Review new Mercedes GLE 2019February 15, 2019
Renaming the ML model to GLE was worth deferring. Because the current GLE is a modernized third generation ML. And the new one is something completely different. So much so that the change of name would have come in handy.
Almost all models from generation to generation grow in size – this does not surprise anyone. So GLE has added a length of 10.5 cm. A lot! And the very first ML of 1997 was even shorter by 34 centimeters … The wheelbase increased by 8 centimeters compared to its predecessor, and this is noticeable: the rear axle visually rolled away almost under the rear bumper. The result was an unprecedented space in the back seat – not surprising, because the distance between the axles came close to three meters, and this is closer to the S-Class and the GLS model, and not its predecessor.
Separate parts of the back of the sofa are now equipped with electric. The longitudinal course of the seats is 10 centimeters. Responsible for adjusting corporate block keys in the form of a chair on each door. Even headrests and window blinds are electrified. The servo also allows the folding of seats from the trunk. As an option available double third row.
Despite the increase in size, the new GLE looks more rapid and fit. There is an explanation for this: firstly, the SUV became a little lower (2.4 cm), and secondly, the regular size of the rims reached 22 inches. Aerodynamics worked out very carefully – the drag coefficient dropped to a value of 0.29. This is a record among SUVs.
A great find for designers is to offer two options for the front end. Many GLE buyers are quite conservative and are not yet ready for the shark style given by the new CLS and A-Class. They will definitely like the classic design option with horizontal slats of the grille. A younger and open clientele will suit the trapezoid “diamond” lattice.
A new interior with rectangular ventilation deflectors and huge displays (the right one – touch for the first time!) – as a reward for waiting for a new model. This is some kind of anticokpit: there is a lot of air here, and the driver’s seat is not stylistically isolated. Even the central display belongs to the right passenger almost as much as the driver. On the central tunnel is a large touchpad instead of the old Comand rotary selector. If the system had functions innumerable before, now there are a lot of options to access them. Perhaps, the owner of the GLE will be able to open up new possibilities for the individualization of the “infotainment” all the time while he owns the car.
The old GLE still had a digital telephone keypad, and the new one no longer had a Comand swivel washer. Sunk!
And the new GLE understands gestures! And this function is solved differently than anyone else in the industry. Virtual buttons on the screen pop up or increase on the screen, if you bring your hand to them. This solution has long been used by the Volkswagen group and is found on both Audi and Skoda. However, the Mercedes system understands that the driver or the passenger reaches for the sensor. For example, in the massage menu, the system will automatically offer programs for the left or right seat, depending on whose hand is close to the screen. Important functions related to the management of the vehicle and the setting of some parameters from the passenger seat are completely unavailable.
And if the right seat is empty? What to hide, we all carry a bag there. So, if you reach out to her, the car will turn on the right navigator light. Very kindly! Of course, if a person is in the chair, the light will not come on.
The virtual assistant of Mercedes, which we pestered with questions on the A-Class test, is also on the GLE – and is always ready to help.
The most affordable version of the GLE is a 300 d 4Matic version with a two-liter 245-horsepower turbo diesel. Starting at 1600 rpm, the engine delivers 500 Nm and accelerates the initial GLE to 100 kilometers per hour in 7.2 seconds. The scheme of a full drive is traditional: with a center differential, the distribution of the moment is equally between the axles and electronic cross-axle locks.
Acquaintance with such a machine is still ahead of us, and during the driving presentation we had a chance to try out the top 6-cylinder modifications. Until the AMG version of GLE appeared, they remain the most expensive and dynamic in the line. They also have a different scheme for the full drive: the moment is transmitted to the front axle by an electronically controlled clutch. In off-road mode, it closes tightly, providing equal traction on the axles. If you order the Offroa package, a downshift will be added.
