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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

As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor rahul.ghosh@in­to­ @bul­let­com­pany

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