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October 16, 2019

Mercedes Benz GLE built strong for Africa

What happens when part of a brand’s strategy is sensual purity. Nothing less than awesome and this excites me very much. Mercedes Benz has been in existence since 1886. That is 133 years of history loaded with heritage and innovation. We have Carl Benz who submitted his patent application to thank for this. For years it has been the choice of presidents and celebrities as well as discerning consumers with a quest for more.

You might have noticed that the last few years have seen the introduction of a new range of trendy SUVs that has given Mercedes Benz a fresh lease of life. These include the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and GClass.

To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV and they have just introduced their strongest hint of total dominance of the local mid-size SUV segment.

It is the new GLE

The dynamic shining radiator grill is sportier and stronger from every angle. The twin bonnet bulge stripes signal to the added power beneath. It will feature a new set of engines including the 6 cylinder petrol engine that manages 367hp (270kW) and 500H=Nm of torque and an additional 250Nm of torque from the 22hp(16kW) electric power from its 48-volt EQ Boost technology available in short busts of power when required.

A lot about this vehicle makes it perfect for Africa. The continent is strong, resilient, determined, passionate, hospitable and beautiful.

The new Mercedes GLE chooses the ‘strength’ mantra for its marketing campaign and promises to be deliver the ‘strength to adapt’ to every challenge with three rows of seats. It promises to care for its passengers with higher levels of comfort. It claims the strength to see the bigger picture. That surely offers a new perspective on a continent that is being visited by new focused and progressive leaders.

The new GLE is the most intelligent with technologies that ensure the vehicles know what you are thinking of doing and perhaps when you are not thinking straight at all. The five most important innovations are E-Active Body Control that offers a fully networked hydro-pneumatic suspension system that allows each wheels spring and damper forces to be individually controlled to reduce body roll, squatting and pitching making it a more compact and comfortable ride.

Next is Active tailback Assist. This driving assistance system makes start stop traffic a little less stressful. It will take over up to speeds of 60 kilometers an hour so you can rest your feet, especially the breaking foot. When exiting a junction you will often struggle with oncoming traffic so Mercedes Benz have the Turn-off function that allows you to avoid collision by automatically braking before you had a clue there was a speeding lunatic dashing past.

The new 4MATIC system might be the most noticeable new feature as it finally gives you Torque On Demand that distributes Torque between the front and rear wheels room 0-100 per cent depending on driving mode. If you opt for the offroad package you can now take the GLE anywhere as it enhances its ability in the bundus.

The last important new feature is one that will be highly appreciated in Africa. It’s the optional third row of seats. With and extra 80mm to the wheelbase you get better legroom meaning a spacious interior making long journeys better for larger families.

So how luxurious is it?

Functional luxury is as important as comfort. The new GLE is not short of luxury features and I particularly like the Ultra Range High Beam Lights that will make night driving a little brighter. The Multibeam, LED headlights produce maximum light intensity offering 650 metres of illumination.

On the inside you will get a sportier dashboard, a wider choice of leather hues, sun blinds, finer finishing, sculptured steering wheel and more space all round. The second row of seats have 6 fully electric adjustments, a first in this segment meaning the optional third row seats are now more accessible and passengers can access the back quite easily thanks to this feature.

The GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiselling and pyramidal structures demonstrate the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. More space comfort and the GLE gets 69mm more in the second row and 33mm more of headroom.

True luxury however comes in form of the ENERGIZING comfort control. It networks various comfort systems in the vehicle, and uses musical and lighting moods plus a number of massage modes for a wide range of feel-good programmes.

The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function, based on an intelligent algorithm, recommends one of the programmes depending on the situation and the individual. If a compatible Garmin® wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimise the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for the driver and passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.

Written by: Michael Mwai, Editor for Luxuria Lifestyle East Africa

W: Mercedes Benz East Africa
W: CFAO Automotive