The new row “six” develops 330 horsepower (the 272-strong version of the 350 d is not supplied to us) and delivers a generous 700 Nm of traction from some 1200 revolutions per minute! Surprisingly, the three-liter turbodiesel sounds almost like a gasoline engine, although canceled noise insulation prevents it from raising its voice. The nine-speed automatic works perfectly, with a slight correction to the fact that the narrow operating range of any diesel engine and its specific voice always make the switch more visible. In any case, a large SUV, which at acceleration to 100 km / year leaves six seconds and fits into 8 liters per 100 kilometers with a quiet ride, it is difficult to make a complaint.
And nevertheless the petrol GLE 450 liked more. According to his passport, he is fastest for one tenth of a second, but his character is even more interesting. Not every atmospheric V8 will give out 500 “Newtons” of the moment, and, perhaps, from 1600 revolutions per minute, perhaps, none at all. An avalanche of thrust continues up to 4500 rpm, shiftings are subtle. In this case, the engine sings as if he specifically put a voice. In Affalterbach. However, maybe it was so …
Switching to the 48-volt onboard network gave the GLE several important advantages. The first is “moderate” hybridity. On acceleration of 367 horses, the turbo helps 16 kilowatts and 250 “newtons” of an electric motor. To go on pure electricity GLE can not, but to drown out the engine at idle or when driving coasting – easily. And all this inner life of the power plant does not take the driver’s attention at all.
The second fruit of the transition to 48 volts is the ability to implement on the serial car a structure called E-Active Body Control, in which the smoothness of the pneumatics was combined with the speed of hydraulics reactions. This is the most expensive and technological suspension, which can be ordered on the GLE.
E-Active Body Control is so steep that the feeling that a new toy has just been taken out of the package does not leave on the second day. On the right touch screen – four slider, as on a mixing console. Driving them with your finger, you can make the car sit deeply or stand on tiptoe over any of the four wheels. Movie, where GLE, swaying on the suspension, he leaves the sand trap, became viral. The engineers thought it was not enough, and they forced the SUV to dance.
Hydropneumatic racks are a kind of “superstructure” above the standard Airmatic air suspension. The latter can be ordered without hydraulics, as well as a simple spring suspension. We didn’t do an active multi-chamber system like at GLC: I want more – order E-Active Body Control with accumulators and a 48-volt electric pump on each wheel. While Airmatic takes on the smoothness and clearance adjustment (up to +90 millimeters with the On & Offroad package), the hydraulics performs all these tricks with squats and jumps, and at the same time everything that the S-Class can do: scans the road irregularities of the stereo camera and rolls inwards when turning Enable Curve mode. Only here, at the S-Class, hydraulics with pumps of the past generation is combined with conventional springs, not with pneumatic supports, and in principle can not be ordered with all-wheel drive …
I am afraid to admit this thought to myself: the GLE is even more comfortable with the restyled S 500, which met me at the airport, even with the usual air suspension. E-Active Body Control on a regular road does not offer any advantages in smoothness, although SUVs with “hydraulics” are shod in 20-inch tires with a 50-m profile (just imagine this wheel!) Instead of 22-inch low-profile tires that flaunt. pneumatic “GLE.
The difference is manifested only in large pits, which in the American province had to look. Less noticeable rolls and pecks, the car does not lift its nose during acceleration. The advantages of off-road hydraulics are obvious (a wheel that has come off the ground magically reopens it again), but there is no off-road vehicle. Believe the dance and videos.
It seems that the confrontation between Stuttgart and Munich comes to a new level: Mercedes GLE and BMW X5 are fresh, strong and surprisingly close to each other. The main difference, perhaps, is that BMW enthusiasts greeted the new X5 with bayonets, while lovers of the three-beam star are waiting for GLE with great enthusiasm. I note that all claims to the X5 are from the discharge of taste: too big nostrils, too Korean taillights, too well, I don’t know, some not-such devices … In general, these claims have no relation to the character of the car. But the character revealed the most unexpected surprise: the GLE 450 with the in-line gasoline “six” seemed more temperamental and emotional than the similar X5 xDrive40i. Perhaps, these are abrupt first impressions that have mixed the cards, and maybe the main German marks have their landmarks shifted? We will follow this.