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Audi Q7 Mercedes GLE comparison

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Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE in comparison
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Thorough facelift for the Mercedes GLE

V okabelhefte out, Mercedes is once again throwing its model names into confusion. The next GLK will be declared as the GLC to the SUV offshoot of the C-Class, the large GL is called the S-Class counterpart, the GLS, while the ML changes to the E-Class and - correctly - is called the GLE. The curious thing is that while Audi is completely redeveloping the successor to the Q7, which was built around ten years ago, and is basically just keeping the name, the change from ML to GLE is a facelift.

Although a particularly thorough one: Instead As is often the case in the industry, leaving a little cosmetics around the radiator nose, the high seat, which has been built in the third generation since 2011, goes to the sheet metal, as the new swing in the fenders and bonnet reveals. There are also headlights with LED lights and modified aprons with integrated exhaust trims at the rear. The actual bodyshell, however, remains untouched; changes here would have meant lengthy approval procedures in all markets. The wheelbase of 2.92 meters has therefore not changed, and the external length also only varies insignificantly.

Mercedes GLE with new trailer coupling

With a length of 4.82 meters, the Mercedes GLE is around 25 centimeters and thus half a class below the Q7, which is probably no one on the narrower roads of Europe than Feels disadvantage. Adults still sit extremely airy and look forward to comfortable seats, a variably adjustable rear seat and a clear view of the sky through a huge panoramic glass roof. As a recognized competent tractor, Mercedes has given the GLE an improved trailer hitch for the new name, which hums electrically from under the rear apron and can handle up to 3.5 tons.

The Audi Q7 also tows such heavy trailers, from the feeling of space in the rear up to the trunk volume, many things are a tad more generous with him: With the rear seat upright, he swallows 200 liters more luggage than the Mercedes GLE, for an extra charge of 1,390 euros even two extra chairs fold out of the trunk floor, which makes the Audi a seven-seater. The space at the front and the workmanship are at a very high level here and there.

In terms of infotainment, however, the Audi Q7 emerges as the clear winner: From the virtual cockpit with full TFT display instead of classic instruments to tablet PCs as integratedFrom the back seat entertainer to the extensive mobile phone integration, the big Audi sets the standards not only in its class. It connects compatible smartphones inductively and without annoying cable connections with its external antenna and charges them at the same time. From September, the on-board electronics will support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which means that apps from the two most popular mobile phone operating systems can be displayed and operated in one fell swoop. In addition to the important real-time traffic information, the LTE module from Audi connect also supports music streaming services such as Napster and Aupeo and updates navigation maps online.

In comparison, the entertainment program in the Mercedes GLE seems more conservative: Indeed Comand Online now uses its own cellular module for live traffic data and emergency calls. For other internet functions such as the limited range of apps, however, a mobile phone still has to be paired, while the monitors in the rear display images from the good old DVD. Last but not least, the operation in the Audi is easier because the MMI reacts instantly to inputs and its giant touchpad is much more conveniently located than the touch area in the Benz, which of all things covers the turn-push control.

Different driving settings for GLE and Q7

But most customers prefer to drive than surf the Internet anyway, which is why the Mercedes Developers have put a lot of fine-tuning into the chassis tuning: If the ML was previously part of the comfortable group, the GLE should not only spring first-class, but also wag around the corner jaggedly. This was achieved through a particularly wide spread of the optional air suspension and its adaptive dampers including variable stabilizers.

The various settings of the Mercedes GLE are selected using the Dynamic Select switch in the center console, which also controls the off-road Programs activated. Because the Benz is still available with a gear reduction and a lockable center differential, which is why the big one off the beaten track should do credit to the G in its name.

The Audi Q7 has been comparatively agile so far, so its dedicated ones Developers meticulous the comfort. The air suspension absorbs the worst blows from African slopes just as smoothly as fine transverse ribs. A newly developed steering system that responds more resolutely to the center position than has previously been the case at Audi ensures greater handiness.

Mercedes GLE and Audi Q7 also as a plug-in hybrid

In addition, the Audi Q7 is optionally available with all-wheel steering, which is supposed to improve handiness at low speeds and provide more stability at higher speeds.

Without to anticipate a comparison test: The times of the comfortable, but somewhat nippy Mercedes and the jagged,however, Audi over-tightening might gradually be over. At least in their chassis philosophy, the two brands are converging.
Similarities also in the price level: with six-cylinder diesel, the Mercedes GLE (258 hp, nine-speed automatic) costs 60,750 euros, the Audi Q7 (272 hp, eight-speed automatic) just 150 euros more. For 2016, Audi is promising two plug-in hybrids called e-trons with an electric range of over 50 kilometers. The electric module puts both a four-cylinder gasoline engine and a six-cylinder diesel on a diet.

There will also be a plug-in hybrid for the GLE. Mercedes combines its 333 hp V6 petrol engine with an 85 kW electric motor and calls it the 500 e. The economy variant should be in no way inferior to the dynamics of the eight-cylinder. Otherwise, from the four-cylinder diesel and rear-wheel drive to the AMG V8, the modified drives from the ML remain. And if you still have your vocabulary book open: In the future, diesels will no longer be called Bluetec, but will only have a small d on the rear.

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