Mercedes-Benz-GLE-Class-15

Mercedes-Benz has launched the GLE 500e 4Matic in Thailand. The new model adds to the plug-in hybrid SUV selection in the Land of Smiles, which includes the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Porsche Cayenne S-E Hybrid and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine.

The GLE 500e 4Matic – unveiled in March 2015 along with the refreshed ML range and name change – is powered by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 engine from the GLE 400, which has 333 PS/480 Nm in the non-hybrid variant. Here, the ICE is paired with a 116 PS electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, resulting in combined outputs of 442 PS and 650 Nm.

The big Merc has an official fuel consumption figure of 3.3 litres per 100 km, and CO2 emissions of just 78 g/km. The GLE 500e also offers up to 30 km of all-electric driving, at speeds of up to 130 km/h. Like in other plug-in Mercs, the GLE can be driven in four modes: Hybrid for normal driving, E for pure electric, E-Save for EV driving at a later stage and Charge for enhanced revitalisation of the batteries.

Mercedes-Benz-GLE-Class-22

The new model is priced at 4.49 million baht (RM521,307) in Exclusive trim and 4.99 million baht (RM580,012) in AMG Dynamic trim as seen here. Like its PHEV peers, pricing is relatively low as the GLE 500e emits less than 100 g/km to qualify for the lowest 10% rate in Thailand’s new passenger car excise tax structure.

The GLE’s aggressive pricing undercuts all – the X5 and XC90 start from 5.39 million baht (RM626,358) while the Porsche is priced from 7.99 million baht (RM929,383) up north.

The BMW X5 xDrive40e and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine are both available in Malaysia as locally assembled models. The latter, launched in June, is priced at RM403,888, while the PHEV X5 in M Sport trim is yours for RM388,800. Both are significantly cheaper here than in Thailand.