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Old 8th April 2017, 21:26   #1
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Default Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-star.jpg
Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-250-d.jpg

First of all many thanks to T-Bhpians who helped me finalise and buy this SUV. The relevant threads that led to this acquisition can be found here: (Which SUV should I buy? Budget = 60 lakhs) and here: (Diesel SUV or Petrol...from an environmental point of view?)

There is a wealth of knowledge here in Team-BHP and quality knowledge at that. However, as far as the GLE 250 D is concerned, apart from the sneak preview from Tushar on 27th March 2015: See this: (Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV officially revealed!) and the launch information by Turbanator on 14th Oct 2015: See this: (Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class launched in India at Rs. 58.90 lakh) not much information is available, let alone reviews. (Mods: My apologies if i am wrong)

With this in mind, i shall attempt to post my first review of this car.

Liked:
Solid presence and regal bearing.
Clean, well appointed interiors.
Driving comfort on highways.
Solid Safety features.
Overall mental peace while driving.
Branded puddle lights.

Disliked:
Outdated gizmos.
Poor design/anchoring of bumper elements and other elements under carriage.
No USB outlet in rear.
Tacky rear center armrest.
Tedious handling in city.
Lack of luxury in the rear.
Cost.

I had planned to buy the car during December 2016, when sales were under pressure, post demonetisation, but had to postpone due to certain events. However, finally during March end, we finalised the deal and since the dealer did not have 2017 models of the colour we wanted, the car would have to come from Pune. We had to wait for a week therefore, before we got it:

Mercedes Benz GLE 250D 4Matic

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-front-side-view.jpg

There is no doubt about it. There is something about the MB brand that excites, that brings the sparkle in one's eye, that justifies (not really, but sounds good) spending this huge amount of money.

I have the Santa Fe 4x4 MT which i had purchased in 2011 and it is still running good, with some 65000 kms on the odometer. It is a good car, ample for my needs, and apart from a couple of niggles (after about 5 years) has till date served me reliably. However, my wife and i like to wander and have now lost the appetite for unforeseen maintenance requirements, however small they might be. So a new SUV was required. Talk about excuses!

After much diligence, it was a choice between the X5 and the GLE 250. The relevant details are as under:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-screen-shot-20170408-20.00.52.png

I was leaning towards the X5 and apart from the inherent merits of the car that influenced my decision, the fantastic deal i was being offered by the dealer was the clincher. We Amdavadis are known to buy stuff since the price is good; not necessarily since we need it! However, as luck would have it, we had that tragic accident recently at Chennai, and that on top of that, there were a couple of ones that had occurred (earlier) at Ahmedabad, ( and which were equally horrific)- which turned the tables in Mercedes's favour. Illogical and absurd- the safety of the X5 is beyond doubt- but that is the decision we arrived at.

Exteriors:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-view.jpg

The car has presence. It is built like a bull. The old Fortuner had the same stance. I am not a fan of the new Fortuner shape and that was the deal breaker for me, though it seems to be a good, VFM, SUV. And a reliable one. The new Endeavour has many takers amongst us, but somehow, i did not feel comfortable driving it. It did not have that ease that i was used to in the Santa Fe. Obviously, the Ladder-on-frame build would have some body roll that the monocoque design manages to avoid.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-side-view.jpg

Consider the 3/4ths view ( as some term it) of the car:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-34-view.jpg

In my mind, it seems like a panther ready to spring. The muscular lines across the body, and the relatively low (crouching) front gives this illusion.

