Biggest change is the new "GLE" nameplate.
Ahead of its public debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz revealed the facelifted version of the M-Class SUV, bringing new features and design changes. However, the biggest change of all is the model name - it's now called the Mercedes-Benz "GLE-Class" (as part of their latest variant nomenclature).
Below are the pictorial comparisons of the GLE-Class with the outgoing M-Class.
On the exterior design front, the Mercedes GLE doesn't represent a leap over the design of the outgoing model. Up front, the only changes are a revised two-slat grille flanked by new headlamps with LED DRLs, an updated hood, and a deeper front bumper housing larger air intakes.
The side profile of both SUVs remain virtually unchanged. As with the facelift, the GLE will come with a new range of rims, available in 18",19" and 20" sizes.
Similar to the rest of the car, the changes in the back are very minimal. The GLE gets similar taillights but with the LED treatment, and a sportier dual pipe exhaust system and lower bumper.
Again, Mercedes has kept the changes very minimal in the GLE Class, as also seen in the interior. It features the company's new 3-spoke steering wheel design and a larger COMAND infotainment display that is now freestanding. The HVAC vents beside the display are new, while the buttons in the center console have been updated.
Mercedes has also included new customization options, ranging from espresso brown, ginger beige, saddle brown and porcelain colors, and an exhaustive trim options list that has carbon fiber, aluminum, piano black, brown ash, brown burred walnut and brown eucalyptus, among others.
The engine lineup for the GLE-Class remains largely identical to the outgoing M-Class. It is available with a:
- 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 333 PS and 480 Nm of torque
- 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 with 435 PS and 700 Nm of torque
- 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel with 204 PS and 480 Nm of torque
- 3.0-liter V6 diesel with 258 PS and 620 Nm of torque
- 5.5-liter V8 engine with 557 PS and 700 Nm of torque (AMG)
- 5.5-liter V8 engine with 585 PS and 700 Nm of torque (AMG S)
Mercedes has introduced a hybrid option for the GLE-Class - the GLE 500 e 4MATIC. It combines a 3.0-liter V6 engine with an electric motor powered by an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which produces a total output of 442 PS and 650 Nm of torque. Power is routed through a 7G-TRONIC PLUS (7-speed) automatic gearbox to the 4MATIC AWD system. Mercedes claims that it returns a mileage of 33.3 km/l in the UK, and can run on pure electricity for 30 km with a top speed of 130 km/h.
Similar to the M-Class, the GLE-Class will be brought to India via the CKD route. So expect pricing to be identical to the outgoing model, and the launch to unfold in the second half of the year.