First up, there’s the larger GLE 350 de 4Matic, which boasts a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine with 194 PS (192 hp) at 3,800 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,800 rpm.
The engine is augmented by a 100 kW (136 PS or 134 hp)/440 Nm electric motor, which draws power from a 31.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. Both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging (CCS2 connection) can be used here, with the latter taking just 30 minutes to get from 10 to 100 percent state of charge.
In terms of performance, the GLE 350 de 4Matic – with its total system output of 320 PS (320 hp) and 700 Nm – will take just 6.8 seconds to get from a rest to 100 km/h, and will hit a top speed of 210 km/h, or 160 km/h when running on pure electricity.
More impressively, the big plug-in hybrid SUV has a WLTP-certified fuel consumption of 1.1 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 29 g/km. When running on just electricity, the range is between 90 and 99 km.
Shifting to the smaller GLC 300 e 4Matic, the SUV features a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine instead. The mill serves up 211 PS (208 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,200 to 4,000 rpm, with a less powerful 90 kW (122 PS or 121 hp)/440 Nm electric power for the same final system output as the GLE 350 de 4Matic.
With that said, the GLC PHEV needs 5.7 seconds to complete the zero to 100 km/h sprint and will hit a higher top speed of 230 km/h. However, the max top speed when running in full EV mode is lower at 130 km/h.
Another area of difference is in terms of efficiency, as the model’s fuel consumption is rated at between 2.5 and 2.2 l/100 km following WLTP regulations, and CO2 emissions are around 57 and 51 g/km. That said, the smaller 13.5 kWh battery in the SUV means a shorter EV range of between 39 and 43 km.
Both models use the third generation of Mercedes-Benz’s plug-in hybrid technology, and utilise a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. This features a torque converter with an integrated lockup clutch as a starting device, as well as an additional clutch between the combustion engine and electric motor for all-electric driving.
A 7.4 kW onboard charger (Type 2 connection) is used for AC charging (on both models), and Mercedes-Benz says the battery on the GLC 300 e 4Matic can be fully recharged in just 1.5 hours with a wallbox that has the matching power output. With a conventional domestic power socket, it’ll take around five hours instead.