Mercedes-Benz in 2024 – W214 E-Class; facelifts for GLE SUV and EQA EV? CLE launching in Malaysia?

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) had quite a number of highlights in 2023, beginning with the introduction of the locally-assembled (CKD) EQS500 4Matic in February. The brand’s EQ range would gradually expand over the year, with AMG versions of the EQS and EQE arriving in June, while the EQS SUV and EQE SUV went on sale in October and December respectively.

Away from electric vehicles (EVs), other notable launches include the second-generation GLC, which was initially introduced in CBU form before the CKD version was introduced with a lower price point. There were also some niche models that were made available here, including the Mercedes-AMG GT63S E Performance and SL43, while bread and butter models such as the E-Class and A-Class (including AMG versions) received updates.

It wasn’t just cars that saw changes, as MBM’s management also welcomed Amanda Zhang as its new CEO and president in August 2023, succeeding Sagree Sardien advanced to the position of head of region overseas for Mercedes-Benz Cars in Stuttgart. In 2024, MBM’s first move was introducing the facelifted GLA, but what else does the company have in store for us? Well, here’s what we’re expecting:

W214 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz in 2024 – W214 E-Class; facelifts for GLE SUV and EQA EV? CLE launching in Malaysia?

The E-Class has been a staple in Mercedes-Benz’s line-up for years, with the W214 being the latest generation of the model that made its global debut last April. Slightly larger in size compared to the previous W213, the W214 boasts a bolder design and comes packed with technologies, the latter includes the multi-display Superscreen.

Unlike the G60 BMW 5 Series it competes against, the W214 E-Class isn’t offered as a fully electric model (like the i5), with the EQE being the brand’s “E-Class EV.” Instead, the latest E-Class is only offered with petrol and diesel powertrains in mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid forms.

Not all car buyers in this segment want an electric powertrain, so if the E-Class arrives before the internal combustion engine (ICE) versions of the G60 5 Series, it could gain the upper hand until BWM Group Malaysia responds. Given the W213 is a CKD model here, we would expect the W214 to follow suit to keep pricing competitive.

V167 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift

Another model that made its global debut last year was the facelifted GLE, which was introduced alongside its coupe-styled equivalent (the GLE Coupe). The latter has already been introduced here in November last year, but we have yet to get the updated GLE in its regular SUV body.

The visual differences are subtle and include a new DRL signature in the form of dotted lines on the top and bottom of the headlamps – the former also gets a slim light bar. There are also tweaks to the interior, with new steering wheels that incorporate touch sensors, revised trim and the second-generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).

While the GLE Coupe is a CBU product, the regular GLE has been a CKD offering since 2021 and is currently listed in a sole GLE450 4Matic AMG Line variant. A refresh would keep the GLE in the fight against the upcoming BMW X5 xDrive50e facelift and Volvo XC90 here.

H243 Mercedes-Benz EQA facelift

Another model that got a facelift last year was the EQA in August. The pre-facelift EQA we have here was launched back in March 2022 and got a price bump in early January 2023. The facelifted version is available with three powertrains (EQA250, EQA250+ and EQA300 4Matic) that come with as much as two electric motors, 228 PS, 390 Nm and 560 km of range.

As with other facelifts introduced by the carmaker, the styling changes are relatively minor and include a redesigned black panel at the front with a star pattern instead of two horizontal slats, revised bumpers, a new steering wheel with touch panels and an updated MBUX system.

C236 Mercedes-Benz CLE

Mercedes-Benz in 2024 – W214 E-Class; facelifts for GLE SUV and EQA EV? CLE launching in Malaysia?

The CLE was introduced globally in July 2023 to replace both coupe versions of the C- and E-Class. Sharing the same wheelbase with the W206 C-Class, the CLE is a four-seater that can also be had as a cabriolet (A236). Powertrain options for the CLE include turbocharged mild hybrid engines in either 2.0 litre inline-four or 3.0 litre inline-six forms – power outputs go as high as 380 PS.

For those who want a Mercedes-Benz with two doors, your only options currently are the SL and Mercedes-AMG GT, which retail for just under RM1 million and just over RM2.08 million respectively. The CLE could arrive to fill in the gap between the two, but we’ll have to see what we perceive to be a niche model comes here.

So, these are some of the things we are expecting to see from MBM this year, but which of these cars are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

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