This week, we’re taking a look at the all-new from the ground up, 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350. This is the fourth generation SUV that started out as the M-Class.
My review vehicle is the 4Matic, which means it is all-wheel drive, and you can also get a GLE 450 with a larger engine. This 2020 model is 3-inches longer than the previous version, and for the first time, you can get a 3rd row seat.
I like the exterior looks of the GLE, it has a bold new grille, large tires, and wheels that sit out to the corners of the vehicle, broad rear shoulders, and a sleek rear end with dual exhaust and a spoiler.
Under the hood is a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbo that is putting out 255-horses. It is hooked to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
As you would expect, like all Benz models, the real story is the luxurious interior and a wide range of amenities.
A rich interior welcomes you immediately when you open the door. Then you see the center console that features cool grab handles in a triangular form that are super comfortable to leave your arm on when driving.
Hit the pushbutton start button and two 12” color displays light up across the dash. Behind the wheel is the configurable driver info center and to the right is the MBUX infotainment system that operates everything.
You can operate the infotainment system from a touchpad on the center console, or use it as a touch screen. The touchpad takes a LOT of getting used to, and I’m still not comfortable with it, even after a week. I found using the touchscreen to be easier and less distracting.
Four big air vents are a center dash, and below that are air conditioning controls, a wireless cell phone charger, and a switch to change the drive modes. My favorite, of course, is the Sport mode, it gives this SUV a lot of low-end torque.
All interior surfaces are soft, with nice stitching everywhere you look, and at night, ambient lighting runs across the dash into the doors, and you can choose from 64 colors.
I found the back seat room to be larger than I expected and I love that both backseat occupants can control their own temperature. There are power shades on both back windows, and there is a huge amount of cargo area.
This SUV comes extremely loaded with everything you can imagine including a moonroof, power liftgate, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It has a huge head-up display with speed sign recognition.
The GLE has a great voice recognition system. Much like you ask Siri or Alexa a question on your phone, all you say is: Mercedes and give your command or ask a question. If you are talking to someone or on your phone and say the word Mercedes in conversation, she WILL interrupt you.
The GLE 350 has incredible massaging heated and air-conditioned seats and it has Energizing Comfort that combines the climate control, air fragrance, ambient lighting, audio, and massaging driver and passenger seats. You can select from 10-minute programs with cabin lighting and pre-selected music.
The GLE drives like a dream are full of safety features and overall is just a joy all around.
Pricing and Availability
The GLE 350 is now available from ImportRates, the base price is $57,200 and the fuel economy seems really good.
Hong Kong (CNN Business)
China said Friday it will temporarily reduce tariffs on imports of American-made cars as it tries to negotiate a trade deal with the United States.
Citing the meeting earlier this month between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement that it will remove the additional 25% tariffs on car imports from the United States for three months starting January 1. That will bring China’s tariffs on American-made cars to 15%, in line with those for cars made in other countries.
China also said it would suspend its 5% tariff on 67 other auto parts.
China imposed the additional tariffs on US cars in July and on some auto parts in September as part of its retaliation in the trade war between the two countries.
At their meeting in Argentina, Trump and Xi agreed to a temporary truce while they try to negotiate a broad trade deal over the next 90 days.
In its statement Friday, the Finance Ministry described the decision to remove the tariffs as a “concrete action” aimed at helping to bring about a “mutually beneficial new Sino-US trade order.”
Xi pledged in April that China would cut tariffs on imported cars this year. His government delivered on that promise in July, reducing import taxes from 25% to 15%.
But just days later, China imposed new additional tariffs of 25% on American-made passenger vehicles as the trade war with the United States escalated.
The tariffs hurt profits of major automakers that ship cars to China from the United States. Germany’s BMW and Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, have been hit particularly hard. Shares of BMW (BMWYY) and Daimler (DDAIF) both trimmed early Friday losses on the news.
The stocks had spiked last week after Trump tweeted that China was going to cut auto tariffs.
General Motors (GM) and some other automakers already have a large presence in China through partnerships with local manufacturers. It has become the largest and most important market for the American auto industry. Because their plants are in the country, they weren’t subject to big import taxes.
Yet China’s tariffs have hurt exports from US auto plants. The value of US passenger car exports to China has fallen by $2.4 billion, or 30%, over the course of the first nine months of the year.
