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Mercedes-Benz refreshes the GLE with updated looks, new tech and more power

The midsize offering gets a spec bump for 2023


Mercedes-Benz is refreshing the GLE SUV and its sporty offshoot, the GLE Coupe. First launched in 2018, the model series update brings changes to technology, appearance, interior and equipment that will be available to buyers in Europe from July, and hopefully to customers on our shores not long after.

One for starting families, the other...not so much. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

Visually, Mercedes didn’t change too much and focused mainly on the front and the rear of the GLE, where new bumpers are now gracing the vehicle. The front now features new air intakes and a radiator grille that has two horizontal slats with chrome inserts. The grille of the outer air intakes now comes with a horizontal chrome fin, and at least the Coupe version even comes with the AMG styling package as standard.

Gaze upon its multibeam eyes. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The SUV version is still offered with a conventional bumper, and the large, visual underbody protection was also redesigned on the GLE and the GLE Coupe as part of this update. The headlights get a new daytime running light signature that is no longer divided into two parts with LED strips.

Instead, there is only one LED light strip and an additional four light points above and below the main headlight—at least when you order the Multibeam LED option. That setup is now similar to what you find on cars from neighboring Zuffenhausen, and in the standard version, there are two illuminated dots that complement the new light signature. The rear lights have also been revised, and now feature a horizontal light graphic.

AMG package interiors come with obligatory carbon fiber. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

On the inside, the steering wheel design is new and now features touch operation on the horizontal spokes, just like the ones in the S-Class and the GLS. For the AMG variants and the AMG package, the well-known sports steering wheel with double spokes is also available for the GLE. In line with the new exterior colors, there will also be new options for the upholstery.

In addition, Mercedes gives the SUV the latest generation of the well-known MBUX infotainment system. The language assistant now promises to be even more capable of dialogue and learning, and with the new smart home function, the GLE should also become a mobile control center for your home. Software updates will be done over the air in the future without need for a casa visit.

Which form of power do you desire more? PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

On the engine front, there’s a choice of mild and plug-in hybrid powerplants featuring a 48V electrical system and integrated starter generator. The only remaining un-electrified diesel that used to be available has been dropped, and performance figures across the range have gone up slightly.

The basic GLE450 gasoline engine now churns out at least 381hp, which is 14hp more than before. The entry-level diesel is the GLE300d with a 269hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The GLE400d was renamed to 450d and now has 367hp, while the two plug-in hybrids create a system output of 333hp (GLE350de) and 381hp (GLE400e).

No official data is known yet for the larger GLE580 and the AMG variants, but a slight increase in performance can also be assumed for these range-toppers.

GLE owners wouldn't really conquer rocks, but the car could. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

First deliveries to showrooms will happen in Europe in July 2023. No word yet on when they will reach our shores, but we sure will let you know when we find out.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.