• Mercedes-Benz now offers nine SUV models.
• The range now includes the GLA, GLB, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, the G-Class, GLS, and Mercedes Maybach GLS.
• One out of every three Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold, is an SUV.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.
Mercedes-Benz has bolstered their SUV range significantly, with the addition of new models, new engines as well as space, styling and technology upgrades for existing models.
In total, Mercedes-Benz now offers nine SUV models in the form of the GLA, GLB, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, the G-Class, GLS and Mercedes Maybach GLS. The dominance of the trend is evident in the fact that there is now an SUV counterpart for every sedan in the range, and that one out of every three Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold, is an SUV.
Added character and space for GLA
The latest iteration of the Mercedes-Benz GLA is the biggest, most luxurious model to date and ensures that the entry-level model in the brand's family of SUV models rounds off its current compact-car generation in style.
The new GLA stands 10mm taller and 15mm shorter than its predecessor, even so, interior space is improved with added legroom in the rear and more boot space.
With powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines, the latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support and the MBUX infotainment system with intuitive operation, the new model has all the strengths of the current generation of compacts from Mercedes-Benz.
South African customers will be able to choose from the GLA 200 and GLA 200d at launch. The GLA 200's 1332cc engine puts out 120kW and 250Nm while using 5.7-litres per 100km. The GLA 200d's 1950cc diesel engine generates 110kW and 320Nm of torque, with a combined fuel consumption of 5.2 litres per 100km.
The front seating positions are higher and more upright than before, while all-round visibility has been improved. The rear seats can be optionally adjusted by 14 centimetres, and the rear backrest also has a steeper rake, making room for bulkier items such as boxes. The rear seat backrest can be split 40:20:40, with each section folding down individually.
Driving assistance systems have also been enhanced in the new GLA. When the optional driving assistance package is added features include turning manoeuvre function, emergency corridor function, exit warning, pedestrian warning, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steer Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, route-based speed adjustment, evasive steering assist, active lane-keeping assist, active blind-spot assist, active brake assist, traffic sign assist and pre-safe plus which detects a potential rear impact.
Mercedes-Benz GLA 200d - R710 000
Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 - R674 000
GLS is the S-Class of SUVs
Mercedes-Benz's largest and most luxurious SUV to date has landed in South Africa, offering more space, more comfort and more luxury than ever before.
South African customers will be able to choose from the new GLS 400d 4Matic or the GLS 580 4Matic, which marks the world premiere of a new electrified V8 petrol engine with a 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter-generator.
The GLS combines powerful highlights of off-road design and capability with an elegance reminiscent of a classic luxury sedan offering the best of both worlds.
The V8 petrol engine fitted to the GLS 580 4Matic is the new electrified V8 petrol unit that produces 360kW and 700Nm, with another 250Nm and 16kW of additional output temporarily on tap via EQ boost. Mercedes-Benz claims that it uses only 10.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
The GLS 400 d 4Matic produces 243kW and 700Nm and is said to use just 7,9 litres per 100 kilometres.
In both variants, power is transferred by a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, The broad ratio spread of gears one to nine allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort.
The front end of the GLS exudes presence and power, with a striking appearance emphasised with an upright radiator grille and distinctive headlamp design. The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too, with a powerful shoulder muscle extending from the rear doors to the taillights.
Inside, three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offer all passengers a generous amount of space and seating comfort, the seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase boot space up to 2400 litres, while the seats in the second row fold flat.
A central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in a distinctive dashboard support. The centre console offers a wireless charging compartment and additional USB ports. Rear passengers are indulged further with the optional Rear Comfort Package plus which includes luxury head restraints with extra cushions and the rearward-extended centre console between the front seats with cup holders.
This package also includes a seven-inch Android tablet in its own docking station, which allows touch control of all the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions. As well as controlling the rear seat comfort package and five-zone automatic climate control for the rear seats.
The GLS comes with enhanced Airmatic air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard which adapts the damping characteristics to the road condition in real-time and keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
The off-road functions include recovery mode when coupled with the optional off-road engineering package; if the GLS becomes bogged down on a sand dune, for example, the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tyres and, therefore, improves traction, the GLS will rock itself free. Individual wheel actuation allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen on the media display, improving the vehicle's alignment on rough terrain when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted, for instance.