Part of that could be because of slowing Chinese auto sales. Yet overall sales of American cars in China -— including those made in China — are down only about 1% so far this year.
Eric Cheung and David Goldman contributed to this report.
CNN Hongkong Business
The time to capitalize is now!
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When SUV meets Luxury Limo the GL meets S-Class! With the brand new GLS which is the latest Mercedes-Benz SUV will complete the SUV lineup for Mercedes-Benz. Currently you have the entry models GLA and GLC and the classic GLE, which used to be the M-Class in the past, the GLS is the flagship of its class. The 2017 GLS-Class combines the benefits of a GL-Class with the luxurious driving experience of an S-Class.
There are four different engines to choose from, the entry model being the GLS 350d 4MATIC, a 3.0l V6 diesel with 258 hp and 620 Nm of torque and three twin-turbo petrol engines with direct fuel injection: GLS 400 4MATIC, a 3.0l V6 with 333 hp and 480 tq. GLS 500 4MATIC, a 4.7l V8 with 455 hp and 700 tq. GLS 63 4MATIC, a 5.5l V8 with 585 hp and 760 tq.
The interior is as luxurious as you would expect it to be from a car on par with the S-class. With seven full-fledged seats that provide ample space, even in the very back or a massive load capacity of 81 cubic feet and maximum load compartment length of over 6.5ft when you fold the back seats, the car provides enough space for a big family week away. The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel in Nappa leather with heating has been revised and modernized as well as the instrument panel. A new ionisation system further enhances the air quality inside the cabin.
Outside, the GLS is slightly revised compared to the GL-Class. The bumpers and slimmed-down headlights more closely resemble the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS’s smaller SUV’s such as the GLE &GLC, also the LED taillights are now standard for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS. Other than that the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS retains a lot of the GL-Classes features on the outside. For the 2017 GLS550 owners you can opt for a Sport package that gives the car a bit more aggressive look, but of course not as much as the top of the line AMG GLS63 which will feature a massive engine.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS combines excellent off-road capabilities – some might argue it is even better off road than its bigger brother the G-wagon but with more comfort and luxury on the road. Its size alone makes it the ideal choice for large families and despite its size and weight of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS it is surprisingly easy to handle.
The Land Rover Range Rover continues to mix over 45 years of off-roading heritage with the latest and greatest technology and refinement to create a remarkable balance of luxury and capability on any terrain.
While the original Range Rover that hit the market in 1970 was decidedly primitive, the latest version is one of the most advanced vehicles ever built. Even with the base standard wheelbase model will leave few wanting more. The lineup grows from there with an array of trim levels: HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography, and SV Autobiography Dynamic. There are various engine combinations that start with a robust supercharged V-6 and climb to a fierce 550-horsepower V-8.
With that being said, it is possible to more than double the price of entry, but few vehicles short of a Bentley Bentayga to pamper the occupants the same way.
Land Rover has extended its Range Rover into an entire array of vehicles: The Range Rover serves as its flagship, with the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque serving as family-oriented and style-oriented models, respectively. The Range Rover itself is the largest and most traditional of all the models.
Range Rover Performance and Style
The full-size Range Rover’s classic look combines the lines of the original with a decidedly aerodynamic influence, resulting in a modern take on the boxy, upright theme. Two wheelbases are now on offer, a move that echoes the first generation Range Rover toward the end of its model run. Even the base model is decadent and imposing, but the Autobiography adds subtly classy hints. The SV Autobiography Dynamic, however, is basically a sports car with a big body—and it has the chops to back up those looks. For 2017, the SV Autobiography Dynamic builds on last year’s SV Autobiography but is built as a standard wheelbase rather than the extended model.
Today’s Range Rover lineup consists of two V-6 engines—gas and diesel—and a V-8 available in two states of tune. The standard gas-fueled supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the short wheelbase model boasts a solid 340 horsepower and can sprint to 60 mph in a hair over 7 seconds. Perhaps even more impressive is the optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that delivers a hefty 443 pound-feet of torque and is rated at 29 mpg on the highway, all while accelerating nearly as quickly as the gas engine.
The supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, meanwhile, begins with 510 hp but is upgraded to 550 hp with the revised-for-2017 SV Autobiography Dynamic.
All four options are mated to an 8-speed automatic and, as you might expect, permanent four-wheel drive with a multi-mode traction control system accessed at the turn of a knob. An optional Terrain Response 2 system bundled with a host of convenience items in the Vision Assist package includes an automatic mode for the traction control system that, as its name implies, requires the driver to make few decisions when a mogul or dirt road is encountered.
Range Rovers provide remarkably good fuel economy, all things considered. The fuel sipper of the lineup is the V-6 diesel engine, which checks in at an impressive 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the supercharged V-8s at 14/19/16 mpg.
Its off-road ability remains exceptional, but the Range Rover’s on road prowess is perhaps even more impressive. Independent suspension, adaptive air dampers, and an advanced variable-ratio electric power steering system deliver finely tuned response resulting in a languid experience behind the wheel. Turn things up and the Range Rover remains thoroughly composed. The SV Autobiography Dynamic’s track-tuned suspension delivers handling response and stability on par with thoroughbred sports cars.
Safety, Comfort and Features
On the safety side, automatic emergency braking is standard on all models, while an optional Drive Pack adds a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. The Drive Pro Pack adds adaptive cruise control, among other features.
The Range Rover delivers exceptional comfort for all five passengers, even in the base model. Option your way up to the HSE or Supercharged and you’ll net a few more features and a wider choice of trims, but it is the Autobiography that truly steps into decadence. All models are comfortable from every seat, with the long-wheelbase model delivering more stretch-out room for those who prefer to be shuttled around. Even the Range Rover’s cargo area is beautifully trimmed—it’s almost too nice to put luggage back there.
It’s hard to imagine how Land Rover could pile more features onto its flagship range, but the 2017 adds an upsized, 10-inch dual view touchscreen display for its infotainment system and, using one of the safety suite’s cameras, a new system reads speed limit signs and automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to match if the driver is using cruise control.
The sky is nearly the limit from there, with five option packages grouping most commonly-ordered items together for base, HSE and Supercharged models. Autobiography and SV Autobiography Dynamic, meanwhile, merely require buyers to pick from more than 40 paint colors, half a dozen wheel styles, and 12 interior trim and color combinations.
For 2017, Land Rover repackaged last year’s SV Autobiography as the SV Autobiography Dynamic, and it is now available only in the standard wheelbase.
Base, HSE, and Supercharged models are essentially indistinguishable from the outside, and even the Autobiography and ferocious SV Autobiography Dynamic really only stand apart because of their gorgeous 21-inch alloy wheels (which, natch, don’t provide much of a sidewall for off roading).
The differences are more noticeable inside. Sure, the base and HSE certainly pamper, with nice leather trim, but the Autobiography’s full semi-aniline leather pushes it into an entirely different league. All models essentially work the same way, however, with a minimum of buttons and a pair of big LCD screens controlling the infotainment and serving as a user-configurable replacement for conventional instruments.
An Executive Class option on certain long wheelbase models takes the Range Rover from a five-seater to just four outboard seats, but it includes a beautifully detailed center console with individual seat and climate controls for rear seat passengers. If you thought Etihad’s Boeing Dreamliner first-class seats were comfortable, you’ll feel right at home here.
The new 2017 line of Land Rover Range Rovers is certain to impress. With a variety of new options and features both inside and out, the lineup will certainly serve as a main vehicle for both families and car junkies alike.
Springtime in Europe usually means a driving enthusiast’s thoughts turns to sports cars. This year’s Geneva Motor Show had plenty of those, but the burgeoning small crossover segment was also front and centre at this year’s Swiss event, with debuts of small utility vehicles popping up from one end of the Palexpo’s exhibition halles to the other. One automaker counting on this relatively new segment for substantial growth is Germany’s preeminent sports car maker: Porsche.
Although Porsche’s headline unveilings in Geneva were its new 24 Hours of LeMans 919 Hybrid LMP1 and 911 RSR racecars, the automaker is also in the midst of launching its second crossover production model — the four-door, five-passenger, all-wheel-drive Macan. As a smaller rendition of its popular mid-sized Cayenne, the compact Macan is being counted on for never-seen-before sales growth from the Volkswagen Group’s sports car brand. And based on Porsche’s recent sales success, the odds are in the Macan’s favour to accomplish its mission.