The back has the right amount of chrome and the dummy exhausts do look nice. The huge wraparound tail lights are pretty standard nowadays in most SUVs, but i would have liked the turn indicator lights to be slightly bigger. It is almost a slit. Observe the rear fog lamp built into the right turn indicator lights.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-backside-view.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rear-fog-lamp.jpg

The daytime running LED lights have become standard now and the lights of the GLE look good. But not comparable to the BMW cat's eyes in my opinion.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-innovative-puddle-light.jpg

Notice the innovative puddle lights. Again, this seems to be quite common in most SUVs now, though branding of a puddle light is a first! All in all, the car has good looks. My only grouse is that i would have liked a pair of exclusive fog lamps at the sides of the bumper where the faux fog lamp space covered by plastic mesh is provided. Really don't know why they have not put in a pair of lights here. On a lighter note, these make the GLE's front look like a Darth Vader.

18 inches rim alloys shod with Continental sport tyres. I had wanted Pirelli or Michelin which are OEMs in the GLC, but again the dealer insisted that they are not available with the GLE. It is amazing how dependent we are on the dealer for the understanding of such options. The website of MB or the brochures do not give any details of such options.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-alloys.jpg

255/55 R18 W

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-25555r18-w.jpg

The dummy exhausts look good. Both of them are dummies.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-dummy-exhausts.jpg

The real one ( there are two of them on either side of the scrubber/muffler) is here:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-exhaust.jpg
Note the heat foil.

The side running boards are a welcome addition and makes ingress easier, though it is awkward for egress.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-scuff-plates.jpg

The handles are body coloured. A bit of chrome would have been nice. These are not 'Keyless Go' handles.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-normal-access-system.jpg

The tow hook is on the right and the lid has to be prised open with a screwdriver or equivalent:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tow-hook-access.jpg

Here is a shot of the GLE sporting one of our stickers. Funnily, i have yet to come across any car sporting them in Ahmedabad- but then i am the last person whose word should be taken on this, since i am usually driven when in the city.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-t-bhp-sticker.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2017 at 21:10. Reason: As requested :)
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Old 8th April 2017, 22:35   #2
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Interiors:

The interiors are quite luxuriously appointed as one would expect from a MB product. Having said that, the Santa Fe's interiors are also pretty good and nearly on par with the GLE. The Santa Fe i have is a CBU and is 6 years old.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-drivers-seat.jpg

The interior is well laid out and the beige and coffee trim is quite pleasing. Over the years, MB's car have pretty much the same interiors and colours. Here is a shot of my C class 2008 interiors:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-c-class-front-console.jpg

Apologise for the unprofessional position of the steering wheel. Very amiss of me.

The rear is spacious, but has very little 'extras'. It is pretty standard and utilitarian. The seats do not recline from their fixed positions. Even the center arm rest pokes out unattractively, whereas the Santa Fe has a much better design. The rear seats on the Santa Fe recline to quite a degree.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rear-cabin-space.jpg

Notice the armrest in the Santa Fe. I don't have a similar shot for the GLE at present.

Rear seat armrest in the Santa Fe

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-santa-fe-arm-rest.jpg

Standard seat pockets:


Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-seat-pockets.jpg

The rear console, for the sake of calling it as such, is also pretty standard (read ordinary). There are only two vents given at the rear for a car this size. Side vents would have been welcome. Surprising that these cars give ashtrays as standard in this time and age. It doesn't bother me ( have quit for the third time now- and i do mean serious quitting, and not those early morning resolutions that one gets from time to time or at funerals) and even when i used to imbibe, i have never done so inside the car. The car does smell bad, apart from it being not good for co passengers, never mind yourself.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rear-ash-tray.jpg

The 12V outlet is placed right down, increasing chances of the cord fouling with your leg. The space above it - rather the recess- is just adequate to put ones smart telephone. I am at a loss to understand what is the utility of the small recess under the aircon vents? In the higher variant, it houses the rear A/C console. It is too shallow for anything useful. Or am i missing something here?

