No vehicle has staying power without a long list of positive qualities, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has more than its share. It starts with a choice of one of five available powertrains that range from mild to wild. The GLE-Class also has an extensive collection of available comfort, convenience and safety features either as standard or offered as options. Add a comfort-oriented ride quality, a spacious interior and cargo hold, and you'll begin to understand how this midsize luxury crossover SUV has stayed popular with consumers through the years.
Current Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
The five-passenger Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is broken down into five models set apart largely by what's under the hood. A related GLE-Class Coupe is reviewed separately.
The entry-level GLE 350's list of standard features starts with a 302-horsepower V6 engine, 19-inch wheels, a sunroof and a power liftgate. Slide inside and you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and power front seats, Mercedes' COMAND electronics interface (with an 8-inch display) and an eight-speaker audio system. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (Mercedes' 4Matic) is available as an option in the GLE 350 and is standard throughout the rest of the GLE-Class lineup.
Options at this level include an available Premium 1 package that bundles blind-spot monitoring and a lane departure warning system, keyless ignition and entry, a navigation system, satellite radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. The Premium 2 and Premium 3 options packages add even more, including adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and an automated parking system.
Stepping up to the GLE 400 gets you a 329-hp turbocharged V6 engine. The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid pairs an electric motor with a 3.0-liter V6 that boosts total output to 436 hp. Those in search of maximum performance will want to check out the AMG GLE 63, which has a turbocharged 550-hp V8 engine, larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and even more standard equipment. The top-of-the-line AMG GLE 63 S bumps the turbocharged V8 to 577 hp.
Head out down the road and you'll discover the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class rides comfortably over most kinds of road surfaces, but it can feel a tad harsh over potholes and other sizable pavement imperfections. The stock suspension delivers handling that's just so-so, with steering a little too light to inspire real confidence. The standard 3.5-liter V6 under the hood of the GLE 350 can feel a tad anemic when trying to move this much vehicle along at a brisk pace. For more satisfying performance and handling, we recommend stepping up to the GLE 400, which accelerates with just the right amount of authority.
Used Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Models
The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class debuted for 2016. Before then, Mercedes' midsize luxury SUV was known as the M-Class.