Just last year, Porsche saw its global sales rise by 15 per cent, to a record 162,145 vehicles sold. With the new Macan set to go on-sale around the world later this year, Porsche’s board member for sales and marketing, Bernhard Maier, is feeling good that the brand will continue its meteoric sales growth.
“We are looking ahead to the coming year with optimism and are anticipating new growth with the Macan and the new variants of the 911,” Maier said during an interview with Driving in Geneva.
Maier’s optimism is well founded. Utility vehicles have become a big part of the sales mix for any automaker; even one that’s built its brand on the back of sports cars. The Cayenne — that shares a platform with the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg — adds over half of all Porsche’s sales and profits, and ostensibly pays for the development of the niche 911 variants that otherwise may not be built. The Macan — that was developed off the Audi Q5 chassis — is expected to help with Porsche’s profits in a similar manner.
(In Canada, initially there will be the 340 horsepower, $54,300 Macan S and the 400 hp $82,200 Macan Turbo — about 25% less than comparably equipped Cayenne models.)
As the Macan seeks customers in the already crowded luxury compact crossover segment, with the likes of the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLK, Porsche is anticipating selling 50,000 copies on an annual basis, pushing its overall sales well past the 200,000 annual rate for the first time ever. While that sounds ambitious for a company that some may still only think of as a low-volume sports car maker, the fact is that Porsche has been on this growth path since the arrival of the Cayenne over a decade ago.
Maier, appointed to Porsche’s Board of Management in 2010 as its head of sales and marketing, seems like the right person in the right place to shepherd Porsche’s continuing sales growth.
Unlike some automotive executives, Maier’s been a “car guy” his whole life, first completing his training as a car mechanic and then, after obtaining his full qualification as a master mechanic, studying business management in Germany. In 2001, Maier joined Porsche, where he successfully managed the automaker’s German sales subsidiary, overseeing the successful introduction of two groundbreaking new models: the Cayenne in 2002 and the Panamera Gran Turismo sports sedan seven years later.
Beyond jumping into a market that Porsche has never been in before, the Macan will also affect the automaker’s sales and marketing strategies. Maier says Porsche expects younger buyers with the Macan, many of which will also be new to the brand. As such, the Porsche executive says, more than ever, Porsche will use social media to market to these new customers. As well, the entire Porsche dealer network is preparing for the added sales and servicing volumes with upgraded facilities and practices. Despite the changes, Maier says to expect the same type of intimate sales atmosphere from Porsche dealers as in the past.
“Regardless of our expected sales growth, we will deliver the same type of boutique sales experience we always have,” Maier says.
While there have been rumours that Porsche will also add an entry-level sports car below the Boxster/Cayman and a crossover smaller than the Macan to its lineup, Maier quashed those ideas speaking to Automotive News earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.
“We’ve decided not to build a roadster below the Boxster [and] we will not offer an SUV below the Macan because it will not be a perfect fit,” he said. “We have a lot of ideas and a lot of opportunities. But whatever we do has to clearly fit with the brand.”
What Mercedes-Benz called a concept at last November’s LA Auto Show is being fashioned as the new limited production GLA 45 AMG Edition 1 at this week’s Detroit motor show where the series is making its world premiere.
The white colored Edition 1 with the flashy red and silver livery maintains the regular GLA 45 AMG’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 355hp (360PS) and 450Nm (332 lb-ft), connected to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports dual clutch transmission and the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, adding styling and aero mods.
Among other things you get with this package is a high-gloss black Aerodynamics kit with larger front splitter, additional flics in the front fascia, and rear airfoil, silver gray/red AMG racing stripes complemented by red highlights on radiator grille, exterior mirrors, diffuser insert and rear wing. The Edition 1 rides on special 20-inch alloy wheels mounted on 235/40 R 20 tires all-round.
Exterior color options for this model are restricted to four options, the cirrus white seen on the display car, cosmos black, polar silver and mountain gray, while the interior is finished in red and black, with exclusive trims.
Both the base GLA 45 AMG and the Edition 1 will go on sale in the USA in the fall of 2014 with prices to be announced.