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-what-.jpg

The rear handle cum armrest is appealing visually and is comfortable. I do wish that MB had designed the handle with a bottom- it is convenient to park the phone, albeit at the danger of it falling off.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rear-seat-arm-rest-door-opener.jpg

The GLE 250 D comes in with manual sun blinds. Normally, in other cars, we have them going from bottom up - here it is sideways. the blinds are only for the rear windows though.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-sun-blinds.jpg

The front console and dash is well laid out with pleasing trim and lines. ( and yes, the driver side carpet is a temporary one) The tablet sticking out of the dash does look awkward and it almost seems as if it was an afterthought on the part of the designers. ( Funnily, other MB cars seem to have something similar)

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-front-cabin.jpg

The sun roof seems seems a trifle small for a car of this size. However, i am not a frequent user of the sun roof and do question its utility in hot, dusty climates. India is maturing into a significant market for MB and they would do well to design cars specifically for Indian roads, conditions and preferences. And if i dare say so, it is also high time we stopped fooling ourselves about liking a particular european or american oriented design or gizmo, which has no usefulness in our space, save for bragging rights.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-sky-light.jpg

Talking about sun roofs, the one i have in my old C class is similar:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-c-class-sun-roof.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 9th April 2017 at 07:20.
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Old 9th April 2017, 10:37   #3
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Interiors (continued)

The front arm rest is comfortably placed and hides a storage area and houses a pair of USBs:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-storage-central_.jpg

It is not cooled as is in other comparable cars and in this variant there are no partitions or nooks- just a deep empty well. MB should pay some attention to such details too. I can understand that cost matters, but the least they can do is offer options.

The glove compartment is lockable and one needs to take out the emergency key to lock/unlock it. Again it is very cursory as can be seen. Even in the 8 year old C class there were two partitions.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-lockable-glove-compartment.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-glove-compartment.jpg

The padded sun glass holder is a nice touch-prevents scratches on the glass as well as rattling.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-padded-sun-glass-holder.jpg

Another good touch is a rubber mat on the bottle storage in the front doors. However the rear doors do not get it. Why? What is the logic? Cost cutting?

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rubber-mat-bottle.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-no-rubber-mat-rear-bottle-holder.jpg

The controls on the drivers armrest are pretty standard:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-controls-driver-armrest.jpg

The front seat adjustment buttons are the tried and tested MB design - only here the head rest button is a dummy.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-dummy-head-rest-button.jpg

The left rear door grip handle (all doors have one) comes with a coat hanger

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-coat-hanger.jpg

The front seats apart from electric adjustment (no memory) also come with lumbar support:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-lumbar-support.jpg

The IRVM is self dimming (as is the driver's side ORVM) and has a clear view if the center rear seat head rest is not raised and no one is sitting there.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-rear-view-mirror-coverage.jpg

The boot boasts of a luggage cover which is useful both from shielding the contents from prying eyes as well as affording a degree of safety to the occupants. The aircon cooling efficiency would also increase.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tail-gate-open.jpg

The false bottom of the boot covers a tyre well with a baby tyre and essential tools neatly housed there. I do wish the design of tethering the false bottom to the top of the car could have been better, since this is like a rope and tie mechanism and not what one would expect from MB. Even the 8 year old C class has a more niftier arrangement.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tethering-hook.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tethering-hook2.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tethering-hook4.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tethering-hook5.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 9th April 2017 at 14:26.
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Old 9th April 2017, 11:30   #4
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Controls:

The steering is (manually) adjustable for tilt and reach. It is clad in leather and rough (buff) leather at that, which enables one to have a firm grip on the steering. It is, as expected, very responsive, and one is comfortable when driving. The usual controls are present on the spokes. I am of the view that too many 'handy' buttons on the steering are in fact counterproductive and may well be dangerous. i can understand the media and the telephone at best. In the GLE, one has to access the car computer through the steering controls, which require a degree of concentration - and which can be dangerous when one is driving.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-steering.jpg

The front and rear wipers are controlled through this single lever - again a standard facility in most cars.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-wiper-lever.jpg

The GLE comes with intelligent light system (yet to test it) and one can programme the exterior and interior lights to switch on and off as required. Again a fairly standard feature.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-light-controls.jpg

