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The 2016 Mercedes GLE Is A Better Car Than Any M-Class Preceding It

Published March 31, 2015

Fiddling with car names isn’t always the smartest decision. Searching for the right way to market the car and not confuse customers in doing so has always been a tiresome task. It seems that marketing gurus have more to do with this process than a group of passionate people who actually built the car. Mercedes recently did the unthinkable and changed names of many of its cars. The CL became the S-class Coupe, the CLK became the C-class Coupe and the latest of the lot is the GLE which is basically the car known as the ML or the M-class.

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Even though all of this sounds a bit confusing, it really isn’t because, right now, we have a chance to figure out what kind of technology is featured in a certain car only by taking a look at its name. For example, the GLE designation reveals that this is an utility vehicle (G), which sources its parts from the E-class (E). Therefore, the GLA has connections with the A-class, while the GLC (which is the new name for the GLK), has ties with the C-class. When the new Mercedes GLE was introduced we really did not expect anything special to be changed except its name. However, the 2015 Mercedes GLE is a much more mature vehicle than it was before.

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Taking front styling causes from the GLE Coupe, which was revealed earlier this year in Detroit, Mercedes certainly stepped the things up in the segment of luxury midsize SUVs. Let’s face it, cars that rule the segment are the BMW X5 and the Mercedes M-class, or the  GLE as it is called nowadays. Getting that aggressive, yet highly sophisticated front end look, the GLE finally came back to the path of elegance set forth by the second gen car which, even by today’s standards, looks rather nice and good. Even though the redesign really did fix some of the styling issues this car clearly had, its city dweller character and talents that will be cherished by those who will use it on tarmac (making around 99 percent of the total number of buyers) have been polished a bit.

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Receiving a slightly tuned suspension, better executed interior and a slightly modified propulsion system, the 2016 Mercedes GLE will continue its way of luxury and sophistication. The interior received new ventilation, updated instrument cluster and an enormous screen at the center of console. With it the driver can operate almost anything on the vehicle. The suspension can be adjusted, the stiffness of the dampers changed and the throttle response tuned to perfection. What’s more, the 4Matic drive (standard stuff, except for the GLE350 which can only be had with RWD) can be adapted to suit the needs of anyone, including those ready to tackle those really harsh terrains. However, we suggest to those wanting to seriously endeavour off roading in the thing to opt for the Off-Road Engineering package that brings a reduction gear and a differential interlock.

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Apart from the slightly different look, better materials inside and more complete equipment, the GLE is still available with a range of wonderful petrol and diesel engines starting from the four bangers (2,1 liter diesel with 204 HP), six cylinder beasts (3.5 litre petrol with 305 HP, three liter turbo with 330 HP), and V8 monsters in the AMG (up to 585 HP which is mental). An important part of the story is the GLE400e which is a hybrid with 436 HP propulsion system.

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All in all, the 2016 Mercedes GLE is not an all new car. It is something we have seen before, but it is perfected for the new role. We admit that the name doesn’t resonate like the ML, or the M-class resonated, but the GLE is a better car than any M-class and ML have ever been. It is a companion which is able to tow a boat or take your daughter to the prom in great luxury and style.

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Safet Satara
About Safet Satara

I do not have spare time. All there is is car time. 12 years and counting. I am a Central European gearhead, but you are probably thinking - aaa a disposable Borg drone! Well, actually, I like to dress up like James Bond too. The only thing I need to be him is an Aston Martin (and I love DBS more than DB5 because, reasons). That's something I guess.

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