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Top 5 reasons why should you buy new Merc GLE this festive season

23-10-2015

© Motor trends India

Top 5 reasons why should you buy new Merc GLE this festive season

The whole world has gone SUV mad which means we just cannot have enough of them and car makers are only happy to oblige. In India too it is no different which means luxury SUVs see the most demand and for Mercedes-Benz also, SUV sales saw an increase which in turn had heavily influenced the record sales that the luxury car giant had in the Jan-September 2015 period. 

Thus the new GLE SUV that you see here is a very important launch as the previous M-Class was very popular. Along with the GLA, it forms the backbone of the Mercedes SUV sales so Mercedes has given the M-Class a facelift and a new name. Yes, the SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio will have a name starting with a G which is a fitting tribute to the G-Class. So while the GLA is the compact entry-level SUV model, the GLE sits in the middle just like the E-Class hence the E in the name.

Now that we have got that out of the way let us take a detailed look at the new GLE.

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1) Looks

Mercedes has simply added more muscle to the design and it sure does have tonnes of presence. The face is more sculpted with an updated front bumper plus a bigger and a more pronounced grille. The other bit you notice is the new full LED headlamps with the DRLS which forms the eyebrows like the other new Mercs. Move to the side and it stays the same which means it is instantly recognizable and to be honest there was no need to change it anyway. At the rear though you have new LED tail-lamps which freshen up the styling. Overall it is a classy design and the new styling tweaks is in sync with the new design language which has blended well in a SUV shape.

© Motor Trends India

2) Interiors

You have to say the interiors of the recent cars from Mercedes have raised the bar and the same is true for the GLE with its slightly conservative but classy interior which will no doubt impress the luxury SUV buyer. It is not sporty or edgy but like all Mercs it gives new take at what luxury is with its old school charm meets modern tech philosophy. the 3-spoke steering is typical Merc and the GLE now has updated instruments, a larger 8 inch media display, redesigned air vents plus the COMAND controller comes with a touchpad.

We also loved the new colours, the brown ash wood trim and ambient lighting which makes the cain quite special. Of course the GLE gets the suitable updates in the tech department with the earlier mentioned larger media display at the centre getting new features like COMAND Online with Mercedes-Benz Apps. Navigation, telephone, audio, video, internet, Wi-Fi hotspot. Other noteable mentions include the superb 360 degree camera (very useful), 3-zone climate control, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, electric sunroof, voice control, DVD changer, 6 airbags and a plethora of safety systems.

The GLE is a 5-seater and more importantly, chauffeur driven owners will like the space and comfort on offer at the rear. The sam eis true for the front seats as well which are superb in comfort and the driving position is also spot on. 

© Motor Trends India

3) Performance

There are two diesel engine options namely the GLE 350d and GLE 250d. The 250d gets 200 bhp and 500Nm of torque but what we have here is the full fat V6 350d with 254 bhp and 620Nm of torque. However more than the engines, the new 9-speed automatic gerabox is the main talking point which Mercedes say would make the driving experience even smoother.

But does it? First impressions from behind the wheel indicate that this new gearbox is much better than the previous one with being a lot more responsive. This gearbox then is in tune with the relaxed and smooth nature of the engine. Power delivery is not sharp and it does not goad you to rev it as instead it nonchalantly piles up speed and the power and torque comes in a linear fashion which many would like. 

© Motor trends india

4) Comfort

Refinement is terrific and this gearbox makes the GLE an even better cruiser but if you are in the mood, the gear changes feel even quicker with the paddle shifts especially the downshifts. Yes, we just cannot stress how much of an improvement this new gearbox really is.

The GLE has 5 driving modes- Comfort, Sport, Slippery, Individual and Off-road and as you might guess Sport is where the GLE is at its most aggressive and yes the steering is heavier but the ride is also a touch too firm so for most of the time, we had left it in Comfort which has the right amount of softness yet it is not sloppy nor is it lazy to respond. Of course in the Individual mode you can pick and choose to set up the GLE just the way you want it. Another party trick is the AIRMATIC air suspension which depending on the mode you are in, can raise the ground clearance to 232 mm or lower the suspension by 15mm.

With the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system and all that tech mentioned earlier, the GLE will handle everything you throw at it so while its owners would never venture off-road, it is more than capable enough here. Owners would be more interested in the way it rides though and in comfort mode it rides the best among all the big SUVs and while in the corners there is a bit of roll, body control overall is good for a vehicle of this size.

© Motor trends India

5) Value

The GLE 250d is priced at Rs 58.9 lakh while the 350d that you see here is priced at Rs 69.9 lakh. That is a big price difference but you also get a lot of equipment and there is no denying that the V6 diesel makes the GLE even more special. So while chauffeur driven owners will find the GLE 250d a good deal, ultimately for the best GLE experience, the 350d is the one to have.

The new GLE does everything well and the added features plus the gearbox ups the desirbality quotient massively. The earlier M-Class was a strong seller and the GLE will only increase its already strong foothold in the luxury SUV segment.

Words- Somnath Chatterjee

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