The A/C control unit has remained unchanged, at least through the past 8 years - it is identical in my C class. While it is touted as a 2-Zone system, what it really means is that there are separate thermostat controls for the driver and passenger sides. The rear gets a blower housed in the center console. No side or overhead louvres- or for that matter a rear blower in the boot area. That comes in the higher variants only.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-ac-control-unit.jpg

We have already gone over the controls on the driver's door armrest. The only additional comment is that in addition to programming the ORVMs to open/fold on start/stop, they can be folded by the top center button when trying to squeeze through a narrow lane. Useful.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-controls-driver-armrest.jpg

The drive select lever is perfectly positioned and makes it easy to engage different drive modes. The paddle shifters are also correctly positioned for easy access and deployment.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-drive-select-lever.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-paddle-shifter.jpg
(Sorry for the bad quality of the photograph)

The cruise control lever combines with the distance pilot DISTRONIC system ( not yet tested or even know if my variant has it)

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-cruise-control.jpg

The stop start button is an unnecessary addition, in my opinion and a sorry excuse for the 'Keyless Go' system which is not available in this variant- or for that matter in any variant, if the dealer has to be believed. The "keyless" function in other cars opens the door when you are near it, switches on the lights, does other cool stuff and maybe does the Macarena too.

Nothing of that sort here. This is just a button to start and stop. Period. No other functionality. You still need your key to open/close the door by pressing a remote button. It is as mundane as that: See the picture below this one.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-stop-start-button.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-stop-start-button2.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 9th April 2017 at 11:48.
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Old 9th April 2017, 11:53   #5
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Media:

The GLE 250D comes with the Audio 20 system which in my opinion is a dated system. Still it was ample for our needs and hence there are no regrets. What i miss is a navigation system which comes as an add on option for about Rs 42,000/- (Garmin). Shall mull getting that depending upon the advice of fellow members. Please let me know.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-front-console.jpg

The usual media offerings including CD (or is it DVD?), radio, bluetooth telephone and Apple car play.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-apple-car-play.jpg

Am i missing something here?What is the big deal about Apple car play anyway? One gets the same functions via the bluetooth connectivity for telephone and music. In Apple car play one has to connect via the USB and the functions seem similar. I would have been happy to connect to Google Maps, but don't seem to be able to do so.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-usb-reqd-car-play.jpg

The stuck-in-the-middle-display also acts as a monitor for some controls. Not all though.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-vehicle-settings.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-consumption.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-locator-illumination.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-ambient-lighting.jpg

No touch screen and very cursory control options. No options for different display formats. Fuel consumption would only be shown as a bar graph for instance. Maybe i am expecting too much. After all, the primary function is to transport one safely, comfortably and efficiently from point A to point B.

Edit: These expectations arise when one sees cars such as the Endeavour and many others offer a multitude of options, nevermind if they are useful or not, or whether they are critical to the comfort, safety and drive or not.

Last edited by earthian : 9th April 2017 at 15:18.
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Old 9th April 2017, 13:06   #6
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

The car computer:

As is common in most cars nowadays, the GLE comes in with a computer which allows one to program his choices for various functions such as intelligent lighting, auto door locks, display preferences and such.
Again, the Indian version of the GLE contains probably less than half of the options and features available in the European models. The best part is the Owner's manual is common (Europe, UK, India) with 392 pages. More than half of the manual is irrelevant to us. Why would MB not print customised manuals for Indian version, i wonder.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-permanent-display-digital-sppedometer.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-permanent-display.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-odometer.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-intell.-light-system.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-accoustic-lock.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-auto-door-locks.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-limit-speed-winter-tyres.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-auto-fold-mirrors.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-attention-assit.jpg

The 'ATTENTION ASSIST' feature is interesting and should be useful, provided it works satisfactorily. It monitors the driving pattern and warns the driver when it feels that he is driving erratically.The website of MB has this to say about ATTENTION ASSIST:

"The drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST serves to enhance driving safety, in particular on long trips and during night-time driving. It monitors the driver’s steering behaviour to recognise typical signs of drowsiness and severe loss of attention, and gives a visual and audible warning of impending microsleep."

