room available. Be it headroom or kneeroom, all is well. But the clincher is the space in the back. Even with the tallest driver at the the GLE is relatively more spacious than rivals. Connoisseurs therefore can comfortably waft back home after a hard day’s work at the corner office. The boot too is massive and offers more than enough space for luggage worth a weeklong trip with ease.
The 300d is powered by a 2-litre oil burner which churns out 245bhp and 500Nm of torque. All this power and torque is sent to all four wheels via a 9G-Tronic automatic. Now if you are wondering if 245bhp is enough for this three-tonne Goliath; then think again. The GLE offers rather grunty acceleration during kick down and Mercedes claim that it can do 100kmph in 7.2 seconds. Still worried about power? Don’t be. On start up the engine feels very refined although a bit of noise does filter into the cabin at higher revs. But in general the engine offers a smooth surge of power which comes handy both in the city and on the highway. The gearbox too offers decently quick downshifts which you might demand during quick acceleration. With a claimed top speed of over 200kmph, the GLE is well tuned to offer more than enough performance which one might demand from an SUV in this category. The GLE also comes with Mercedes’ 4MATIC AWD system. Having experienced this system first hand, we can assure you that there is little chance of you getting stuck in challenging terrain.
The 300d is no manic AMG SUV and hence the ride and handling package has been tuned accordingly. It is an SUV for everyday use and one which is ready to take on any terrain. The point of the matter is that the new GLE offers a rather comfortable ride quality. Rough roads, gravel and even that odd nasty pothole does not shake the big barge. This means that the passengers will remain perfectly comfy inside the cabin enjoying the multizone climate control. Where things start becoming a bit shaky is when the driver gets into a sporty tone. First and foremost, Mercedes is not even offering a Sport mode in the GLE 300d and this should make things clear. There is a fair amount of body roll displayed around corners and that is not exactly what you want. But once again this SUV is not meant for tomfooling around. So no points deducted there. The steering too weighs up well and is good at high speeds. In the city though it felt a wee bit heavy for our liking.
The GLE is aimed largely at the ‘being driven’ client. For these people rear seat comfort is the most important thing. The 300d then offers ample room inside and will keep passengers happy. Next up is the ride quality which is much better than the erstwhile generation of the GLE. It absorbs bumps with ease and again will keep the customer happy. Moving on to the performance bit, the engine might seem to be small to haul this large SUV, but in all honesty it is more than enough.
1. Multizone climate control display for rear seat passengers. 2. The flat boot can hold a lot of stuff. The seats can be further folded to aid more space. 3. When it comes to space at the back, the GLE sure impresses VERDICT