2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE Gets New Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain and Minor Cosmetic Surgery

Mercedes-Benz does not want to end the first month of the year without a major announcement regarding one of its production models. So, the company’s popular midsize SUV gets a minor makeover to be more in line with other members of its portfolio. Here’s what’s new.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 12 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift
We have shown you a couple of pictures of the GLE prototypes used by Mercedes-Benz for testing. If you’ve seen them, then you might know that we were not expecting some major overhaul or surprise changes. However, this update is welcomed and it might help the automaker snatch some market share from BMW, Audi, and Range Rover.

First thing first, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift adds a new powertrain. Keeping up with what’s currently trending, the automaker decided to give Americans the GLE 400 e 4MATIC. It hides a two-liter gas-powered four-cylinder engine under the hood that alone puts out 248 hp (251 ps) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. While that may not be enough for a vehicle that weighs around 5,800 lb (2,631 kg), the good part about a plug-in hybrid is that an electric motor and a 23.3-kWh battery pack are also included.

The zero-emission power unit can develop 134 hp (136 ps) and 325 lb-ft (441 Nm), which results in a total power output of 381 hp (386 ps) and 479 lb-ft (649 Nm) of torque.

The SUV may be a tad bit heavier than its mild hybrid gas- or diesel-powered counterparts, but it provides the advantage of completing some journeys on electricity alone.

2024 Mercedes\-Benz GLE facelift
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
If the numbers shown above don’t add up, then you need to know that’s due to the engine and the motor not synchronizing all the time. They don’t work in parallel. The maximum power delivery happens at different rpm, so the total figures will never add up because they do not follow the same power versus rpm curve.

Don’t leave the trailer at home!

Still, the GLE 400 e 4MATIC brings an improved total power output over the current 350 e 4MATIC that was not sold in the U.S. The manufacturer added 48 hp (49 ps). However, it does not feature the same maximum torque of 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) available on the 350 e 4MATIC, nor does it have the same 31.2-kWh battery. The German manufacturer chose an interesting recipe for the American market.

Fortunately, the optional onboard 60-kW DC charger is offered in the U.S., meaning that you’ll be able to replenish your SUV’s energy storage unit in no time if you find a high-power stall.

Owners will also be able to travel off-road in EV mode, which may help with exploring nature in silence.

Mercedes-Benz debuts the Off-Road Engineering Package, which adds an underride guard and can provide an increased ground clearance of 1.2 inches together with the Airmatic air suspension system. This optional feature also makes use of the infotainment display to show what’s underneath the SUV, offering the driver a perspective similar to what we’ve seen on the new Range Rover models.

2024 Mercedes\-Benz GLE facelift
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
To make your life easier, the manufacturer created Trailer Route Planner for the navigation system. It can tell you which route is most suitable for trips in which there’s more stuff to haul around.

The new GLE will support trailers that have their own stabilization device, and it will automatically regulate the steering angle of the towing vehicle up to a speed of 3 mph (5 kph) when reversing.

However, you will have to help the system learn more about the environment beforehand, but no markings are necessary for the visual measurement of the drawbar length. This entire process and more can be supervised using the 360-degree camera system. The GLE’s creator also underlines that it added new surround sensors, which help the driver maneuver easily.

Looking good, like it should!

The all-new GLE comes with a new exterior design that’s aligned with what we’ve seen the manufacturer apply on other of its recent models. The headlamps and the grille are a testament to that. But the SUV also comes with a redesigned front bumper that now shows some chrome accents for the radiator and outer air intakes grilles. The taillights have been changed as well, but the updates are a little restrained. Only the interior parts have been updated. Customers will be able to equip the GLE with ambient lighting that includes an animated projection of the Mercedes-Benz star-shaped pattern.

With this facelift, the automaker added more dilution for the AMG brand as the GLE 580 4Matic’s body is turned into a “line” that can be optioned on other models as well. If you want to look sporty, but don’t want to pay for the improved aspect all the time at the pump, then you might choose this version.

The refreshed SUV now enjoys two new colors – Twilight Blue Metallic and Manufaktur Alpine Grey. To complement the new additions, new 19- and 20-inch allow wheel designs have been included as optional equipment. The 21-inch wheels are reserved for the AMG line-equipped units.

2024 Mercedes\-Benz GLE facelift
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Inside, the all-new SUV adds the new steering wheel seen on the EQS or the new E-Class, new chrome finishes for the air vents that were previously reserved for the very expensive Maybach GLS, and the cabin can now be finished in new beige-over-black or brown-over-black configurations. Although slightly changed, the fingerprint-prone Piano Black trim remains.

Rear passengers now get two new USB 100W ports installed in the armrest, while the driver enjoys the latest MBUX software. However, there’s no front passenger screen as seen on the EQS. Moreover, the same 12.3-inch displays are found inside the cabin.

The optional 13-speaker Burmester sound system features Dolby Atmos and individual settings, while customers can enjoy one of their favorite music streaming services without hassle. Some are integrated into the MBUX infotainment system.

The virtual voice assistant is now more capable of helping you deal with various car functions and it can even answer questions related to settings or where you’ll find various items like the first aid kit.
For the first time in the U.S., the entire GLE lineup is electrified. Even the V8-powered GLE 580 4Matic gets a tiny integrated starter generator that adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque as extra, which are available temporarily for the boost function or to help with slowly moving from a redlight.

Finally, the automaker says the refreshed GLE will arrive at dealerships across the U.S. this year but it does not indicate when exactly we’ll be able to see them parked outside and ready for customers to test drive them. Pricing has yet to be revealed as well, but we will keep you posted as soon as there is more to know.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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