18 years after the M-Class SUV first hit the scene, Mercedes-Benz is now saying goodbye with the introduction of the 2016 GLE.
18 years after the M-Class SUV first hit the scene, Mercedes-Benz is now saying goodbye with the introduction of the 2016 GLE. Mercedes is mixing up the naming conventions of its SUV lineup, so now even though it doesn’t look that different than the outgoing M-Class, we now have to refer to the midsize SUV as the GLE.
The front of the GLE gets the biggest departure from the M-Class with Mercedes’ latest design language. Compared to the old M-Class the GLE’s face is smoother and the new headlamps with the daytime driving lights form the brand’s hallmark eyebrows and the current lamp layout. The rear of the GLE gets smaller changes with new LED tail lamps and a redesigned bumper. The AMG version gets a more aggressive front bumper, 20-inch alloy wheels and a four-tailpipe exhaust system.
The changes to the interior are even smaller with the changes being a new steering wheel, an updated infotainment system and new color options.
Under the hood there are several engine options, including a new plug-in hybrid system. The base GLE350 is powered by a 302-hp 3.5L V6, while the GLE400 gets a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 with 329 horsepower. The plug-in hybrid GLE550e is powered by a 3.0L V6 and an electric motor that together generate a total 436-hp. The GLE550e can travel up to 18.6 miles in electric mode. Lastly the GLE300d is powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine that generates 201-hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque. All of the engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
If you want more power, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 gets a powerful 550-hp 5.5L engine, with the GLE63 S upping that power to 577-hp and 561 lb-ft. of torque.