New Mercedes GLE plug-in hybrid: UK order books open now

Diesel plug-in hybrid version of Mercedes GLE SUV has 62-mile electric range and costs from £61,360

Mercedes GLE 350 de hybrid

Mercedes has confirmed pricing for the diesel plug-in-hybrid version of the GLE SUV it revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The GLE 350 de 4MATIC starts from £61,360 in entry-level AMG Line form, rising to £64,860 for AMG Line Premium and £68,360 for AMG Line Premium Plus.

With a 31.2kWh battery, it’s capable of between 56 and 62 miles of pure-electric driving (depending on exact specification). By redesigning the rear end of the GLE and modifying the rear axle, Mercedes has created more space to place a larger battery, resulting a marginal loss of luggage space compared to the standard diesel version (total capacity drops from 630 to 490 litres with the seats up).

Mercedes GLE hybrid charging, MPG, CO2 and performance

The GLE is capable of AC and DC charging thanks to its Type 2 and CCS sockets, and a new on-board charger doubles the AC charging capacity from 3.6 to 7.4kW. A public rapid charger can take it from 10 to 80% in 20 minutes thanks to the maximum DC charging rate of 60kW. You only need to keep it plugged in for another 10 minutes for a full charge.

Plugging it in to a home wallbox will give you a full recharge in 1.5 hours, rising to five hours if you use a conventional domestic socket. On the road, you can find nearby charging points using the car’s infotainment system and pay for charging through an app – though this is only available for those in continental Europe for the time being.

Mercedes quotes officially tested fuel economy of 257mpg, and CO2 emissions of 29g/km. The hybrid GLE uses Mercedes’ 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission and the brand's latest energy-recuperation technology. As energy is recaptured at each wheel, the car has a natural braking capability, allowing for ‘one-pedal’ driving.

The GLE 350 de 4MATIC also has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine with 192bhp. When combined with the electric motor, it generates 315bhp, giving a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 130mph, as well as an electric-only top speed of 99mph. Those who need to tow will note the GLE’s towing capacity of 3,500kg and Mercedes ‘Trailer Manoeuvring Assist’ system, which controls the steering angle of the car to make reversing a trailer, caravan or horsebox easier.

Specifications

AMG Line models come as standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, LED high-performance headlights, DAB digital radio, heated front seats, ambient lighting the MBUX multimedia system, a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and wireless phone charging.

AMG Line Premium adds multi-beam LED headlights, a 'Memory Package' including power-adjustable front seats and steering wheel, a 'Parking Package' with a 360-degree camera and augmented-reality navigation. The range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus throws in keyless entry, a panoramic glass sunroof, air suspension and a Burmester surround-sound stereo.

The GLE is the latest in a range of plug-in hybrid models from Mercedes, including C-Class, E-Class and S-Class saloons and estates, the A-Class hatchback and the smaller GLC SUV. By the end of 2020, the carmaker is aiming to have 20 electrified models on sale.