Rechristened, rebirthed and revamped – once the ML had taken its final drive into the sunset, in its place stood the GLE as Mercedes’ new premium large SUV.
Taking on the BMW X5, the GLE became the final piece of the GL 4x4 Mercedes family, playing the role of big brother to the GLA and GLC.
As part of Mercedes’ revival, the GLE continues the theme of their most recent designs with a strong, imposing styling, as the brand continues to shake its dated image. And like Jaguar, it's getting the job done.
The entire GL range is essentially a revamp of previous models been and gone. Granted, they’ve been tweaked slightly to adopt the modern aspirations of today's car buyer’s market. The GLC, for example, comes to the market as the direct competitor of the BMW X6, but some will argue that it is 7 years too late. Having already established itself as the new breed of ‘coupe 4x4s’, the X6 has monopolised a stronghold which has seen its vehicles flood onto our roads. But the GL range is quickly loosening the grip the X6 has on the market, having now established itself in the Mercedes family tree. It’s fair to say that the X5 and X6 have serious contenders.
Following on from the ML, the GLE though has the biggest expectations to bear. What’s immediately noticeable about the GLE versus its current contenders is how exact it drives. The nine-speed automatic gearbox that helps manage the popular 350d engine is super smooth, which only adds to the already noticeable comfort factor. Equally, there is some serious grunt to the 350d engine, but if that isn’t enough the GLE 63 AMG’s ridiculous 577bhp should satisfy even the hungriest of appetites. Frankly speaking, the 5.5 litre V8 is an assault on the road, let alone the environment.