Saar: It’s bigger, more feature-rich, has the lowest drag coefficient in its class and can accommodate seven passengers. And there’s more!

Okay guys, let us start this one with an apology. The car in question was revealed a few days ago and we, well, weren’t paying attention. Now that we’ve got back to our senses, allow us to introduce the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE. It still sits in the middle of the automaker’s SUV portfolio and will surely move up a notch once the GLB come into the equation. But that’s then and right now we have the next-gen GLE to unravel. Let’s begin!

The new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE is the most aerodynamic model in its class, with a drag coefficient of 0.29 which is 0.03 lower than the previous-gen model. If you don’t know what that means just look at it this way – the new model will cut through the air more effortlessly on the move. The new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE is also larger than before, thanks to a wheelbase that’s 80mm longer. We all know what that translates into – more cabin space. The Stuttgart-based carmaker claims that the second-row passengers can enjoy 69mm of more legroom and 33mm of more headroom. As an optional extra, Mercedes-Benz will also fit the GLE with a third-row of seats to take the seating capacity to seven.

Under the hood, the new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE will be available with a range of engines but as of now, the company has revealed the specifications of just one. It wears the 450 4MATIC badge and houses a 3.0-litre turbo-petrol engine under the bonnet. The motor is good for 367PS of power and 500Nm of torque. The engine has some help from a 48V mild-hybrid system that produces an additional 22PS/250Nm. The oomph is routed to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that a turbo-diesel and a plug-in hybrid, among other engine options, will also be available at a later stage.

Inside the cabin, the new model gets Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system with two 12.3-inch displays. The one behind the steering wheel works as digital instrument cluster with various layout settings while the other that stretches towards the centre of the dashboard works as the control centre for several gizmos. Mercedes-Benz, for an extra amount of money, will also fit the GLE with a head-up display which is 20 per cent brighter than its predecessor. The list of optional extras also includes Mercedes’ Energising system for the front seats. If equipped, it identifies the changes in body posture of the passengers and then adjusts the seat cushion and backrest to make matters comfier.

Speaking of making matters comfier, there’s also an optional E-Active Body Control System that can be had with the new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE. It uses the on-board 48V electrical system to adjust the air suspension’s dampers in all four corners individually. The new model is also equipped with the company’s latest driving assistance aids. One, in particular, is quite intriguing. Called as the Active Distance Distronic system, it keeps a tab on LiveTraffic monitoring. If it detects slow or stop-and-go moving traffic ahead, the car slows down to 100kmph just to be on the safer side. Why 100kmph specifically? Well, the on-board sensors can react and stop quickly enough to slow the SUV down if the traffic in front suddenly comes to a halt.

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People will get to see the new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE in flesh at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. It is destined to go on sale in across Europe and USA early next year. A few months later, India will also receive the new model. On our shores, it will renew its rivalry with the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. If it were your money, which one would you opt for?