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Mercedes-Benz’s M-Class SUV, which has become the GLE following the company’s new naming convention in recent years, has always gone toe-to-toe with the BMW X5. Now that Beemer is moving its bastion into international markets, Merc aims to steal some of its adversary’s thunder by unveiling the GLE ahead of its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Considerably tidied up and featuring the company’s latest corporate visage, one might argue that the front end looks as though it had been lifted wholesale from its X-Class bakkie sibling, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The rest of the styling looks more spruced up than the outgoing model, but still features some hallmark designs such as the wraparound rear glasshouse. That is where the similarities end as the model is new from the ground up. The new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2,995mm, plus 80mm), which creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroo...

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