Plug-in hybrid SUVs are not actually known for their all-electric range, and that is especially true with the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE550e. With more power than even the AMG GLE43, the Mercedes’ plug-in GLE550e could scoot really.
The GLE550e makes use of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and adds an 85-kW electric motor and 8.7-kWh lithium-ion battery. This powerplant puts out 436 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque that is way more than the 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of the aforementioned GLE43. To all the four wheels power is sent via a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The company claims the GLE550e could hit 60 miles per hour in 5.3 seconds that is not very shabby for a vehicle that tips the scales at around 5,500 pounds.
The GLE550e acts just as any other hybrid in the default driving mode, driving as efficiently as the computer sees fit. One could switch to E-mode and solely rely on the 85-kW electric motor, but again, only for about 10 miles, though the user could drive on pure electricity at speed up to 80 mph. When the GLE550e is driven in Charge mode, the gas engine would recharge the battery while the user is on the go. If the users prefer to save their battery life while they are out driving, they could use E-Save and hoard their electrons for a later time span.
It is best to just leave the GLE550e in Hybrid mode, switching over to the Charge mode when the juice gets a little too low. This method of charging consumes some time, only recuperating a mile or two of EV range over a period of a 45-minute drive.
When it comes to driving aids, the Mercedes-Benz packs the GLE550e with lots of good stuff. The adaptive cruise control keeps the GLE at a predetermined distance behind the car in front of it and even would bring the SUV to a complete stop prior to starting up again. The Steering Pilot is excellent on highway drives, keeping the GLE550e centered in the lane and tackling long, sweeping turns with minimal driver interaction only. The GLE550e does not have Mercedes’ lane-change assist, as seen on the S-Class, but the features it does have are amazing. People just need to be ready to pay 4,890 dollars for the privilege of this assistance package. In the interior part, the 550e is just like every other GLE, comfortable, even if a bit dated in its design. There is room for five adults, and also a plenty of cargo space for a weekend’s worth of luggage.
The Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system is sheltered in an 8-inch color display, controlled through a rotary dial in the center console, or by the shortcut buttons immediately below the screen. COMAND would be replaced soon by Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system, and that cannot come a moment too soon. The present technology is rife with menus and submenus, and the outdated design does not help in the already last-gen-feeling GLE interior. However, the good news is that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard here.