Diesel-electric GLE arrives with a 61-mile electric range and 256mpg; it is joined by 128mpg petrol-electric GLC.

Autocar UK, By Greg Kable

© Image credited by Haymarket Media Group | Mercedes prices new GLE and GLC plug-in hybrid SUVs

Mercedes-Benz has revealed UK pricing for the new diesel-electric GLE, which has the class-leading electric-only range and CO2 emissions, and the updated petrol-electric GLC.
The GLE 350de 4Matic is the latest in an extended range of new diesel-electric plug-in hybrids from Mercedes, following the C300de and E300de, and is on sale now, priced from £61,360.
Entry-level AMG Line models are equipped with 20in alloy wheels, adaptive headlight assistance, a DAB radio, heated front seats, a 12.3in digital display, and wireless smartphone charging. 
Prices rise to £64,860 for AMG Line Premium, which brings extras including electrically adjustable front seats and a 360deg parking camera, and £68,360 for range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus, which includes keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, and a Burmester sound system. 
While the C300de and E300de use a relatively small 13.5kWh lithium-ion battery, the GLE350de has a sizeable 31.2kWh pack - the largest Mercedes has yet used in a series-production hybrid model. The result is a WLTP electric-only range of 61.5 miles. 
This move mirrors that of BMW, which has fitted a 24.0 kWh battery to the X5 xDrive45e petrol-electric plug-in hybrid to give it an official zero-emissions range of 54.1 miles.
At the heart of the GLE 350de's driveline is a longitudinally-mounted turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 192bhp and 295lb ft of torque. This is supported by 134bhp and 324lb ft from an electric motor mounted within the standard nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Together, the two power sources provide a total system output of 315bhp and 516lb ft – 11bhp shy but equal in torque to the turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder diesel engine of the GLE 400d. For comparison, the turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor of the X5 xDrive45e deliver a combined 389bhp and 442lb ft.
The combined reserves are sufficient, says Mercedes, to propel the four-wheel-drive GLE 350de from 0-62mph in 6.8sec and up to limited top speed of 131mph. In electric mode, top speed is limited to 100mph.
The 31.2kWh battery provides the GLE 350de an official electric-only range of between 55.9 and 61.5miles on the WLTP cycle. This correlates to combined fuel consumption of 256.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 29g/km.
The GLE 350de supports both AC and DC charging. With a maximum DC charge rate of 60kW, it can recharge in approximately half an hour.
The large battery has compromised the GLE's boot slightly, however: overall luggage capacity drops from 2055 liters to 1915 liters.
The GLE 350de is among 20 plug-in hybrid models that Mercedes plans to launch by the end of 2020.
New Mercedes GLC 300e is more efficient, thanks to a bigger battery
In a further boost to the line-up, Mercedes has also revealed pricing for the updated GLC 300e 4Matic petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
The BMW X3 xDrive30e rival is available now, priced from £49,687 and equipped as standard with 19in alloy wheels, AMG styling elements, and sports seats. Mid-range AMG Premium trim costs £53,187 and brings 20in rims, multibeam LED headlights, and leather seats, while top-rung Premium Plus trim includes a panoramic sunroof, a Burmester sound system, and the Memory Package from £56,937.
The facelifted GLC variant receives a heavily upgraded driveline that yields a WLTP-certified electric-only range of 26.7 miles and a CO2 rating of 51g/km.
Key among its developments is a new 13.5kWh battery, as used by the C300e and E300e, which replaces an 8.7kWh battery.
Power for the GLC 300e is provided by a longitudinally-mounted turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 208bhp and 258lb ft of torque. It's supported by 121bhp and 324lb ft from a gearbox-mounted electric motor. The result is the same 315bhp and 516lb ft combined output as the GLE 350de.
Mercedes claims 0-62mph acceleration in 5.7sec and a limited top speed of 143mph or 81mph in electric mode.
The GLC 300e's new 13.5kWh battery provides a WLTP electric-only range of between 24.2 and 26.7 miles, giving a combined consumption figure of 128.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 51g/km.
Like the pre-facelift model, the GLC 300e supports only AC charging. 
Its key rival, the X3 xDrive30e, runs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 248bhp and 310lb ft. Its 12.0kWh battery provides a claimed electric-only range of up to 31 miles, giving it an official consumption figure of 117.7mph and average CO2 emissions of 56g/km.
This article was originally published in Autocar UK.
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