Mercedes refreshes and renames the M-Class SUV amid price rises across the board.
Mercedes has announced Australian pricing and specifications for the new GLE SUV range that will replace the current ML-Class.
Rather than a whole new car, the GLE is a facelifted version of the ML which has adopted the German brand’s new SUV naming strategy.
Under the new system all Mercedes SUVs will be named GL with the third letter corresponding to the model’s size in relation to the ordinary passenger range.
Hence GLA corresponds to the compact A-Class, GLE the mid-size E-Class and the upcoming GL-replacing GLS will reference the S-Class flagship sedan.
The visual changes between the existing ML and new GLE are subtle but include new front and rear bumpers, revised head and tail lights and a new steering wheel.
The GLE range kicks off with the $86,900 GLE 250d 4Matic, which is powered by a 150kW 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder connected to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system.
Combined fuel consumption for the entry-level model is 6.0L/100km, down from 6.4L/100km on the outgoing model.
While the base price has swollen by $3000 compared to the current ML range, the 250d now includes the Driver Assistance Plus package which adds active cruise control which maintains a safe distance from the car in front, auto emergency brake, blind spot monitor and lane-keep assist.
Other standard features include LED headlights, proximity keys and keyless start, satnav, auto tailgate and 19-inch alloys.
While the base price has swollen by $3000 compared to the current ML range, the GLE 250d now includes the Driver Assistance Plus package
Stepping up to the $104,900 GLE 350d 4Matic brings the more powerful 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 engine producing 190kW/620Nm.
Combined fuel consumption in the 350d is 6.6L/100km, down from 7.3L/100km.
On top of the 250’s standard features, the 350 adds 360-degree camera system, leather upholstery, heated front seats and 20-inch alloys.
Next up is the $109,900 GLE 400 which packs a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 which pumps out 245kW/480Nm and consumes 9.3L/100km combined.
The GLE 400 also includes an electric glass sunroof and 14 Speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system as standard.
The standard GLE passenger range is topped off by the $127,900 V8 GLE 500 whose 4.7-litre petrol unit develops 320kW and 700Nm.
Standard features on the range-topper include air suspension with adaptive damping and automatic body leveling, heated and ventilated front seats, and 21-inch alloys.
Naturally, there is also a AMG performance version of the new GLE which is powered by the big 5.5-litre twin-turbo Affalterbach V8.
Developing 430kW, the $189,900 GLE 63 S has enough grunt to hit 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
AMG says that while the power has been upped from 386kW to 430kW, the chassis has also received a great deal of attention to improve agility and cornering dynamics.
The new GLE 63 S also includes a panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather upholstery, and the AMG Driver’s package which raises the top speed to 280km/h from the standard 250km/h.
The new GLE range is available to order now, but the first Australian deliveries are not expected until September.