Mercedes-Benz brings a midcycle facelift to the GLE CUV and GLE CUV Coupe.
Set for North American deliveries in July, the midsize luxury CUVs receive mild styling changes to their exterior and interior, together with reworked drivetrains, all of which now feature some degree of electrification.
Other modifications made to the GLE include the adoption of an updated Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) operating system with new over-the-air software update functionality and new driver-assistance systems.
Exterior changes made to the GLE SUV include a new-look front, revised LED headlamp graphics, new wheel designs and altered taillamp graphics.
Befitting its more sporting role in the lineup, the GLE Coupe receives updated AMG-line styling. It also features subtle changes to the front bumper, a diamond-themed grille insert, color-keyed wheelhouse cladding and uniquely styled sills as well as similarly altered headlamps and taillamp graphics.
Inside (pictured, above) is a new multifunction steering wheel from the S-Class with touch-sensitive buttons in the horizontal spokes, together with new color and trim combinations.
The MBUX operating system has been updated with new software, bringing the GLE more contemporary functions, including new camera views and information graphics for models with the optional Off-Road package.
Mercedes-Benz adds new functionality to the optional Trailer Assistant, which automatically controls the steering angle and is now able to provide reverse maneuvering at up to 90 degrees via controls in the 12.3-in. (31-cm) central touch display.
Also new to the GLE is Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Home function. It networks the vehicle with a selected address using WLAN and sensors, allowing occupants to check if anyone is at their home, via a “Hey Mercedes, is anyone at home?” spoken instruction. It also allows lights, blinds, heaters and certain appliances to be operated from the SUV.
The facelifted GLE will be produced with a range of mild-hybrid gasoline and diesel engines, as well as gasoline-electric and diesel-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrains and an AMG powerplant in the successor to the range-topping GLE63.
For European markets, the automaker offers a range of turbocharged diesels including a 2.0L 4-cyl. and a 3.0L inline 6-cyl., both supported by 48V starter/generator mild-hybrid power.
Six North American versions will be offered, all with gasoline engines, including two AMG-tuned models.
The GLE350 comes with a 2.0L 4-cyl. producing 255 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque. The GLE450 retains the same turbocharged 3.0L inline gasoline engine as before with a bump in output to 375 hp, while retaining the same 369 lb.-ft. (500 Nm) of torque. Both the GLE350 and GLE450 are supported by a 48V mild-hybrid system, with an integrated starter/generator delivering 20 hp and 148 lb.-ft. (201 Nm) of torque.
The GLE400e 4Matic plug-in hybrid receives Mercedes-Benz’s latest turbocharged 2.0L gasoline 4-cyl. The M254-designated unit succeeds the 11-year-old M272 engine used by the old GLE350e 4Matic it replaces, delivering 248 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. It is supported by a gearbox-mounted 48V electric motor developing 134 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (441 Nm) for an overall system output of 381 hp and 479 lb.-ft. (649 Nm).
The PHEV is available with a standard 11-kW AC onboard charger and an optional 60-kW DC charger, energizing a 25.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, providing the GLE400e 4Matic with an estimated electric range of between 57.2 and 65.3 miles (92 and 105 km).
A fourth U.S. model, the GLE580, is equipped with a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 producing 510 hp and 538 lb.-ft. (729 Nm) of torque, supported by the mild hybrid setup generating 21 hp and 184 lb.-ft. (249 Nm) of torque.
The performance models include the AMG GLE53 and AMG GLE63, with both powerplants augmented by 48V electrification. The GLE53 is powered by a 3.0L inline 6-cyl. turbo producing 429 hp and 413 lb.-ft. (560 Nm) of torque (up from 384 lb.-ft. [521 Nm]) in combination with the mild-hybrid system's 21 hp and 148 lb.-ft. The GLE63's handcrafted twin-turbo 4.0L V-8, with electrification adding 184 lb.-ft. of extra torque, tops the range with 603 hp and 627 lb.-ft. (850 Nm) of torque and a 3.7-sec. 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time.
Mercedes-Benz will produce the facelifted GLE at its plant in Tuscaloosa, AL. Previously known as the M-Class, the GLE adopted its current name in 2015.