MERCEDES-BENZ will launch its new large GLE off-roader early next year with a six-cylinder petrol engine to begin with, leaving diesel and a plug-in hybrid to follow later.
The petrol GLE's economy is helped by a 48 volt integrated starter/alternator that powers the air conditioning and also the optional E-Active body control that allows the air springs to be individually controlled at each wheel.
With a more aerodynamic body than the outgoing GLE and the new electrical economy boost, the 367 horsepower GLE 450 4Matic returns 34mpg in the official economy test and combined C02 emissions as low as 190g/km.
There's extra room in the rear, thanks to a wheelbase stretched 80mm over its predecessor and luggage capacity is a generous 825 litres with the rear seats in place and a cavernous 2,055 with them folded down.
The new GLE marks the debut of the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver.
It's not only high-mileage drivers who are familiar with this tricky situation on motorways: on rounding a bend, the end of a traffic tailback suddenly appears.
This is where the new GLE assists its driver, as tailback management on motorways now begins in advance of a tailback, including assistance in stop-and-go traffic and after the tailback has dissolved.
The new GLE is able to recognise and respond to tailbacks or slow-moving traffic with the help of information from LiveTraffic before the driver becomes aware of the hazard.
When a tailback is recognised (and if the driver does not choose a different response), the system reduces the speed to around 62 mph as a precaution and will brake the vehicle to a standstill in good time when the end of a tailback is recognised.
A unique feature of the optional MBUX - Mercedes-Benz user experience - is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence.
With its predictive functions, MBUX can anticipate what the user would like to do next. For instance, anyone who often telephones their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week.