2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE: Off-road a key focus for new SUV

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Mercedes-Benz is placing a lot of emphasis on its new GLE SUV, with a renewed focus on off-road ability – even creating a ‘jumping’ function to help owners stuck in sand.

Speaking with media at the Paris motor show, Mercedes-Benz’s vice president of compact cars and SUVs, Wolf-Dieter Kurz, explained that off-road driving may not be every customer’s caper, but the car still needs to hold its own off the beaten track.

“In principle, one of the key positioning features of the GLE, or the previous ML, was off-road capabilities. It’s why we always had a double-speed gearbox available as an option, while some markets took it as standard,” Kurz said.

“And in the new GLE we added one more with ABC [Active Body Control], which adds tons of additional features that allows us to implement different types of suspension characteristics both off-road and on-road.”

The ‘ABC’ technology allows Mercedes-Benz to take the GLE to the next level in terms of handling and off-road performance. In addition to an ability to vary suspension height and damper firmness at each corner at any given time, it now allows the company to create modes for extracting stuck customers.

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