Safety:

Safety has been one of the USPs of MB cars and with passage of time and performance, it has become synonymous with the brand.
MB makes the following claim and i quote:

"We are the first automotive manufacturer worldwide to have developed an integral safety concept, aimed at avoiding accidents, ensuring ideal responses to dangers and lessening the consequences of accidents. For the occupants of a Mercedes and for all other road users, too"

The GLE is equipped with six airbags. Two, dual stage, front airbags; two side airbags for the front seat passengers,and two large window-bags extending over both rows of seats.

In addition to the above, there is 'Crosswind Assist' which provides increased stability during cross winds; 'PRE-SAFE'- a proprietary system which anticipates hazardous driving conditions and takes appropriate measures like pre tensioning the belts, closing windows (why?) and so on. When asked about the door locks, the salesman informed that the doors are programmed to unlock after an accident.

Last edited by earthian : 10th April 2017 at 20:14.
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Old 9th April 2017, 14:14   #7
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Default re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Technicals:



The GLE 250d 4MATIC is powered by a 4 cylinder engine with an output of 204 HP and a torque of 500Nm. Power is transmitted to the wheels through a 9 speed automatic transmission.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-engine.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-engine2.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-neat-layout2.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-fuse-box.jpg

Engine performance & driveability:

There is no doubt. The drive is smooth as silk. It glides majestically. This is where the Mercedes benz earns its repute. Not in the choices of ambient lighting, not in the number of cubby holes placed at various nooks and corners, not in the rigid (non inclining) rear seat, not in that it does not do a song and dance routine when it sees you, BUT in the superior engine, transmission, and sheer 'drivability' of the vehicle. It warms the cockles of an engineer's heart to heart the purr of the engine, and the way others make way for it. Mind you, not because that it is an expensive vehicle, but in the fact that it is a beautiful piece of engineering.

Oh well. Enough of the gush & mush. There are 5 drive modes to choose from. Sport, Comfort, Slippery and Off Road. The last one is Individual where one may tinker with some parameters to suit his driving style. Again the 250 d comes with few options only, and it is the higher variants that give more. For instance, ground clearance is unadjustable in the 250 d, where as it can be adjusted by 60mm in the higher variants.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-drive-mode.jpg

The 'comfort' mode is sedate and regal. It sort of glides along. It is useful in city traffic without the neck 'whiplashing' by starts and stops. However, it is a big car and not a Nano to zip in and zip out of traffic. And i would definitely not recommend buying this car, if the main purpose is to commute in high density traffic, and chaotic traffic. For Ahmedabad, if you are considering buying this for your office commute, then think again.

In the comfort mode and on auto transmission, the car is not peppy, not tossing its head and rearing to go. Far from it. It is more like a powerful elephant, which once it gets going, gets going. i found driving in the city quite tiresome in fact. The Santa Fe is lighter by some 150 kgs and shows it. The GLE 250 d with loaded weight of around 2375 kgs ( Kerb wt of 2150kgs + 225 kg occupants) does seem lumbersome in city traffic, almost lethargic at lower speeds. The 9 speed transmission, while providing comfort of ride, makes it slow to react. The sports mode is marginally better, but not much. Not a car for the hot blooded young, beyond doubt.

However, it is another story when one is on the highway. The car, while being slow and sedate in the comfort mode, does significantly better in the sports mode. Nothing like the cat though (BMW X5). However, press the accelerator down hard and it sort of gives a meaty growl, and while not standing up on its hind legs or with its nose flaring, does show that it has quite a few horses under its hood. The car, as i have found with most MB cars, hugs the ground. I was on a state highway and at speeds of 120 kmph, it was rock solid on the asphalt. It takes the curves without flinching. And mind you, it was a state highway, not the Expressway.This is what i meant when i said that it is the engineering brilliance of the MB that gives value for the money paid. No body roll, rock solid, firmly rooted.

