Mercedes-Benz has introduced a mid-cycle update for the GLE-Class to keep the popular mid-size luxury SUV looking and feeling fresh.
The updates are mild, even for a mid-cycle update, though they do see electrification added across the lineup, in addition to the return of a plug-in hybrid grade.
The current GLE-Class arrived in 2019 as a 2020 model and this updated version should reach dealerships later this year as a 2024 model.
There’s a new front fascia and new internals for the lights at both ends, and the available AMG Line exterior design package, which is standard on the GLE 580 grade, features a unique grille pattern with tiny Mercedes star logos forming the mesh pattern. The AMG Line pack also adds body color to the wheel arch cladding and a diffuser-like design treatment for the rear fascia. Two new wheel patterns round out the exterior design details.
The changes inside are even harder to spot. The most significant change is the new steering wheel which features touch-sensitive surfaces on the horizontal spokes. These can be used to control a number of vehicle features including the infotainment system, which in this case is the latest version of Mercedes’ own MBUX design. There are still a pair of 12.3-inch screens serving as the instrument cluster and infotainment hub, and now Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available wirelessly.
Other key changes include Dolby Atmos for the Burmester premium audio system, a more intuitive voice activation system, and new chrome detailing on some of the vents—a design feature borrowed from the Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS-Class, which itself is about to be updated.
Mercedes has also introduced some interesting technologies aimed at helping the driver out when off-roading or pulling a trailer. For off-roading, setting the vehicle in Off-Road Mode will now see the infotainment system display key metrics like gradient, roll angle, steering angle, and a compass. SUVs equipped with the available surround-view camera system also gain the so-called transparent hood, where the area under the engine bay can be displayed in the infotainment system to help traverse tricky terrain.
When it comes to pulling a trailer, there’s a Trailer Route Planner for the navigation that calculates the best route for defined trailers. In takes into account factors like widths and heights of the route, as well as weight restrictions.
In the powertrain department, the 2024 GLE-Class lineup starts with the GLE 350 powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 good for 255 hp, and combined with a mild-hybrid system that can add a boost of 20 hp. Further up is the GLE 450 which swaps the 2.0-liter engine for a 3.0-liter turbo-6 good for 375 hp. This grade also features the mild-hybrid system which adds a 20-hp boost. At the top of the regular GLE-Class lineup is the GLE 580 which features a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that develops 510 hp on its own, and receives a 21-hp boost from a mild-hybrid system.
New to the lineup is the GLE 400 e, a plug-in hybrid grade pairing a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a single electric motor for a combined 381 hp. A 23.3-kwh battery makes electric driving possible, though Mercedes hasn’t said what the range estimate in electric mode is.
Buyers seeking ultimate performance can opt for one of the AMG grades. These include the GLE 53 and GLE 63 S. The GLE 53 features a 3.0-liter turbo-6 good for 429 hp and the GLE 63 S features a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 good for 603 hp. In both cases there’s a mild-hybrid system that adds a 21-hp boost.
The AMGs also feature their own unique design tweaks with the 2024 update, as well as increased standard equipment. Mercedes said software tweaks made to electronic systems like the stability control, limited-slip differential, all-wheel-drive system, and dampers also result in sportier driving characteristics.
Pricing information for the 2024 GLE-Class lineup will be announced closer to the market launch later this year.
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