The newest addition to the Merc’s line up in India will be GLE class SUV that is all set to make its way to Indian shores on 14th October 2015. The GLE SUV will replace M class in India and will be competing against Audi Q5, BMWX3 and Landover Discovery sport. The SUV will come as CKD (completely knock down) route and will assembled at company’s Chakan assembly plant in Pune.
The M-class has been there since 1997 but under Mercedes-Benz new nomenclature, they are now re-badging its SUVs from GL alphabets. The design of GLE SUV seems to take inspiration from S class and C-class sedans as it gets S-class inspired headlamps with eye brow raised shaped DRLs.
The new GLE retains the silhouette of ML class but flaunts more aerodynamic design as compared to the ongoing model. The new SUV gets a redesigned radiator grille flanked by new bonnet design and front bumper that gives it the aggressive and sporty look. The side profile is pretty much identical to the M class while rear gets sporty twin exhausts and new LED tail lamps.
The interior too is almost similar to M class except for the few changes to make it sportier. New add-ons inside the cabin include a new three spoke multifunction steering wheel, 7 inch COMMAND infotainment display with controller and touchpad, revised central console, new design for AC vents and different interior trim options.
In the international markets, Mercedes-Benz GLE is being offered in petrol, diesel and hybrid engines. But for Indian market, it will be available in two diesel variants- GLE250d and GLE 350d. The former comes with a 2.1 liter engine that produces 203bhp power and 500Nm of peak torque while the latter 350d is equipped with a 3.0 litre V6 engine that is good for a max output of 255bhp and 620Nm of torque. Both the engines come mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission replacing the old 7-speed unit. Prices are expected to fall in bracket of Rs. 60-75 lakh (ex-showroom). Besides GLE SUV, Mercedes is also likely to launch AMG GLE 63 S at a later stage