I took it on a deserted road and checked out the brakes. I slammed the brakes at 80 kmph, 95 kmph and was pleasantly surprised with the results. It handled very well, in spite of the momentum. i could not check the stopping distance, but i could feel probably 4 to 6 pulses of the ABS before it came to a dead stop. On line. The belt tensioner made sure that one was anchored solidly.

The above performance check started this morning after i was stung to the quick by an observation that i had not yet tested the engine and drive performance in various modes even after 4 days. I took the car on a 120 kms round trip to a nearby (~60 kms) hilly terrain and then went down to the (dry) Sabarmati river bed after fooling around in a off road circuit made for the Renault Duster.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-going-down-river2.jpg

The off road mode worked very well. One feels secure going down the gravelly incline with huge tractor ruts.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-tractor-rut.jpg

My wife and one of our friends had joined me and while initially both of them were anxious going down a muddy path to the river, they soon lost their anxiety and felt safe. I must place on record that not once did any of the wheels spin without traction. The off road package where power is transferred to the wheels which has traction worked wonderfully.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-cross-river.jpg

On the tractor rut i climbed one of the crests (which was loose gravel) and had no problem keeping the car there. The steering adapts. And then it was time to go back. We had to reverse up an incline with loose gravel and coarse sand. Again no issues at all. In fact i parked the car there and got down.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-reversing-up-incline.jpg

Before coming down the river we had visited a resort nearby on the banks of the river and had some refreshments. While chatting with the Manager, he mentioned that a off road circuit had been laid down for a car company and yesterday there were a lot of off roading trials done there. So off we went to check out the off road circuit, though it was not made for the GLE. The circuit was tame for the GLE ( it was for the Duster) and i made 4 circuits.

The GLE cleared all of them without once its wheels spinning without traction, save for just a couple of seconds in the uneven pits hurdle. (i don't know the right terminology) The undercarriage did scrape on occasion but overall it was a tame affair. Figures- it was for a smaller and lower powered car.
The only place where the car or power size probably didn't matter was in the side incline, where the GLE took it without any hiccup, though there was a marginal slide towards the end. But then i am not a trained driver for such courses and the point being made is though i am not ( a trained driver of off roading) i felt quite safe.

The only problem is that there are no photographs since i was driving. My wife took a video with her phone and i shall try and upload it. There was no wet crossing or muck crossing - It was a tame affair as said earlier.

So i tried out all the drive modes except the 'slippery' one and was pretty much satisfied with all of them. The transmission is sedate and a trifle slow- maybe 9 gears are too much- and at times, when the adrenaline is pumping you do feel the need for a bigger engine. My take is that the young turks may not find the engine and transmission to their liking. However, those like me of the "Been there, done that" vintage would be content.

I had a lot of fun today doing a tame off roading with this vehicle. Thanks to Aditya and GTO who sort of pushed me to do it.

Some additional details:
As i was fiddling around waiting for my wife to join me, i downloaded the MB app and it has the following:
Search: the app searches for the filling pumps, restuarants, service centers etc:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-search-facility.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-search-results.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-search.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-calling-facility.jpg

There is a nice facility to call the result directly. However it another matter that when i did call, no one answered!

Apart from search, there is the weather and internet Radio and News.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-weather-report.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-weather-report2.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-temp.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 10th April 2017 at 22:40. Reason: added side incline and general housekeeping
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Old 10th April 2017, 19:48   #8
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Other points:

The fuel efficiency (ARAI) as claimed by MB is much higher than what one gets practically. While the sales people have been coy in declaring this with any firm conviction (estimates run from 15 kmpl to 17 kmpl); what i have been told in confidence is that one may expect between 10-11 kmpl. It is early days yet and i shall report in due course.

