Plug-in hybrids along with pure electrification are quickly becoming standard options for vehicle powertrains. With the latter still running with a petrol engine, it gives just a little bit more confidence with regard to the total distance it can run on fuel plus electricity.
Mercedes-Benz is quick to address concerns on range anxiety and with the release of the GLE 350 de 4MATIC. With it, owners of Benz’s new SUV need not worry about getting to and from their destinations.
While there’s no special breakthrough that makes the GLE 350 so frugal with its electric demands, Mercedes-Benz’s solution to address range is quite simple: a larger battery. This comes by way of the GLE’s special rear end design, and a modified rear axle that makes space for the battery pack.
Being a plug-in hybrid, the SUV has a combined charging socket for alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging. It is located in the left side wall, symmetrical with the fuel flap on the right side of the vehicle. At corresponding DC charging stations, the battery can be charged in approximately 20 minutes (10-80 percent state of charge (SoC)) or in about 30 minutes (10-100 percent SoC).
Technology being mentioned, the GLE 350 de 4MATIC benefits from the high potential made possible by recuperation at all four wheels, with a maximum recuperation torque of 1800 Nm. In this mode, most driving situations can be controlled merely by accelerator action. Also, as a plug-in hybrid, the GLE has an unrestricted towing capacity of up to 3500 kg. Trailer Maneuvering Assist makes maneuvering with a trailer easy even for the inexperienced. It controls the steering angle of the towing vehicle automatically.
As is expected from the Mercedes-Benz stable, the GLE 350 de 4MATIC exudes modern luxury on and off the road. Its exterior dimensions are highlighted by short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels. Given its long wheelbase, rear passengers are treated to a lot of legroom. Plus, this GLE is the first in the SUV market to offer a fully adjustable second seat row as an option.
The GLE also features fully-variable all-wheel drive (torque on demand), making it even more agile and safe on the road. The level of active safety has also been improved further compared with the preceding model. Some Intelligent Drive functions, such as Active Stop-and-Go Assist, still set the bar high for the rest of the SUV segment.
As is always the question, will we see the new GLE 350 de 4MATIC on PH roads? Given its range, we don't think it will flinch in traffic at all; and with Auto Nation Group releasing Mercedes-Benz models left and right, given time and demand, we actually might.