The entry-level Mercedes-Benz GLE300d 4Matic is getting an electrified boost for the 2022 model year in Europe, adding a 48V mild-hybrid system which enhances both performance and efficiency – but it’s not coming to Australia, at least for now.
Due to go on sale in its home market from November, the GLE300d 4Matic gets the company’s second-generation integrated starter-generator and 48V on-board electrical system.
Gliding, boost and recuperation functions are new to the GLE300d, with the MHEV setup able to ‘boost’ the powertrain with an additional 15kW and 200Nm for short periods.
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Australia told CarExpert that the changes announced this week are “specific to overseas markets and there are no changes to announce regarding our local GLE line-up at this stage”.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine in the base GLE has also been given its own boost, now developing 200kW (4200rpm) and 550Nm (1800-2200rpm). Currently, the GLE300d sans 48V tech makes 180kW and 500Nm.
It takes a claimed 6.8 seconds to accelerate from 0-100 regardless of body style, which is a 0.4-second improvement.
Mercedes-Benz says the 48V-equipped GLE300d “allows significant fuel savings” while also firing up the engine so “quickly and comfortably” that “the start-stop function is almost imperceptible”.
The GLE300d 4Matic Wagon claims to use 6.1-7.5L/100km on the combined WLTP cycle depending on specification, while the GLE300d 4Matic Coupe quotes 6.5-7.1L/100km. Current Australian GLE300d Wagon models quote a combined figure of 6.6L/100km
Additionally, the company has revised the four-cylinder model’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
Previously, GLE300d models featured a transfer case with a fixed 50:50 torque split, but the updated model has a transfer case with an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch that can transfer up to 100 per cent of torque between the axles.
Dubbed ‘Torque on Demand‘, the revised all-wheel drive system claims to offer better driving safety and agility on the road, particularly when cornering, “specifically influencing the yaw movement to induce vehicle oversteer or understeer”.
The latest GLE has been a runaway success for Mercedes-Benz in Australia, currently accounting for more than 20 per cent of all premium large SUV sales when you combine sales of the wagon and coupe ranges.
Some 2605 GLE Wagons and 807 GLE Coupes have been registered year-to-date as of September 30, equal to 16.0 and 5.0 per cent market share respectively.
It edges the big Benz ahead of the BMW X5 (2454 sales YTD) and X6 (437 sales YTD) giving it segment leadership so far in 2021.
MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz GLE