What we have today is a growing choice for buyers in every part of the market or more so in the luxury segment. Do I want the traditional favourite, that very mark of achievement and a body style that has been there since the dawn of the modern motoring car? Or a body style born out of a singular purpose that was, over the years, molded into a symbol of presence and luxury? Yes, we are referring to the prospect of choosing a sedan or an SUV and it is quite a major decision in the mid-size luxury segment where prestige in choosing a vehicle plays a major role. The two contenders here are the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the 220d trim and the GLE in the 250d. One was recently launched and one has been around for a bit in one form or another (ML-Class). But, despite being the older one, the 250d has now suddenly come back into prominence thanks to a boom in demand for SUVs. They are priced Rs 13 lakh apart and what separates the both of them? Read on to find out.
It’s all about the cabin
We could just give you the whole apples and oranges dialogue and then go on to describe the defining features of both the cars to give you an idea of what they offer. However, that is not the case as both vehicles are similar in terms of what they can offer. Some of the common threads include seating space for five, closely matched wheelbase numbers and of course that beautiful Mercedes-Benz Avant-garde grille.
The similarities go a step further in the cabin where both are evenly matched in terms of the essential features that one would find in this price point. However, look deeper and the differences start to show and it comes down to the age of the vehicles. Where the current GLE is an evolution of the 2015 facelift, the E-Class is an all-new car with the latest feature list that Mercedes-Benz has to offer. New features on the E-Class include additional shades for the mood lighting, 360 degree cameras, panoramic sunroof and seven dual-stage airbags as compared to six that is offered with the GLE.
On the face of it the GLE wins hands down thanks to its higher stance, wider body and of course, it being an SUV. However, since the car sold in India is the LWB E-Class, it does stand out thanks to the extra length. There is also the fact that most people would associate luxury with a big sedan and would be able to remember the E-Class (in this LWB design) before moving on to an SUV like the GLE-Class.
The E-Class in the 220d setup is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit producing 192bhp/400Nm while the GLE in its 250d setup is powered by a 2.2-litre unit producing 201bhp/500Nm of torque. Both get nine-speed ZF transmissions, but the GLE by virtue of its SUV nature also gets 4MATIC AWD system. The E-Class gets Merc’s latest agility control independent suspension, while the GLE which is a bit older and aimed at tougher terrains makes do with steel springs. It will also be able to go further and harder due to the all-wheel drive and ground clearance.
These are the choices offered to the buyers today. The E-Class is for those who want some extra space in the cabin and aspire to own a luxury sedan. The GLE offers all the benefits of the E-Class, plus the ability to tackle bad roads and some added presence due to its large size.