Mercedes GLE (2019-present)

Large, luxurious SUV isn’t for shy, retiring types

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Imposing presence
Impressively smooth ride
Real sense of luxury and quality

Weaknesses 

Sometimes feels overly large
Smaller engines have to work too hard
Limited range of trim options

One of the most appealing aspects of a large SUV is the fact that it feels big, tough, and strong. Drivers and passengers alike can enjoy sitting raised up above the other traffic. If that’s your main motivation for buying a large, luxurious SUV, then the Mercedes GLE could be the ideal choice.

In fact, it’s so large – possessed of so much presence – that the alloy wheels seem rather small, even though all uk cars get 20-inch wheels. Oddly enough, that sense of size is actually a bit of an illusion, because it’s not physically much biggers than its rivals; it simply looks and feels bigger than it is. Whether or not you feel that’s a good thing depends entirely on your perspective.

On the inside, that sense of size is complimented by a real sense of cosseting, high-tech luxury. Chunky and supportive leather seats envelope you, and everything you can see or touch feels like it’s of the very highest quality.

When you sit in the driving seat, laid out in front of you above an array of four air vents is the same infotainment/dash infoscreen system that made its debut in the A-Class family hatch last year. In the GLE, the two 12.3-inch screens that seem to form one single slab of screen looks very impressive, but can seem a little overwhelming until you get used to them.

Elsewhere in the cabin, there’s plenty of space whatever seat you’re sitting in, and a decent amount of luggage capacity. There optional extra two seats that turn the car into a seven-seater are not going to suit anybody except smaller children, however.

Out on the road, the GLE feels superbly comfortable, soaking away bumps and poor-quality road surfaces. It’s quiet, too, in keeping with the luxury feel of the rest of the car. The lowest-powered 300d features a diesel engines that’s got plenty of on-paper punch, but on the road somehow feels like it’s trying a little too hard – six-cylinder petrol and diesel models feel a little more effortless.

Effortlessness is the watchword for how the GLE behaves, too. This is not the sort of car you would want to drive too hard in through a series of bends, as your passengers are unlikely to thank you. Better to cruise along and enjoy the the surprisingly impressive fuel economy – in four-cylinder, diesel-powered 300d form at least – and the flexible and smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Last Updated 

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 17:00

Best Mercedes-Benz GLE for... 

Mercedes GLE 350 d 4MATIC AMG Line 7 Seats
Seven seats is the key here for family motoring – while the extra get up and go offered by the six-cylinder diesel is welcome, too.
GLE 450 4MATIC AMG Line
The addition of hybrid power to the smooth 3.0-litre petrol engine gives the GLE quite a bit of shove; it’s the performance GLE of choice until the AMG models arrive.

Mercedes-Benz GLE History 

Spring 2019 2018 First deliveries of all-new mercedes GLE 

Understanding Mercedes-Benz GLE car names 

  • GLE
  • Engine
    300d
  • Gearbox
    4MATIC
  • Trim
    AMG Line
  • Engine
    The GLE offers a selection of petrol and diesel engines; the 300d is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
  • Gearbox
    All GLEs come with four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
  • Trim
    The sporty-looking AMG Line is currently the only trim level available for the GLE in the UK

Mercedes-Benz GLE Engines 

300d, 350d, 450 hybrid, 400d


The Mercedes GLE is available with four engines – three diesel options and a petrol-electric hybrid.

Most humble is the 300d. This is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Although it is a little less sophisticated-sounding than the six-cylinder choices, it is still plenty powerful enough – it will get the big SUV from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds – and still return more than 46mpg.

For truly effortless-feeling performance, though, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesels are the models to go for. These come in two flavours: a 272hp version labelled 350d and a 330hp version labelled 400d. The latter is capable of gettign from 0-62mph in just 5.8 seconds.

If diesel power isn’t right for you, then there is a petrol option in the form of the hybrid GLE 450.

 

300 d

Diesel

46.3mpg

245hp

0 - 62mph: 7.2s

140mph

450

Petrol

33.6mpg

367hp

0 - 62mph: 5.7s

155mph

350 d

Diesel

40.4mpg*

272hp

0 - 62mph: 6.9s

143mph

400 d

Diesel

40.4mpg

330hp

0 - 62mph: 5.8s

149mph

Mercedes-Benz GLE Trims 

AMG Line

The trim levels for UK-spec GLEs are pretty simple: whatever engine you go for, you can specify your GLE as an AMG Line and, er, that’s it. Still, AMG Line is pretty generous, as it includes black  nappa leather seats and steering wheel, an AMG bodykit, active parking assist, blind spot assist and traffic sign assist, among much else.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Reliability and warranty 

It’s too soon to really have any data on how reliable the new GLE is, but the unlimited-mileage Mercedes offers will offer you peace of mind for the first three years of ownership.

Used Mercedes-Benz GLE 

You won’t see many used GLEs of the latest model available for sale yet, but its predecessor was a popular large SUV. Go for one of those and you’ll be missing out on a little of the new car’s high-tech, luxury feel, however.

Other Editions