It has not been a great start for Mercedes Benz with the reveal of the new GLE. It definitely doesn’t look attractive and most of us did not like it at all. I was very much afraid that the new GLE genes will have an effect on the upcoming GLC. Well, there’s a new GLC but then it’s sort of a facelift rather than all new and I’m happy to report that the new one is not ugly. Mercedes Benz took the right decision to give the new GLC some mild changes. As for the GLE, we can now forgive it with its newest addition to the AMG Family, the GLE 53 AMG 4Matic+.
I was never fond with Mercedes Benz SUVs, they looked too big or rather too small until the day Mercedes Benz revealed the brilliant GLC SUV and GLC SUV Coupe. And they have thought it out with the new one. Let’s shift our focus on the GLE.
The GLE has been given the 53 treatment which I think is the perfect choice of an engine because the engine configuration in the 53 models is just absolutely amazing. The GLE 53 AMG 4Matic+ uses a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged 6 six-cylinder which produces 429 hp (320 KW) and 520 Nm of torque. Has a nine-speed automatic transmission. This propels the car from 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. I am really interested in this so much because to achieve that kind of power it uses a mild hybrid system which is an EQ booster starter generator.
I won’t go much into detail with the hybrid system but I will briefly outline that it creates an additional 22hp (16 kW) and 250 Nm of instant torque. It also acts as an energy recovery system like the one you get in an F1 car. It boasts a lot of power whilst contributing to fuel efficiency and giving out the best performance. This engine intrigues me a lot, it’s not something new but it’s certainly great engineering from Mercedes Benz.
The GLE 53 AMG comes with various performance techs such as the AMG active ride control air suspension which allows the car to corner quickly whilst reducing rolling and also softening the suspension for a comfortable ride. There’s not much to go into detail but just know the interior is exquisite with AMG specific sports seats, ARTICO leather on the instrument panel and DINAMICA man-made leather on the seats. I don’t know why they give leather names such big names but they are Germans, perfection and sophistication is in their blood.
Now we are moving away from performance to a sensible SUV. The GLC is one of my all-time favorite SUV’s and the new one just got even better. Not much has been announced about the packages you get with the new GLC but what I know is that it is expected to go on sale later this year or possibly early 2020. There are some new engines on offer with 2 petrol and 3 diesel engines to be offered. The newest of them all is the GLC 200d with 161 hp (120 kW) and GLC 300d with 241 hp (180 kW).
The old GLC 220d gets some extra power on the new model with 192 hp (143 kW). There are two petrol engines which are the GLC 200 with 194 hp (145 kW) and GLC 300 with 255 hp (190 kW). The two petrol engines both get a mild hybrid system which adds 10 kW more of power to the outgoing engines.
The new GLC comes standard across all the range with a nine-speed automatic transmission and an optional 4Matic all-wheel drive system. There is also an off-road package offered for you to enjoy the GLC on the wilderness outdoor. And an additional adaptive cruise control which now has route-based adaptation.
Concerning the looks of the new GLC, I’d say it looks way better than the GLE. It just has a subtle look to it which I like a lot. The front bumper has some additional chrome to it and the LED headlights come standard. The rear tailgate lights feature a new LED design and the exhaust design is a sharp-edged trapezoidal outline. I hope those are not fake exhausts. Mind you, I’m sure the AMG-line GLC and the upcoming GLC 63 S AMG will look take your breath away with its looks.
The GLE is undoubtedly very ugly, Mercedes Benz has made it even worse to look at but the GLE 53 AMG looks much better. Come to think of it, Mercedes Benz should sell all their GLE models with an AMG pack only. Anyway, the GLE gets an aggressive typical AMG Grille, some big sporty wheels, and quad exhaust pipes. Spec the exhaust with the AMG performance exhaust system then you got yourself a roaring beast.
Mercedes Benz needs to think about the GLE’s design, the GLC certainly looks good and I wouldn’t mind recommending it nor even think about buying it because it’s a brilliant car. Expect the GLE 53 AMG 4Matic+ to cost around R1.5 million and the new GLC price to start at R700 000. I know both SUV’s will be brilliant to drive and live up to the Mercedes Benz name. We shall see how they will be received in South Africa.