GLS 400d 4Matic - R1 842 000
GLS 580 4Matic - R2 025 000
GLE 400d Coupé for heightened standards
With the renewal of the premium SUV-family, Mercedes-Benz is also putting the GLE Coupé on a new technical footing.
The GLE coupé combines the modern luxury, elegance and sportiness of a coupé with the robustness and technology of the latest large premium SUV models. From a relatively small niche, the SUV coupé segment has developed into a trend within a trend in no time.
The proportions of the new GLE coupé emphasise its dynamic nature, with short overhangs and large, flush-mounted wheels, dynamic greenhouse and a long side-window line exuding high value and exclusivity.
Initially, only the GLE 400d 4Matic Sports Coupé will be offered in South Africa, which provides a powerful 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 243kW and 700Nm of torque. Mercedes-Benz claims that it can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds while using just 7.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
The interior shares similarity with other SUV models such as the cockpit with two 31.2 cm screens. However, the sporty emphasis comes courtesy of the standard sport seats and the new sports steering wheel with Nappa leather trim. The interior offers tangibly more room than its predecessor, with a comfortable amount of space for up to five occupants. This model too features the latest generation of the MBUX infotainment system.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 400 d 4Matic Coupé - R1 814 000
Iconic G-Class turns 40
The G-Class is the forefather of all SUVs that carry the three-pointed star and is the standard against which others are measured in the off-road vehicle segment, around 80% of all the G-Class vehicles ever produced are still in use, a testament to its outstanding quality and durability.
To mark its 40th anniversary in 2019, Mercedes-Benz has introduced a range of highlights for G-Class fans, starting with a special Stronger than Time model, including the exclusive G 400 d, J40 Edition offering the most potent expansion stage of the efficient inline six-cylinder diesel engine yet.
This G 400 d boasts a power output of 243 kW and 700Nm, while Mercedes-Benz claims that it uses just 8.9-litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
Presented in AMG guise the Stronger than Time model features flared wheel arches covering the 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, AMG design elements in the bumpers and an exterior protective strip, brake callipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering and the Night package which includes unique darkened lights exterior mirrors, a spare wheel ring and design elements in the bumpers in obsidian black and tinted rear windows. Stronger than Time nomenclature inside and outside is a special touch.
The G manufaktur individualisation range offers scope for even more exclusivity, with customers able to design their own personal G. With around a million combination options, G-Class vehicles could theoretically be produced for several decades at the plant in Graz, without any two of them being identical. Customers can choose from a broad colour palette for the Nappa leather on the steering wheel, instrument panel and seats and the topstitching and seat belts. For the exterior, four paint colours offer a choice for every taste.
G 400d 4 Matic – R2 874 000
GLB reinvents compact SUV
The Mercedes-Benz GLB has arrived in South Africa and is about to redefine the versatile compact SUV market as it is the first Mercedes-Benz in the compact segment that is optionally available as a seven-seater and is powered by wholly updated four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that offer a combination of fuel economy and performance.
Powerful proportions with short overhangs and off-road-oriented design, standard LED headlights, as well as 4Matic all-wheel drive in the GLB 220d, make the GLB a versatile SUV and spacious family car.
South Africans will be able to choose from two models at launch. The GLB 250 offering 165kW and 350Nm and the GLB 220 d 4Matic, which produces 140kW and 400Nm.
The powerful proportions of the GLB underscore the off-road focus of the design, with a vertical front section, striking headlamps and short overhangs at the front and rear. The muscular vehicle shoulder dominates the side view at the height of the C-pillar, an effect reinforced by the rising waistline. The doors reach over the sidebar, improving ease of access and keep the door apertures free of soiling as well as increasing protection in a side impact. All-round protective claddings divide the overall proportions and emphasise the vehicle's off-road character, as does the stylised skid plate at the front and rear.
The GLB 220d 4Matic is equipped with the permanent all-wheel system 4Matic, with fully variable torque distribution and the off-road engineering package is standard on this model, which includes an additional drive mode that adapts the power delivery of the engine for off-road driving. This is not available on the GLB 250.
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 - R831 000
Mercedes-Benz GLB 220 d 4Matic - R841 000