The environmentally conscious of member of Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, the GLE550e delivers plug-in hybrid power to the midsize luxury crossover market. Along with a lush cabin and scads of standard equipment, you get the ability to make short trips without using a drop of gas.
What's New for 2016
The GLE550e is a new model for 2016.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz GLE550e
At the heart of the GLE500e lies a potent hybrid setup with plug-in capability. The 3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and electric motor produce a total of 436 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. On a full charge, the GLE550e can travel up to 19 miles on electricity alone at speeds up to 88 mph. After that, it runs on a mix of gas and electricity, just like an ordinary hybrid. The system offers several different modes so you can tailor electricity usage to your trip length and charging availability. Bringing a depleted battery back to full charge takes about 90 minutes on a 240-volt charger.
All-wheel drives comes standard, although towing capacity is 4,410 pounds, significantly lower than other GLE-Class models. At 80 cubic feet, maximum cargo space is just as good, despite a slightly elevated load floor.
All models are luxuriously equipped with leather upholstery, wood or aluminum interior trim, heated front seats with driver memory, a sunroof, smart key access, and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Standard tech features include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and a hard-drive navigation system. The optional Driver Assistance package adds active lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and cross-traffic alert. An automated parking system is also available.
The Exterior Sport package give you AMG-spec bumpers and wheels (20-inch) for an aggressive look. Models so equipped are eligible for a Night package with black-finish wheels and glass black exterior trim. There's also an Interior Sport package with Nappa leather sport seats, a sport steering, and aluminum pedal trim.
Anything missing from the packages can surely found in the raft of individual options. These include ventilated front seats with massage, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, an adaptive air suspensions, automatic soft-close doors, and a rear video entertainment system.
The GLE550 comes with more standard equipment than most GLE-Class models, so options are less of an issue. The accident-avoidance features in Driver Assistance package are certainly worthwhile, but everything else is simply a matter of how exclusive you want your GLE550e to be.