The Mercedes GLE is now a long-range diesel-hybrid

By topgear, 10 September 2019

Someone in Stuttgart fell asleep on their badge-making keyboard again, and the result is the ‘Mercedes-Benz GLE350de 4Matic’. That’s a GLE with a diesel engine, electric power and four-wheel drive. Obviously.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ engineers were not asleep on the job. At last, here’s a plug-in hybrid with enough electric range to cruise the owner’s whole driveway. The GLE blah-blah-thingy can apparently go up to 100 kilometres on battery power alone.

Thanks to hybrids gaming the test system, Mercedes also reports CO2 emissions of 29g/km and average consumption by the little 189bhp four-cylinder turbodiesel engine of 109 kilometre per litre. Utterly meaningless numbers, until you come to pay your company car tax bill.

Cleverly, the big 31.2kWh battery hasn’t been allowed to eat into boot space, so there’s still up to 1,915 litres of cargo room. Clever too is the performance: top speed on electric power alone is a healthy 159kph, and when you’re using the combined 700nm of torque the GLE-BigName will go from 0-100kph in 6.8 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz GLE350de 4Matic
Mercedes-Benz GLE350de 4Matic

If you don’t need so much space, there’s another new PHEV Benz in the shrunken shape of the slightly less tediously titled GLC 300 e 4Matic, which twins e-drive with a 2.0-litre, 207bhp petrol engine. It can only manage a claimed 40km on e-power, because the battery’s a smaller 13.5kWh unit. Because it’s a smaller car.

Very much cars for the Mercedes enthusiast who need something to pop to the shops in while their AMG One is in for a service.