The new Mercedes-Benz GLE: a magic pendant and a lowly 4 cylinder

In the school years wonderful I was very fond of geography, and even unsuccessfully participated in the Olympics. But with Texas, I admit, sat in a puddle. I thought that there are around arid semi-desert with cacti instead of grass, but in fact it was a hilly region with many rivers and familiar vegetation.
But Mercedes-Benz GLE (factory index W167) of the second generation, to discover that I flew across the ocean, visually, is quite predictable and fairly reminiscent of its predecessor. Surprise is that the narrow tail lights a La the a‑class, not very suitable to image solid crossover. This form does not justify even that lights the smart led brake lights and signal indicator lights Shine day to the fullest, and in the twilight the light is muted, so as not to blind other drivers.

Speak clearly!

Interior – a fusion of classic and avant-garde. Finish quality was higher, as the possibility of multimediasystem. Was emerging gap eliminated. “Big” connectors there – only USB-C.
The handrails in the cabin – in the manner of Parchevsky. Not his own, but comfortable.

If the exterior of the GLE just evolved, the salon has nothing left to do with the predecessor, which has long looked like an alien from the past.

Analog era for mersedesov ended. Instead of the usual instrument panel and rising above the centre console displays multimedia now – United two 12.3‑inch display with stunning graphics, contrast and speed. Steering wheel with touchpads is beautiful and comfortable, I got used to it in seconds. The interior no longer looks like a dinosaur, and the quality of finish is visibly tightened: it was simple and democratic, was a thoroughbred and pathetic. Even the smell is special – this scent exudes prosperity and well-being.
To control the infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz user experience) can be buttons, a touchpad or voice.

The front seats have conquered the calibrated profile, numerous adjustments and massage function. Adjustable in three directions of the seat in this segment nobody else offers. Especially mersedesovsky proud of the actuator of the headrest.
If you set the growth parameters, the seat automatically configures optimal fit. I tried – did not like.

Hey, Mercedes!
The machine immediately expresses a willingness to help. I asked a target in the Navigator, asked about the weather and exchange rates. Alas, the answer was not the first time: responds to Mercedes-Benz only in perfect English (American), German or Chinese. The slightest accent is ruining the dialogue. Okay, pull up the pronunciation. Russian too, but they system is still bad – often do not understand even basic phrases. She, too, would do well to catch up.

In the depths of the menu and saw a curious picture: the man and the range in increments of 5 cm with a suggestion to specify my height. Select “180” and trimmed with luxurious nappas seat buzzed all electrically configuring the supposedly optimal settings. Alas, the proposed fit was uncomfortable: with raised pillow and laid back back I ride are not used to.

But borrowed from the S‑class system relaxation Energizing Comfort Control I have used with pleasure. She manages the climate control, lighting, fragrance, sound system, heating, ventilation and built-in seat massager. Choose any of five modes – “fresh”, “heat”, “energy”, “joy”, “comfort” – and get the internal atmosphere appropriate to your mood. Beauty!

In the second row is noticeably roomier than its predecessor. Foot increased to 64 mm, the increase in height was 35 mm, and shoulder height is 21 mm.
Separate climate control for rear passengers has long been a mandatory element of a car of this class.

Rear passengers also bliss. And it’s not just the electrically adjustable seats (moving the “furniture” in the longitudinal direction, to change the angle of the backrest and the height of the headrests), climate control or blinds on the Windows, and open space: living room rang out in all directions. Do not be surprised if the GLE will be used as a man-to-man.

Now for a fee offer a third row of seats. To accommodate it succeeded thanks to the increase in wheelbase by 80 mm.


GLE built on a new modular platform MHA (modular high architecture), which in the future will adopt the flagship GLS. Front – double wishbones, rear – chetyrehrychazhka. Basic version – with conventional springs and dampers. Second level – air suspension Airmatic. For a fee (US $ 7,000!) offer active hydropneumatic suspension E‑Active Body Control.


For torsional rigidity, the bodyshell of the new GLE surpasses its predecessor by 20%. High-strength sheet steel combined it with the winged metal. Front fenders and hood made from sheet aluminum, and the console dampers – cast.
Mersedesovsky first produced a front body panel (the so-called front-end) of the special fiber-reinforced plastic (organo panel). Thanks to the reinforcement provides high stiffness and strength combined with low weight. Another plus – these panels are not subject to corrosion.

First engines will be the same three. The basic version of the GLE 300 d is a two-liter diesel, outstanding 245 HP and 500 N·m. the Power and torque is decent, but I have concerns that “chetyrehvalkovoj” potential buyers do not understand – rival the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne six cylinder does not fall.

Here the GLE 400 d. Six cylinders and three liters of displacement. The claimed 330 HP and 700 Newton metres inspire respect.
The petrol version is only one – the GLE 450. Three-liter row “turborestore” (367 HP, 500 N·m) works in harness with 48‑volt starter-generator. It develops 22 HP and 250 N·m comes in at the start and let the engine coast down.

With all motors has partnered nine-automatic of own production. Further, the expected emergence of plug-in-hybrid modifications and the AMG version.

