The second-generation Mercedes GLE – the long term replacement to the ML – is taking shape for a 2018 release. Recent sightings have seen it testing under camouflage on the public highway. Images courtesy of carscoops give us our best idea yet of what it could look like. The new car will continue to go up against the likes of the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
The current GLE, on sale since 2015, was in essence a heavy facelift of the last generation ML. The next GLE is expected to arrive in 2019 and will feature a whole host of changes – namely, it’ll be supported by Mercedes new ‘Modular High Architecture’ chassis that’s set to underpin most of the brand’s future large models.
The revamped appearance is likely to see a more rounded design compared to the current version. We can expect an incremental enlargement of dimensions leading to a larger overall footprint with a corresponding increase in cabin space.
The wheelarches seem to protrude further from the body, while the rear screen seems to adopt a more sloped shape for a brawnier look. Cabin space will increase in conjunction with the GLE’s physical growth and is likely to get Mercedes’ latest digital display heading up the dashboard.
The engine range is likely to resemble the current ones offered on the recently released Mercedes E-Class. Petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids will be available – from a turbocharged diesel up to a range topping, performance-oriented AMG model with more horsepower than sense.
The four-cylinder diesel in the 2016 GLE returns an average of 47.9mpg. The next generation entry-level diesel is likely to have similar, if not better fuel efficiency.
Following the evolution of the current GLE, we can assume the next generation will again spawn a GLE Coupe version for a sportier look and feel.
Entry to the present GLE range is around £50,075 for the 250 d 4MATIC Sport. A small price increase is likely to be tagged onto the new model in 2019.
Mercedes GLE latest news (updated July 2016)
Mercedes is readying a replacement for the GLE large SUV. A facelifted version of the BMW X5 rival was introduced only last year, but this all-new model should be lighter, more refined and more efficient than ever. Spy shots courtesy of Carscoops give us our best idea yet of what the new SUV could look like.
As the new version approaches its launch date, dealers typically offer progressively bigger discounts on the outgoing model to clear forecourt space. Put the current Mercedes GLE in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.
2018 Mercedes GLE styling
The heavy disguise of these early prototypes hides many of the more intricate details, but it’s clear to see that the overall shape and dimensions of the current car remain mostly unchanged. One new feature can be found around the back – the large, square-shaped taillights of the old car look set to be ditched in favour of slimmer units more reminiscent of the sportier GLE Coupe.
Aerodynamic efficiency has played a big part in Mercedes’ latest creations, both reducing wind noise in the cabin and fuel consumption on the move. The GLE’s SUV proportions mean it’s unlikely to match the slippery shape of traditional saloons such as the E-Class, but it should still be a significant step forward over the existing model.
2018 Mercedes GLE driving
Riding on a version of the platform used by the latest E-Class, the wheelbase of the next GLE is expected to increase marginally compared to the current car – the E-Class measures 2,939mm between the front axles compared to the current GLE’s 2,915mm. While that won’t be immediately noticeable behind the wheel, the new chassis’ mix of high-strength steel and aluminium will bring with it a handy weight reduction – we expect a drop of at least 100kg compared to the car it replaces.
Not only will it be lighter, but it’ll be stiffer too. This should help to improve comfort and refinement levels no end – both ride comfort and cabin noise have the potential to be class-leading.
2018 Mercedes GLE engines
Much like the chassis, the new GLE’s engine lineup will benefit from the technology already used by the E-Class. At the base of the range, the current 2.1-litre diesel will be replaced with a more frugal 2.0-litre unit, while the existing 3.0-litre V6 should sit above it. A plug-in hybrid will also be offered, pairing a 2.0-litre petrol engine with electric motors which offer a battery-powered range of around 20 miles.
2018 Mercedes GLE prices and release date
The next GLE is expected to make its debut in 2018. The current model costs from £49,285, climbing to £97,420 for the AMG.
Save money on your next new car
Can’t wait for the new model? Try out our current Mercedes GLE deals page for all of the latest discounts on the outgoing model. Fancy something else? Take a look at our list of the best luxury 4×4 and SUVs on sale today for some of the most tempting alternatives.