The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is a thoroughly updated version of its bread-and-butter M-Class. We test the full line, including the new "Coupe" version.
Mercedes M Class
Mercedes-Benz is calling 2015 its "Year of the SUV." This means, in addition to the debut of the GLE-Class Coupe in Detroit, we'll see the standard GLE-Class (which replaces the M-Class), the new GLC-Class, and the GLS-Class, with some featuring plug-in hybrid variants.
Beginning in 2015, Mercedes-Benz is revising its nomenclature strategy for many of its models. This isn't shocking news, nor is it anything new in the industry – look at the recent Q-ification of Infiniti, or the forthcoming CT/XT strategy being deployed at Cadillac. But unlike those luxury brands, Mercedes isn't shaking up the whole system, and it's actually (kind of) making things a bit easier to understand. Here's how.
Mercedes-Benz is still hard at work developing a refresh for the M-Class, a model that is rumored to change its name to the GLE-Class in the process. This is hardly the improved model's first time testing, but the latest shots reveal Mercedes' plan for a plug-in hybrid version for one of its luxury crossovers.
Automotive naming schemes can get a little bit weird as they age. Just look at the impending BMW lineup with a rear-wheel drive 2 Series and front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer on sale together – of course, to say nothing of the fact that the 2 Series is actually the successor to the 1 Series coupe/convertible in the States. Crazy. However, Mercedes-Benz might be taking steps in the opposite direction to actually make its SUV and crossover lineup easier for customers to understand.
Following our first drive of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class a couple of years ago, not much has changed in the land of Merc's midsize, two-row crossover. Sure, the high-performance ML63 AMG version followed the standard models, and reports of a BMW X6-fighting, coupe-like variant have surfaced, but aside from that, things have largely been quiet on the M-Class front.
Like the rest of its German counterparts, Mercedes-Benz seems bent on expanding its crossover SUV portfolio. The R-Class may be driving off into the sunset, along with the two-door Gelandewagen, but Mercedes still offers the M-Class, GLK, GL and G-Class models. The new baby GLA is on its way, but that won't be the last addition to the range.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is the latest recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ accolade. The award indicates that a vehicle has achieved a "good" rating for performance in the small and moderate front overlap, side, roof strength and seat/restraints evaluations.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new addition to the company's line of personal security vehicles. The M-Class Guard features bullet-proof side windows made with special laminated glazing and a polycarbonate inner layer to protect occupants from shards of glass. Mercedes says the M-Class Guard meets protection level VR4 according to the Bullet Resistant Vehicles 2009 standards, based on testing from the independent Ulm-based Ballistics Bureau, which means it can withstand .357 Magnum and .44 fire fr
Catholics already have a celebration in December in honor of a figure with a nine-month gestation, and that's exactly how long it took the latest Mercedes Benz Popemobile to go from conception to delivery. While The Messiah arrived in a manger, the new Popemobile was delivered by company head Dieter Zetsche, who said "It is an honor for Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his future journeys with our new Popemobile."
We've seen a lot of action from Mercedes-Benz and its AMG performance division this year, most of which concerns replacing the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with the company's new, more powerful, more efficient twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8. The 5.5 is a great engine, but we've lamented the death of the 6.2 for a while now (though Merc is still putting it to good use in the C63 AMG), and the next vehicle to get the 5.5-liter swap is the all-new 2012 ML63 AMG, which makes its official debut a