2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Introduces New Look, New Name and Adds Plug-in Hybrid and AMG GLE63 S

The Mercedes-Benz GLE, though a new name in the company's SUV family, is a thoroughly revised version of a renowned model. The GLE replaces the famous ML-Class, as all Mercedes SUV's aligned their simplified nomenclature to begin with a "G." A new plug-in hybrid model--the GLE550e 4MATIC—debuts in states with the Zero Emission vehicle (ZEV) requirement.

The shape may be familiar, but the GLE sports a new look with redesigned headlights, front fenders, front and rear bumpers, full LED taillights, as well as a redesigned cabin. The refreshed design is accentuated by new wheel designs in 18- to 21-inch sizes and new interior color and trim options. Increased standard equipment bolsters the luxury, while new safety systems reflect the brand's leadership in occupant protection and accident-avoidance technologies.

For 2016, the Mercedes GLE line offers the GLE300d 4MATIC (diesel with 201 horsepower, 369 lb.-ft. of torque); the GLE350 with its V6 gasoline engine (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.) and rear-wheel drive or the GLE350 4MATIC; the biturbo V6-powered GLE400 (329 hp, 354 lb.-ft.) with 4MATIC, the high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLE63 (550 hp, 516 lb.-ft.) and the GLE63 S with 577 hp and 561 lb.-ft. of torque.

The new GLE550e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid powertrain uses a direct-injection 3.0-liter gasoline V6 plus an electric motor. The lithium-ion battery allows an electric-only range of up to 18.5-miles (estimated), and predictive energy management uses the navigation system to optimize gas/electric/hybrid operation.

The GLE line is equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission that provides an exemplary combination of performance, efficiency and quiet, responsive driving. The array of standard active and passive safety systems includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus, PRE-SAFE PLUS with rear-end collision prevention and Crosswind Assist. In addition, the GLE can be equipped with Collision Prevention Assist Plus with autonomous braking and Distronic PLUS with Steering Assist.

New Connectivity and New Value in Reconfigured Packages
A new head unit generation with larger display provides access to a host of infotainment features. Mercedes-Benz, which pioneered automotive telematics 15 years ago, has upgraded its mbrace Connected Car Services for 2016, making the new mbrace Connect package standard for all models, along with five years of complimentary service.

The mbrace Connect package includes Mobile App, Web Services, Roadside Connection, MB Apps (non-streaming), Vehicle Homepage (EVs), Diagnostics Data and Remote Update for five years. The GLE is one of several 2016 Mercedes models that will include a Remote Start function as part of mbrace Connect.

In addition, customers can choose from three mbrace subscription upgrade packages: “Secure,” “Concierge” and “Entertain.”

Voices will sound clearer thanks to new HD Voice for compatible mobile devices. And, on vehicles equipped with COMAND with Navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic & Weather will be included as standard for five years (previously three years), further enhancing the value of this option.

Versatility and Luxury
The 2016 Mercedes GLE provides comfortable seating for five and also offers generous carrying capacity, with 38.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and 80.3 with the rear seatbacks lowered. A standard power liftgate makes loading and unloading easy.

Luxury in the 2016 GLE is Mercedes-Benz at its best. Hand-finished wood, hand-fitted upholstery and subtle metallic details define a cabin that's generous with both room and refinement. Clear, easy-to-read gauges with a vivid color multifunction display are placed at the same height as the large color central screen.

The GLE can't control the weather, but its cabin offers standard and optional features to ensure all-season comfort. A power tilt/sliding sunroof and heated front seats come standard on all GLE models. Available ventilated front seats offer three levels of heating and cooling. On cold or damp days, using both the ventilation and heating features together can circulate the seat heating more quickly. A heated steering wheel is also available.

Available deeply contoured sport front seats, brushed-aluminum pedals with rubber studs, and a sport steering wheel clearly convey the serious driving attitude of the GLE.

Standard equipment for all 2016 Mercedes GLE models, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST uses a dedicated radar sensor to monitor the distance to a vehicle in front and closing speed. If the system senses a risk of imminent collision, it alerts the driver with a warning tone and light in the instrument cluster. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST also networks with brakes to prepare for emergency braking; as soon as the driver applies the brakes, appropriate power can be applied, up to the maximum. In addition, the new system can recognize and adapt its response to a number of driving situations.

ATTENTION ASSIST Cautions “Time For A Rest”
The standard ATTENTION ASSIST system can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S. A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. At driving speeds above 50 mph, ATTENTION ASSIST identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning, and a “Time for a Rest?” message with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.

PRE-SAFE® Gives GLE Reflexes to Protect Occupants
PRE-SAFE® is a revolutionary safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occupants during those valuable seconds before impact. The PRE-SAFE system tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact. Whenever the PRE-SAFE system is triggered, the side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.

More Safety Systems Assist the Driver
Other examples of trailblazing GLE innovations include: Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver by simulating rumble strip vibration in the steering wheel if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. It operates at speeds above 37 mph via a system that recognizes lane markings by using a small camera in the windshield and a computer that analyzes the video images.

Blind Spot Assist monitors both blind spots behind and to the sides of the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings. Available as a separate option, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist incorporate an intervention feature, in which ESP braking automatically helps correct the vehicle's course if the driver doesn't heed the initial warning.

Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses a small video camera to sense both headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions between high and low beam operation to avoid blinding other drivers. With this system, the range of the headlights can be varied infinitely from their current 220 feet to up to 1,000 feet.

Electric Rack-And-Pinion Steering for Efficiency and Safety
The GLE uses an electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering unit. Not only does the system offer fuel savings by reducing parasitic drag on the powertrain, but it also makes other innovative systems possible, such the optional Active Parking Assist, which makes parallel parking easier.

Below about 20 mph, a “P” icon appears in the dash to show that an electronic parking space search is active. Whenever the system detects an adequate-size parking space, an arrow appears next to the “P” icon. When reverse is engaged and the driver confirms Advance Parking Assist is desired, the system initiates automatic steering as the driver controls acceleration and braking at speeds below 7 mph. The system allows two forward corrections, after which the wheels are straightened.

The Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant
Along with the GL-Class, the GLE sport utility vehicle is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Tuscaloosa plant began production in 1997 with the first generation M-Class. In 2011, the plant produced more than 148,000 vehicles and employed more than 2,800. Starting in 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant began producing the new C-Class for the North American market. By 2015, Daimler AG will have invested more than $4.4 billion into the facility.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com.