MercedesPopular car brand Mercedes replaces the ML off-roader with the new Mercedes GLE. Most car enthusiasts have seen the X6-rivaling the GLE coupe but the new model is considered as the sensible X5-rival, replacing its predecessor as a part of the Merc’s nameplate spring clean.

Considered a facelift rather than a brand new model, the car’s styling possesses no drastic changes. Added features are new lights and grilles, which gives the GLE a modest sharpening over the ML. The GLE is also equipped with a nine-speed auto gearbox. Car enthusiasts will also be interested with the most with the most and least frugal models.

Starting with the most frugal, a plug-in hybrid joins Merc’s SUV range for the first time. The GLE 500e combines a 328bhp 3-liter V6 petrol engine with an electric motor. This results into a total combined output of 436bhp and 480lb ft. With these figures, the new models are guaranteed to fit in with top-end sports cars.

The 500e can also be driven on pure electricity up to 80mph, with a claimed range of 18 miles. The lithium ion battery can also be charged in around two hours. The GLE is most effective when used as a hybrid with the engine keeping the battery topped up and the motor running at low speed or supplementing engine power. Similar to other GLEs, the 500e also comes with a permanent 4-wheel drive.

At the opposite end is a more aggressive GLE 63 S AMG. This model arrives as a more powerful S variant compared to the standard ML63 AMG. It also develops a whole 60bhp more than its predecessor.

The model’s 577 output and 4.2-second 0-62mph time keeps it competitive against the BMW X5M, Range Rover Sport SVR and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

The AMG’s four-wheel drive system sends 60% of power consumption to the car’s rear wheels. In lieu of the 50-50 front and rear power split with the rest of the range, the model also comes with a standard body roll-battling Active Curve System.

The new GLE range is very much dripping with modernization. Models come with an air suspension option, a Dynamic Select system, which can toggle between various on and off road setups. Also included are safety systems and modernized details like electronically closing doors, night vision and heated windscreen wipers.

Mercedes will release the GLE next week at the New York Motor Show. Further details will be given on the said show.