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The Mercedes GLE is now a long-range diesel-hybrid

What would it take for you to get excited by a plug-in hybrid family SUV?

Someone in Stuttgart fell asleep on their badge-making keyboard again, and the result is the ‘Mercedes-Benz GLE350de 4Matic’. That’s a GLE with a diesel engine, electric power and four-wheel drive. Obviously.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ engineers were not asleep on the job. At last, here’s a plug-in hybrid with enough electric range to cruise the owner’s whole driveway. The GLE blah-blah-thingy can apparently go up to 62 miles on battery power alone.

Thanks to hybrids gaming the test system, Mercedes also reports CO2 emissions of 29g/km and average consumption by the little 189bhp four-cylinder turbodiesel engine of 257mpg. Utterly meaningless numbers, until you come to pay your company car tax bill.

Cleverly, the big 31.2kWh battery hasn’t been allowed to eat into boot space, so there’s still up to 1,915 litres of cargo room. Clever too is the performance: top speed on electric power alone is a healthy 99mph, and when you’re using the combined 516lb ft of torque the GLE-BigName will go from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds.

If you don’t need so much space, there’s another new PHEV Benz in the shrunken shape of the slightly less tediously titled GLC 300 e 4Matic, which twins e-drive with a 2.0-litre, 207bhp petrol engine. It can only manage a claimed 40km, or 25ish miles on e-power, because the battery’s a smaller 13.5kWh unit. Because it’s a smaller car.

Very much cars for the Mercedes enthusiast who need something to pop to the shops in while their AMG One is in for a service.

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