need, for the first time ever, this machine can now be optionally fitted with a third row of seats, extending seating capacity to seven with third-row access at the touch of a button.
Meanwhile, the sophisticated cabin design is a marvel on its own, with a selection of hand-stitched fine leathers, wood finishes and detailed metal inlays for you to choose from. You can drive with total ease with the revitalising seat kinetics programme, heated and cooled seats, a heated centre console and heated door, and heated and cooled cupholders, all underneath a grandiose panoramic sunroof.
A modern design extends through the futuristic cockpit with two side-by-side, high-resolution 12.3-inch widescreens that displays an extensive range of customisable functions and information called Mercedes Benz User Experience infotainment system or MBUX for short. The new MBUX system features an advanced voice control function that allows you to command everyday functions without taking your hands off the steering wheel.
Another cutting-edge feature is access to the Mercedes Me connect service, which enables you to perform many functions and checks directly from a linked app on your smartphone. And of course, there are all the in-built safety features you can expect from a Mercedes Benz – including a cross-traffic assist function that alerts you to passing traffic you may not able to see and a 360-degree reversing camera. Plus, there’s advanced stability and traction control systems, speed sign recognition, blind spot assist and Distronic adaptive cruise control.
Life’s an adventure, so choose a vehicle that can tackle all condition you encounter. From the bush to the beach to the urban jungle, the all-new GLE 450 is ready for your active life. It’s lighter, it’s safer, it’s quieter, it’s smoother (thanks to the new 9-speed automatic) and its pretty quick too, when needed.
With 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque coming from a 3.0-litre turbocharged six, it accelerates from zero-to-100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds. That’s fast for a vehicle of this size, but it’s a safe bet that there will be more powerful AMG variations coming within another year or so.
But one of the (many) things we are excited to discover is the E-Active Body Control, an electronic suspension that can adjust to a super wide range of road conditions. Better yet, the air suspensions will automatically lower the car at high speeds or elevate it up when you want to go off-road. To add to this cool tech, this model also has the curve-tilting function called Curve which lets it really lean into those wickedly winding roads.
As expected, this refreshed number fulfils our expectations for Mercedes-Benz luxury and performance. The SUV that invented the class 20 years ago is still leading the way in every arena of driving and continues to blaze the trail. For people with a discerning eye for design and superior standards of quality, the 2020 GLE 450 is the perfect counterpart.