2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is Bigger and Has a New Inline-Six

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE crossover has made its official debut, replacing the long-standing third-generation model that went into production as the M-Class way back in 2011.

Two engine options will be available with 2020 GLE from launch. Under the hood of entry-level GLE 350 models will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes-Benz’s new 48V mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbo inline-six will see duty in the better equipped GLE 450, where it will be making 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 48V system doubles as an integrated starter-generator and manages the EQ Boost hybrid boost function and battery energy recuperation

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Both the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter engines will be paired with the automaker’s 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission and a 4Matic all-wheel drive system. In 2.0-liter GLE 350 models the 4Matic system will have a fixed torque split of 50:50, but the multi-clutch 4Matic system in the GLE 450 will allow for a variable split, with 0-100% of the engine’s torque capable of being sent to either of the axles.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

Joining the two engine choices is a new 48V E-Active Body Control system. E-Active Body Control works in combination with a newly developed air suspension system, using its 48V electric platform to counteract suspension roll, pitch and squat. The air-suspension and 48V platform can be individually adjusted, giving the user extensive control over the vehicle’s suspension dynamics. The system has also enabled a new ‘Free-driving mode’, which allows the car to rock itself free when it’s trapped in sand, snow or mud. A video of this ingenious system at work is embedded just below.

Looks-wise, the 2020 GLE looks to offer a blend of luxuriousness and ruggedness with a large, upright grille, bulging ‘power domes’ on the hood and distinctive LED headlight and taillight designs. The crossover is longer, taller and wider than the outgoing model, measuring in at 194.3-inches long, 76.7-inches wide and 70.7-inches tall. It also has a wheelbase of 117.9-inches. Mercedes says the vehicle boasts the lowest drag coefficient in its class (0.29), contributing to gains in efficiency for both the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter models.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Review

Inside the GLE is a lot like other new Mercedes products, featuring a widescreen display front-and-center running its new MBUX infotainment software. Like other versions of MBUX, the version found in the 2020 GLE features navigation, smartphone integration, gesture control and an AI assistant. It also gets some new features such as support for the off-road driving modes and off-road displays. The system is joined by a center touchpad controller and a customizable full color head-up display. Other notable interior features include available six-way power adjustable second-row seats and an optional power-folding third-row. Mercedes claims the cabin is also more spacious than the previous GLE, boasting an additional 2.7-inches of second-row legroom and 1.3-inches of third-row headroom.

SEE ALSO: Complete 2018 Paris Motor Show Coverage

Active safety technology is of course on the table, with the 2020 GLE featuring the Active Distance Assist Distronic cruise control system. This system features active stop and go with traffic jam assist and active blind spot assist. There’s also a new system that will detect traffic when the driver is turning across oncoming traffic, applying the brakes if it detects an imminent collision. If you live in a city you may appreciate the new exit assist system as well, which detects and warns of cyclists or traffic that may enter your path when you are getting out of the vehicle.

Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE has yet to be announced, but more details should come to light shortly. Look for the vehicle to make its official debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show next month before going on sale in the United States later next year. For more coverage on the 2020 GLE, stay tuned to AutoGuide as we report live from Paris in just a few short weeks.

Discuss this story on our Mercedes-Benz Forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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