Mercedes threw everything but the kitchen sink at the new, but thankfully, all that new kit didn't send the price into the stratosphere.
Mercedes-Benz announced this week that the 2020 GLE-Class will start at $53,700 before a $995 destination charge. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 that puts out 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and adding all-wheel drive bumps the price up to $56,200.
Standard equipment on the GLE 350 includes LED headlights, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking. It also packs a pair of 12.3-inch screens, one of which runs Mercedes-Benz's new MBUX infotainment system, a system vastly superior to its forebear.
Things get more interesting when you step up to the GLE 450. Here, there's a 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 that puts out 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that uses an electric motor to supply an extra 21 horsepower. The motor also boosts efficiency by extending stop-start time, and it can take over propulsion duties from the gas engine when coasting.
The GLE 450 also rocks a new suspension system called E-Active Body Control. There's a 48-volt pump at each corner, and it uses hydraulic pressure to adjust the height and damping at each corner individually. It allows movement up to 4.7 inches above and 3.1 inches below the standard ride height.
The new GLE goes on sale in the spring. The GLE 450 will come first, and the GLE 350 will arrive shortly thereafter.