Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the newly facelifted GLE and GLE Coupe, with both receiving exterior, interior, technology and equipment updates. Set to arrive at European dealerships from July this year, customers will be able to order the SUVs with mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains – AMG options also make a return.
The visual changes are subtle, with the most apparent being the headlamps that receive a new daytime running light signature. Instead of two “hockey stick” elements, the DRLs are now represented by dotted lines on the upper and lower areas of each cluster, with the former also featuring a slim light bar.
LED High Performance headlamps are standard fitments, but there’s also the option to upgrade to the fancier Multibeam system at a cost. As for the taillights, they too get a new light signature with two horizontal bars instead of the previous ringed graphics.
Mercedes-Benz also points out a new front bumper that “provides more visual presence.” The standard variants depicted with the brighter background are equipped with the AMG Line package, and the sportier bumper now has additional trim around the corner intakes – the GLE gains chrome fins in this area too.
For the GLE Coupe, the AMG Line exterior now comes standard (optional for the GLE) and includes things like a diamond grille, updated grille louvres, AMG side sill panels, wheel arch cladding in body colour as well as an AMG rear apron with a diffuser-like insert. New wheel designs with sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches are available, as are two additional hues: sodalite blue metallic and alpine grey solid.
Full-fledged AMG variants also gain the new headlamps, with the ‘53’ options also receiving the new front apron as per the updated AMG Line. As for the ‘63’ products, they maintain their front bumper design and square-shaped quad exhaust outlets instead of the ‘53’ cars’ circular ones. All AMG versions of the GLE and GLE Coupe also continue to come with a Panamericana front grille featuring vertical slats.
Like the exterior, the insides of both SUVs receive some mild tweaks but otherwise appears familiar. New for 2023 are Mercedes-Benz’s latest steering wheel designs that incorporates touch sensors on the spoke, while the air vents now come with chrome accents instead of being edged in black to match the fancier Mercedes-Maybach GLS. A wide range of personalisation options are available, with numerous upholstery and trim combinations possible in varying finishes.
The GLE and GLE Coupe also get the second generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), with the sizes of the driver and central displays being maintained at 12.3 inches each. With the newer infotainment system, there’s improved voice recognition and support for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while the Burmester sound system with 590 watts of amplification and 13 speakers can now support Dolby Atmos for a more immersive audio experience.
AMG variants will gain model-specific displays for their MBUX system, along with caron-fibre trim and AMG Performance steering wheel to reinforce their sporty credentials. Other tech changes include the two optional USB-C ports for the rear armrest that can deliver 100 watts of power and Energizing Air Control, which monitors air quality using fine particle sensors and switches between fresh air and air-recirculation modes.
When it comes to powertrains, the standard GLE range is available with three mild hybrid options that incorporate 48-volt technology and an integrated starter generator (ISG), the latter capable of providing a boost of 20 PS (20 hp or 15 kW) and 200 Nm of torque.
The first of the mild hybrids is the GLE450 4Matic that features a 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six petrol engine, which, when augmented by the ISG, delivers a total system output of 381 PS (375 hp) or 280 kW) from 5,800 to 6,100 rpm and 500 Nm from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm.
Next up are two turbodiesels, with the GLE300d 4Matic packing a 2.0 litre unit for 269 PS (266 hp or 198 kW) at 4,200 rpm and 550 Nm from 1,800 to 2,220 rpm. Lastly, there’s the GLE450d 4Matic with a 3.0 litre engine that offers 367 PS (362 hp or 270 kW) at 4,000 rpm and 750 Nm from 1,350 to 2,800 rpm.
Moving on to the plug-in hybrids, we find the GLE400e 4Matic, which replaces the previous GLE350e 4Matic. Changes include a more powerful electric motor that is now rated at 136 PS (134 hp or 100 kW) and 440 Nm, while the 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine serves up 252 PS (248 hp or 185 kW) and 400 Nm. Together, the total system output becomes 381 PS (375 hp) or 280 kW and 600 Nm.
The second plug-in hybrid is the GLE350de 4Matic that has the same electric motor, but uses a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel making 197 PS (194 hp or 145 kW) and 440 Nm. The net result is a system output of 333 PS (329 hp or 245 kW) and 750 Nm.
A lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 31.2 kWh is still used, but with some tweaks, the range is has gone up by around 10 km, with the WLTP-rated figure for the petrol PHEV being between 98 and 107 km, while it is from 94 to 109 km for the diesel PHEV. Both PHEVs also come with an AC charger capable of handling a peak of 11 kW – up from 7.4 kW – and a DC fast charger with a max input of 60 kW continues to be optional.
All standard variants of the GLE and GLE Coupe come standard with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive system. For even more power, you’ll have to step up to the Mercedes-AMG options, of which there are two.
The entry-level option is the GLE53 4Matic+ that uses a 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six delivering 435 PS (429 hp or 320 kW) and 560 Nm. For those keeping track, peak torque has gone up by 40 Nm, with the German carmaker saying this is a byproduct of a software upgrade and a larger turbocharger.
Meanwhile, the GLE63 4Matic+ has been dropped, so we’re left with the big daddy GLE63S 4Matic+, which continues to have a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 rated at 612 PS (603 hp or 450 kW) and 850 Nm. Both AMGs now come with the standard variants’ 48-volt mild hybrid system and ISG, the latter also sandwiched between the engine and transmission to perform hybrid functions (boosting, recuperation, load point shifting, coasting and seamless start/stop). As such, the entire GLE range is now electrified for 2023.
All AMG variants come with a nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT 9G automatic transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution as well as AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with adaptive adjustable damping. AMG Active Ride Control active roll stabilisation is standard on the GLE63S but optional for the GLE53.
The performance figures of the updated GLE range are as follows:
- GLE450 4Matic – 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds; 250 km/h top speed
- GLE300d 4Matic – 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds; 230 km/h top speed (GLE), 226 km/h (GLE Coupe)
- GLE450d 4Matic – 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds; 250 km/h top speed
- GLE400e 4Matic – 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds; 210 km/h top speed
- GLE350de 4Matic – 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds; 210 km/h top speed
- GLE53 4Matic+ – 0-100 km/h in 5 seconds; 250 km/h top speed
- GLE63S 4Matic+ – 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds; 280 km/h top speed
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