Is Mercedes GLE the world’s safest car?
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Mercedes-Benz New Zealand’s newly launched GLE off-roader could be one of the safety cars in the world thanks to a plethora of features that keeps your eyes on the road.
Mercedes-Benz NZ has two GLE models for sale, the 300d and 400d, dropping the 450d from its line-up.
The 300d costs $128,200 has the new 2-litre diesel engine producing 180kW of power and 500Nm of torque. The 400d ($139,900) gets the 3-litre diesel engine producing 243kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
Both models sit on 20in alloys, get 4Matic all-wheel drive with Torque on Demand as standard, have a 9speed transmission while 48-volt E-Active body control suspension and road surface scan and curve are available at a cost option.
It’s no surprise that the GLE has a five-star Ancap safety rating, scoring 34.9 out of 38 for adult occupant protection, 45.2 out of 49 for child occupant protection, 10.4 out of 13 for safety assist, and 37.9 out of 48 for vulnerable road user protection.
“The standout area of performance was child occupant protection where it achieved the highest score to date at 92%,” said ANCAP chief executive, James Goodwin.
“This result for the GLE is encouraging,” he said.
What should impress potential buyers is the large array of standard safety features in the GLE.
This includes dual frontal, side chest-protecting airbags for front and second row outboard positions, side head-protecting airbags (curtains) for the front, second and optional third rows, and a driver knee airbag
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There’s also autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.
What Driven liked during our test drives at global launch in San Antonio, Texas, at the Australasian launch in Melbourne and a quick Auckland drive was the head-up display.
It has to be class leading thanks to the new information projected onto the windscreen including navigation directions and traffic sign recognition, this is along with your speed and speed limit.
It also comes with the Siri-like “hey Mercedes” that does such functions as the change the radio station and air conditioning for you.
Head-up and “Hey Mercedes” together means you can keep your full attention on the road and the traffic in front of you, rather than glancing down.
Mercedes-Benz NZ’s new general manager, Lance Bennett, also agrees that safety is important in the new GLE.
"Mercedes-Benz doesn’t compromise on safety, and as such this generation of GLE arrives in New Zealand with a long list of class-leading safety features as standard, many of which were invented by Mercedes-Benz,” said Bennett.
“All of our vehicles are equipped with the latest MBUX infotainment interface featuring ‘Hey Mercedes’, head-up display, traffic sign assist, and the complete distonic driver assistance package, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop in an emergency and avoid collisions with other road users.
“Combined, this allows drivers to control the majority of the vehicle’s features without attention ever moving from the road."