Debuting in the new A-Class, it looks like the MBUX infotainment system will eventually find its way inside the next-gen GLE as well.
Automakers have the tendency to overuse the term “all-new” when talking about an upcoming product, but in the case of the 2019 Mercedes GLE, it’s going to be 100 percent true. Numerous spy images and videos have shown the midsize luxury SUV will get a complete makeover with a redesigned exterior featuring a more rounded shape to distance itself from the current GLE, which has been around since 2011 when it was still called the ML.
It’s going to be the same story with the interior seen on multiple occasions already, such as back in March 2017 when our spies caught on camera a heavily disguised prototype. Fast forward to present day, a near-production prototype of the new GLE (W167) has been spotted roaming the streets and thankfully there was someone with a camera to immortalize the SUV’s revamped cabin while the vehicle was waiting at a stop light.
We get to see a good chunk of the new dashboard dominated by a pair of digital screens part of the brand new Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system. While the official word right now from the three-pointed star is that MBUX will be used in compact cars, it looks like bigger models will eschew the old COMAND system in favor of the new Linux-based system.
In the case of the next-generation A-Class, which will debut on Friday, MBUX will bundle 10.25-inch fully digital displays, but it remains to be seen whether more expensive models will employ the same configuration. It would make sense for the fancier Mercedes to get bigger ones considering models such as the E-Class / CLS and S-Class already have larger dual 12.3-inch screens. Regardless, it’s interesting to see that a company’s entry-level model will spearhead a new infotainment system taking into account it’s usually the other way around as in most cases a top-tier model is the first to adopt a new tech, which then trickles down to lesser cars.
Beyond the overhauled exterior and interior, the 2019 GLE will get new underpinnings by switching to the MRA platform already used on a multitude of models, including the aforementioned E-Class / CLS duo. With Mercedes announcing V6 engines are on their way out, this leads us to believe the new SUV will be blessed with inline-sixes. Speaking of engines and judging by the prototype’s rev counter going up to 8,000 rpm, there’s a good chance this test vehicle had a gasoline unit.
Expect to see the next-gen Mercedes GLE at a major auto show later this year, with a best-case scenario being the Geneva Motor Show in a little over a month.