The SUV makes considerably more noise than my C Class, that is for sure. But compared to the Santa Fe, it is much quieter. The noise masking is quite effective. I did not feel uncomfortable with any vibration and did not experience any harshness. I would therefore say that the NVH levels are acceptable. Having said that i do feel that the Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tyres that i have on the Santa Fe is less noisier than other SUV tyres. The GLE has Continental Sport tyres which i believe are not exactly known for quietness. I make the above statement from the description of these tyres by Continental which emphasises the following:

- Excellent road grip and handling just as safety when cornering
- Shorter braking distances in all weather conditions
- Reduced fuel consumption and high mileage


Where as Michelin Latitude Sport specifically boast that they are the (least) noisy of tyres.

I am not clear whether the 'active' bonnet is an inherent feature of my variant. Should be. i took a photo of the moorings:From the design, looks like it is a feature available in my car.

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-active-bonnet.jpg


I am not sure what these are:

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-what-hooks-these.jpg

Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-what-too.jpg

This could be fixtures for a curtain to separate the boot from the passenger area? Not available in the Indian variants.

Conclusions:

In conclusion, this is what i liked and disliked:


Liked:
Solid presence and regal bearing.
Clean, well appointed interiors.
Driving comfort on highways.
Solid Safety features.
Overall mental peace while driving.
Branded puddle lights.

Disliked:
Out dated gizmos.
Poor design/anchoring of bumper elements and other elements under carriage.
No USB outlet in rear.
Tacky rear center armrest.
Tedious handling in city.
Lack of luxury in the rear.
Cost.

As far as VFM is concerned, if one were to go about calculating it based on the material inputs, then it would be very poor VFM. However, as in my case, if one factors in the mental comfort, then it is good VFM.

That is it, folks. I hope to update this when i have had a chance to go on a long trip and run it through some hoops.

Last edited by earthian : 10th April 2017 at 21:05.
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Old 11th April 2017, 07:56   #9
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th April 2017, 12:24   #10
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Congratulations!

Mercedes nomenclature for SUVs is quite confusing these days. GLE is based on E Class and is not the erstwhile GL-Class?

Last edited by smartcat : 11th April 2017 at 12:43.
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Old 11th April 2017, 13:43   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

Mercedes nomenclature for SUVs is quite confusing these days.
The GLE was earlier known as the ML class. Now there are 3 classes in the (common) SUV range: GLC, GLE and the GLS.
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Old 11th April 2017, 14:30   #12
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Congratulations!

Mercedes nomenclature for SUVs is quite confusing these days. GLE is based on E Class and is not the erstwhile GL-Class?
I was riddled with the same confusion.
Please check this article by CAR magazine, quite helpful

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-new...mes-explained/
Attached Thumbnails
Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC-14a1356.jpg  

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Old 11th April 2017, 16:19   #13
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Congratulations!
The car is this particular color looks majestic.

I was wondering what the Start Stop button was doing in your hand.
Can it be removed so easily?
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Old 11th April 2017, 16:19   #14
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Many congratulations for your new car. Well written review. Interiors feel far from special in a 60 lakh car. E class in the same price bracket offers much better interiors than the current GLE.
Wishing you safe driving.
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Old 11th April 2017, 16:58   #15
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D 4MATIC

Quote:
Originally Posted by behaln View Post
Interiors feel far from special in a 60 lakh car. E class in the same price bracket offers much better interiors than the current GLE.
Truely said. Interiors are pretty ordinary. And it is closer to 70 lacs, BTW!
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
I was wondering what the Start Stop button was doing in your hand.
Can it be removed so easily?
Yes, it can! It is just a gimmick! That is what i wrote when i said that the 'Keyless Go' in India is a start/stop button that you can remove at will.
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