Every fleet is different, with each looking for the right type of vehicle to fit their needs. However, fleets also share commonalities essential to maintaining a successful fleet, including having vehicles that will safely take their driver’s from point A to point B; offers something that improves driver morale; and is in an affordable price range.
With Mercedes-Benz recently introducing the A-Class to the U.S. market for the 2019 model year and the all-new 2020 GLE SUV the automaker has more options in its vehicle landscape that continues to make it an ideal candidate for a company’s executive fleet.
The A-Class in America
With the introduction of the A-Class sedan in the U.S. market, Mercedes-Benz is solidifying itself as a contender in the compact sedan segment of the fleet market space by now offering the new entry-level vehicle.
The A-Class works as a comfortable starting point for the fleet manager looking for an executive vehicle that won’t break the bank, while still offering the latest in vehicle technology. It’s available in two models: the A-Class A220 with front-wheel-drive and the all-wheel-drive A220 4MATIC.
Safety is key for fleets and the A-Class offers the kinds of technology that really count.
For the A-Class, available safety technology includes Active Braking Technology and an Active Brake system, Crosswind Assist, and a rearview camera. Also available is the Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call Service and anti-theft alarm system with remote panic feature.
There’s also an additional Driver Assistance Package and Parking Assistance Package that can be added on to the A-Class, which, when both are added, collectively includes an additional 14 features. Blind Spot Assist is also available as a SA option.
The A-Class will also bring the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system. The system utilizes natural language understanding for vehicle commands, and offers touchscreen capabilities and a new touchpad, along with a seven-inch multimedia display and digital instrument cluster.
Additional tech options available on the A-Class include the Premium Package, which includes Blind Spot Assist; Keyless-Go Technology, which allows drivers to unlock, start and drive the car just by having the SmartKey in their possession; and Hands-Free Access, which lets users open and close the trunk by utilizing a gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper.
There’s also an available Multimedia Package which offers augmented video for navigation and the Mercedes-Benz GPS navigation system, traffic sign assist, which can detect posted speed-limit signs and, along with information in the navigation system's map database, display the limit on the dash.
All this, bundled with the fact that the A-Class is available at an affordable price range in two variations, is another key benefit that fleets will love. The A220 will retail for $32,500, while the 4MATIC variant will retail for $34,500.
Meanwhile, the interior offers a roomy, refined cabin with power front seats with memory; dual-zone, double-filtered climate control; a panorama roof; and other options including ventilated seats.
The 2019 A-Class A220 and A220 4MATIC are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that offers 188 hp and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. This is delivered through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Reign of the GLE
Mercedes-Benz is also offering the new 2020 GLE, which will be available as a 2WD 350 in late summer 2019, plus a 350 or 450 4MATIC SUV, perfect for the executive looking for the ideal SUV that includes all the perks of a luxury vehicle.
Across the board, the GLE offers essential technological capabilities, but it really shines in the realm of safety. The luxury SUV includes standard safety features like Attention Assist; Pre-Safe System; as well as the other aforementioned A-Class features, like active brake assist; and more.
The GLE is available with an optional Driver Assistance Package PLUS, which offers 14 additional safety features including, Active Distance Assist; Active Steering Assist; Evasive Steering Assist; Active Blind Spot Assist, and more.
Elsewhere, a separate surround view system can be added, which provides cameras in all four directions to compose a single, live overhead view of your immediate surroundings. This is ideal for avoiding obstacles as drivers negotiate tight spaces.
The new GLE also offers mild-hybrid power on the 450 and 580 versions.
The new 2020 GLE also includes the MBUX system, similar to the A-Class: Data and entertainment info appears on a pair of 12.3-inch screens in a widescreen layout. These features will be available on future versions of the CLA, GLS, and GLC.
An available MBUX Technology Package on the GLE offers an MBUX augmented video for navigation; a head-up display; and the MBUX interior assistant.
A Fresh Face
The 2020 GLE is also highlighted in its latest incarnation with a new face lift. For the 2020-model year, a plethora of changes have been made to keep the luxury looking fresh, which has given the GLE a smoother look.
The automaker has said the new 2020 GLE is the most aerodynamic model in its class, with a drag coefficient of 0.29, which is lower than the previous generation.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE lineup will start at $53,700 for the 2WD 350 SUV in summer 2019, which goes up to $61,150 for the GLE 450 that includes the 4MATIC AWD system, according to the automaker. The GLE 350 is also available with a 4MATIC system.
The GLE 350 is available with a 2.0L inline-4 turbo engine, and boasts 255 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 450 SUV offers a 3.0L inline-6 turbo engine with EQ boost, offering 362 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.
Connected-vehicle technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Mercedes-Benz stands at the leading edge with “Mercedes me,” a smartphone app-based system that pairs with “mbrace” services to create a highly valuable connection between driver and vehicle. Drivers and fleet managers can use the technology to:
- Access the vehicle via an iPhone or Android smartphone.
- Read the Owner’s Manual, watch How-To Videos, or connect with a Product Concierge.
- Check the dealership’s service department schedule and make an appointment.
- Track the vehicle’s location.
- Lock and unlock the vehicle.
- Start the engine, or lock/unlock the doors remotely.
- A five-year subscription is included with the purchase of every Mercedes-Benz vehicle, including the A-Class compact sedan and GLE.