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Mercedes-Benz GLE 2016: Australian price and specs


A September launch, more standard kit and a smaller options list are the highlights of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class range. You’ll need to pay for the generous lashings of new equipment, though, with GLE prices rising between $3,000 and $7,000 over the old ML-Class models that the GLE replaces.

The exclusively four-wheel-drive GLE-Class range kicks off from $86,900 for the Mercedes-Benz GLE 250d, heading up to $189,900 for the performance Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S flagship. It’s a range consisting of diesel and petrol varieties, with a petrol-electric hybrid still to be announced for Australia.

Significant technology upgrades are in store for all models of the range. Justifying a large part of their price increases, all GLEs are equipped with advanced safety technology: that bundles Distronic active cruise control with lane keeping assist, autonomous emergency baking, crosswind assist, blind spot assistance and lane departure warning. That’s on top of nine airbags.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Review

Cabin technology is boosted across the range, with each model receiving LED headlamps as standard, on top of push-button start (something Mercedes-Benz has been slow to roll out as a standard feature, despite being standard on a high-end Mazda 2); a power tailgate, digital radio, and touchpad-activated navigation are also standard fare.

Five models will be offered from launch. Mercedes don’t have a direct competitor in the GLE range to match the price-leading BMW X5 sDrive25d, a rear-wheel-drive diesel; instead, the cheapest GLE will be the GLE 250d ($86,900, up $3,000), which is four-wheel-drive. The 250d is powered by the brand’s familiar 2.1-litre twin-scroll turbodiesel, producing 150kW and 500Nm. A new nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox sees fuel consumption fall to 6L/100km, down from 6.4L/100km.

Spend $18,000 more and you’ll climb one rung to the GLE 350d, which is the six-cylinder diesel. The 350d’s V6 produces 190kW and 620Nm. Paired to the nine-speed auto, consumption falls from 7.4L/100km to 6.6L/100km, at a price of $104,900, up $3,000 over the previous car.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Review

If you’d rather petrol power, the entry-level petrol is the GLE 400, which uses a three-litre twin-turbo V6 to make 245kW of power and 480Nm of torque. Fuel consumption barely moves to 9.3L/100km. The $109,900 price may be up $6,000 from the previous V6 petrol, but the GLE 400 gains a 14-speaker Harmon-Kardon sound system, plus an extended ARTICO artificial leather package trimming the dash and door surfaces.

From there, it’s a rung up to the V8 GLE 500 ($127,900): this twin-turbo 4.7-litre V8 sees a small power jump to 320kW, and a huge surge of extra torque from the ML 500: there’s 700Nm. The GLE 500 benefits from the S-Class Coupé’s Active Curve system, allowing body roll into corners for more balanced handling. Adaptive dampers, and a suspension that lowers automatically at higher speeds, are also standard.

The outright performance model of the range is Affalterbach’s Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S. The future of AMG models globally sees a detuned model, just called ‘AMG’, while some markets, like Australia, only receive the higher state of tune, coined ‘AMG S’. This is the S model, producing 430kW and 760Nm, up 20kW and 60Nm over the ML 63. In Australia, the GLE 63 S comes standard with the AMG Driver’s Package, upping the top speed to a heady 280km/h, and bundling a performance exhaust. Inside, Nappa leather sits beneath a panoramic sunroof. The $189,900 price is up $7,000.

Later, a GLE 500e hybrid model will join the range, teaming the V6 petrol with an 85kW electric motor for a combined system output of 325kW and 650Nm. The claimed combined consumption will be just 3.3L/100km. That model will be confirmed for Australia later this year.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 2016: Australian price

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 250d: $86,900
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d: $104,900
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 400: $109,900
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 500: $127,900
  • Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S: $189,900
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE Review