The base GLE equipped with a four-wheel drive transmission with a center differential that distributes traction between the axles equally. And six-cylinder versions are now equipped with multi-plate clutch. As I explained Axel Haitz, project Director of the new GLE, for powerful engines such transmission is a better fit. Though, because torque in this case can “walk” between axes in a wide range – from 0 to 100%.

– Permeability is not damaged, – he anticipated my question, Mr. Haitz. – Clutch is tough. And we will offer a version with Offroad package, reduction gear (1:2,93) and reinforced underbody protection. See, everything works fine.
Saw. At the presentation, the Germans brought only two GLE 450 suspension E‑ABC and “all-terrain” package, both pre-booked Chinese journalists. Cursing (well why the Chinese this whole off-road thing?!), I trudged to the four-cylinder GLE 300 d with air suspension.

The machine ceased to roll, it is necessary to activate the Curve.

Soon I cheered up, but the skepticism towards the little motor has become smaller. Cheerful start, juicy middle. Except that at high rpm diselma lacks agility. Economical: according to the trip computer, average fuel consumption was 7.8 l/100 km.

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One left

Texas has a lot of life beaten roads. Cracks and patches. Maybe that’s why the local almost do not exceed and go even slower than the designated threshold?
Mercedes on that the pavement keeps a stiff upper lip. Of course, the top low-profile tyres (285/40 front and 325/35 R22 R22 rear) designed for perfect asphalt, but overall the comfort level is very high. The pit suspension dissolves without residue. And what acoustics! The motor is safely shaded, wind can not hear, only on rough pavement just heard a slight rumbling from the tires.

To maneuver the screen there is a picture with the front camera and the arrow indicating the direction of rotation.

GLE ideal for a relaxing defile. To help very lazy – adaptive cruise control and containment system in the band. If you turn left you’re not careful and not notice the oncoming car, Mercedes will automatically extinguish the speed down to a complete stop.

I haven’t slept. On the contrary. On the GLE can be lit! In turns he dived into the pleasure and clings to the trajectory. The stability margin is very high, and when plucked with speed, the Mercedes smoothly and safely goes into the slide with all four wheels. I would like only to ESP worked delicately – on a car of this class convulsions and seizures are inadmissible.

Projector picture is divided into three segments – filling each of them you can customize on your own.

It’s nice that the universal pursuit of sportiness mersedesovsky not paritially the wheel. It is lightweight, but lack of feedback does not feel. In any case, in comparison with the predecessor has a distinct reactive force. GLE can shift ligaments, casually holding onto the rim with one hand. The misunderstanding arose only when on a deserted straight road accelerated to 85 mph (about 137 km/h) – a sense of “zero” has almost disappeared even after the transition to sport mode. Typical of the Mercedes phenomenon. I assume the machines for the European market settings should be different.

Feet up

During lunch, sat down at the table to Simon Kern, who was responsible for the development of suspension E‑ABC. Complained that from-for the Chinese to travel to the active “air suspension” failed. Kern was encouraged to say: there is another democratic. Twenty minutes – until all have lunch – you could pick it up. Feet up!

Active suspension installed on Mercedes since 1999, but all-wheel drive car has appeared only now. And if it was based on a conventional chassis, it is now combined with Pneumatics. Why? For the sake of the ability to adjust ride height.

If necessary, you can change the clearance beneath each of the wheels – flick of the wrist.

As in the S‑class, behind the windscreen mounted stereo camera that scan the road surface. Processed data, the machine prepares the suspension in advance to the detected irregularities. God knows how the engineers did it, but the GLE is the “speed bumps”, while maintaining the same level of the body relative to the plane. Like and no bumps! In fog and rain, the camera loses its effectiveness and rides like a GLE with the usual suspension.

In the S‑class uses a hydraulic pump, belt-driven, and GLE – electric, 48‑volt. It provides high performance and increases efficiency when passing through a series of irregularities, whereas in S class chassis copes with only a single obstacle. And suspension E‑ABC completely suppresses the buildup: at startup and braking, no pecks, and in turns, the system is able to compensate for the roll (no sway bars) about three degrees.

GLE symmetrical four-cylinder equipped with a Central differential, and all the rest – centre multi-plate clutch.

The strongest emotions I have experienced on dirt. Moving the suspension in Offroad mode, have the opportunity not only to add to the standard 200 mm ground clearance 90 mm (versions without off-road package – 60 mm), but also to regulate the clearance separately for each wheel! For example, the front left can be raised, and the rear left to drop. This allows you to find the “hook” in difficult situations and successfully get out of really bad places. Mode Free Driving Mode, the body begins to wobble up and down, alternately increasing and decreasing the pressure of the tires on the ground and improving traction. Stuck in the sand GLE himself, like Baron Munchausen, pulls out of captivity.

Trunk volume increased from 690 to 825 liters, but the maximum occupancy (with folded seats) has grown not so considerably – from 2010 to 2055 litres. The opening is wider by 72mm. Under the floor – a stowaway. The seatbacks of the second row can be folded right out of the trunk. There is a possibility of going down to 50 mm for ease of loading.

Good GLE 450 and dynamics. Pushing the accelerator to the floor, and the crossover rushes the ball after impact with a baseball bat. According to factory data, acceleration to hundreds of it requires just 5.7 seconds, and it seems to be true. Such possibilities wait for the AMG version makes no sense.


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