[Sponsored Article] The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE, recently refreshed with a striking silhouette and packed with innovative features, has made its long-anticipated appearance in the city. It is the second-generation of a segment-starting vehicle that has won the recognition of customers and critics alike. Before the conceptualisation of this new Mercedes-Benz GLE, the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker had a testing job in hand: how to improve on a trend-setting Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) as accomplished as the first-generation GLE? The Mercedes-Benz GLE has been a pioneer, assimilating the seemingly contrasting concepts of luxury into utility of the SUVs in the past era. And now, the second-generation GLE stays true to the original ideal, while keeping an eye on the importance of modern luxury, both on and off the road. Part of the second-generation GLE's modernity is visual. Thanks to carefully sculptured design details: the upright front grille with an accentuated Mercedes-Benz star, the use of chrome trims, the bonnet with two muscular domes, the revised headlamps and rear lights, along with the athletic rear end give this new vehicle a distinctively contemporary look. The design is modern and powerful. Consider the bold presence thanks to a longer wheelbase, which is 80 millimetres longer compared to the model it replaces; short overhangs, that refer to the short distances between the wheels and the front and rear ends of the vehicle; as well as a set of large-diameter, handsome alloys — all details which radiate confidence. And everything is ingeniously packaged as well. The design is not just for show: the new GLE boasts a best-in-segment drag coefficient figure of 0.29. This means the vehicle benefits hugely from the aerodynamic point of view, implying greater fuel efficiency and checked wind noise in speeds. Entering the cabin of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE, one will certainly appreciate the next-level technology employed throughout. One's attention will naturally focus on the instrument panel that is dominated by a brace of 12.3-inch screens as a standard feature, arranged next to each other for a widescreen look. The screens act as a medium and a display for the multimedia system MBUX, a short form for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, when the commander in the cockpit can choose among four display options according to his or her mood at the time. Meanwhile, the sporty and stylish cockpit is refurbished with some of the highest quality materials as expected of the vehicles bearing the famous three-pointed star. Surely, occupants will find comfort in the new GLE, which has a spacious compartment with noticeably improved legroom in the second-row seats and more headroom in the rear. And it's not only the space for occupants that is improved, the same applies to the luxury vehicle's luggage capacity, making it an ideal set of wheels for a luxurious short holiday break out of town, if the vehicle is properly licensed in other jurisdictions. Yet, space is not the only virtue of the new GLE's interiors. Another particularly strong point of the vehicle is its highly versatile use of space. Rear passengers can easily find the most comfortable seating position with an optionally available, fully electric second row seats, that come with 100 millimetres fore-and-aft adjustability for the left and right seats, plus angle adjustment for backrests and height adjustment for head restraints. Also available, as an option for those in need of more seating capacity, is the third-row seats of two, allowing seven occupants travelling in real comfort. If the third row seats are not used, they can be folded down making a flat loading space for luggage. Speaking of comfort, it must be pointed out that due to their higher centre of gravity, along with sizeable masses and dimensions, luxury SUVs are known to be more prone not only to body rolls in corners, but also pitching and squat, as the vehicles' rear end is pushed up and down during different degrees of acceleration. Excessive body movement of a vehicle as mentioned can be a source of concern for people suffering from motion sickness. Mercedes-Benz applies cutting-edge technology to deal with unwanted body movement as experienced in other luxury SUVs. The optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is a suspension where the spring and damping forces of each wheel can be individually controlled via an electrified and fully networked hydro-pneumatic, active suspension, thus minimising the mentioned body movement and offering a much improved handling and comfort. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC, now available to customers in Hong Kong comes packed with the power that will enable its proud driver to have a spirited drive around town, while its off-road capability is uncompromised should its driver feel like venturing outside the confines of our urban jungle. Pop up the bonnet, one will find a technologically advanced engine fitted nicely in the engine bay. The hybrid power unit combines a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine that is systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. The performance data makes impressive reading with 367 horsepower of output and 500 newton-metre of torque, respectively, making light work of the acceleration off the green lights. In case a driver needs a brief burst of extra pulling power, a further 22 horsepower and 250 newton-metre are on hand — to make overtaking both swift and safe. The revised powertrain also includes the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that has proven its reliability and efficiency in many other recent Mercedes-Benz models, while the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive system allows a torque split between 0 and 100 per cent between axles. The system is capable of ensuring the highest standards of traction even on ultra-slippery surfaces. The Mercedes-Benz GLE has come to be known as a trend-setter, and rightly so. This second-generation just further consolidates its recognition, it is a gem.