When it comes to roadtrips, there are very few places that can offer the kind of dramatic, varied and downright beautiful vistas that I recently experienced on my trip across Texas in the new Mercedes GLE.
My journey started in Lajitas, a small town which sits on the Mexican border in Western Texas and is a gateway to Big Bend National Park. It was here that I got the first glimpse of the latest SUV from the Mercedes-Benz family – the new GLE. And if first impressions were anything to go by, the sight of the GLE in Polar White did not disappoint at all, it’s a guaranteed head turner. The previous GLE model has been completely reworked from the ground up and most notably the designers have stretched wheelbase offers a more space for luggage and more legroom in the rear.
As I arrived into Texas quite late in the evening, there was no chance to get out for a drive on day one, but I did get the chance to make the most of my time in the International Dark Skies Park by enjoying an alfresco dinner under the stars (it was mesmerising) before heading to bed for the night.
Day one of my drive kicked off early (for me and my jet jag anyway) but I wanted to make the most of my time with the car, so I didn’t mind on little bit. The route took me on a loop of Big Bend National Park, along the banks of the Rio Grande River and across a bit of an off-road track. I had budded up with a couple of guys for the journey, so I took the back seat for the first leg. It allowed me to have a good use of the fantastic legroom in the rear while enjoying the views around big bend which were absolutely breath-taking. Just when I thought I’d hit peak view, we would come around a bend and it just got even better.
The Mercedes GLE has major presence on the road. This was more than apparent by the amount of head turns I noticed from the pedestrians and other vehicles that we passed. From the exterior this car looks strong and sporty but the smooth lines that flow around the sides ensure that it maintains an elegant edge also.
After a quick lunch stop, we were on the road to our next destination, the hip but understated Texas desert town of Marfa. It was my turn to take the wheel and I felt at home driving the GLE instantly. The large and bright heads up display was a stand-up feature and made it easy to stay on track whilst making my way across the state park towards Marfa. I liked the customisation options for the dash too and the ability to switch between the features that you use most. I prefer having the sat nav window next to the speedo for ease and it allowed me to easily switch to that view.
The population of Marfa may be under 2,000 but there is loads to see here. The Hotel Saint George where I spent the evening is like a little hipster heaven in the middle of the desert and even has its own cool book shop in the lobby. Only a few minute’s walk from the hotel are art galleries, beautiful art deco buildings and the famous Marfa water tower. I loved the vibe here and It’s definitely on my wishlist to return again in the future.
The next morning, we again hit the road from Marfa onto the final stop of El Paso Airport where I’d be heading back across the pond to the UK but not before stopping at the Prada Marfa for a few photos as it was on the way.
The new Mercedes GLE will be available later this year and should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re in the market for a luxe SUV with a rugged sporty edge. It’s definitely a car to take you from the city to the county-side and back, and it will do it with ease!
Head over to Mercedes Benz UK for more information on the GLE and its UK release.