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Mercedes-Benz GLE Review

Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE

1/10

Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

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Mercedes-Benz GLE

10/10

1 / 10

  • Launched in 2019
  • SUV
  • Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
  • Launch year
    2019
  • Body type
    SUV
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel, PHEV

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Mercedes-Benz’s BMW X5 rival

Best bits

  • Innovative infotainment system that looks great
  • Appealing range of engines and really efficient PHEV version
  • Spacious for five people and luggage

Not so great

  • Not as good as a seven-seater; rivals are better
  • Many rivals also more sophisticated to drive
  • Build quality can’t quite match that of the best

Read by

Mercedes GLE frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes GLE front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLE frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLE gearbox

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLE rear exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"This car has been known by quite a few different names over the years. It was originally launched in 1997 as the M-Class, and later became known as the ML, but as of 2015, Mercedes’ large luxury SUV adopted the GLE moniker. So, although this latest version is technically only the second-generation GLE, you can trace its lineage back much further than that."

Mercedes GLE frontleft exterior

Early versions were very successful, too, because back then, big, luxury SUVs were just as desirable as they are today, but they were much fewer in number. These days, however, the GLE has to compete with a vast variety of very talented rivals, so its job is much harder. The question is, does the big Merc have what it takes to compete?


Well, one change with the latest GLE already makes it more competitive than before. Where the previous version had only five seats in a class of cars in which seven seats were the norm, the latest GLE gives you that same option. However, it’s also true that the space surrounding these two extra seats is rather more cramped than it is in rivals, so it's not as practical or as versatile as the best seven-seaters: the extra pair of chairs should only really be viewed as an emergency measure, rather than an everyday one.


The GLE’s cabin is very competitive with rivals’ in other areas, though. It’s classy enough to feel at home in such well-heeled company, and luxury equipment provided as standard is just as generous. What’s more, the GLE’s sophisticated infotainment system provides some real wow-factor, with two high-definition glass-fronted screens that work well and look great.


There’s plenty of choice on engines, too, with various petrol and diesel choices that do a good job in combining prodigious power and impressive refinement with more-than-competitive economy. There’s even a plug-in hybrid variant offered that the official figures claim will do a whopping 66 miles on electric power alone. That’s a really impressive figure, and so are the combined CO2 emissions of 19g/km and fuel consumption of 257mpg (although both are laboratory figures that will likely never be met in the real world).


Unfortunately, where GLE can’t match its very best rivals is on the road. Don’t get us wrong, this is a good car to drive, with a reasonably comfortable ride and capable handling. It’s just that its best rivals, most notably the Audi Q7, do such an incredible job on that score that the Merc can’t quite measure up.


Overall, the GLE is an appealing and desirable car in its own right, and if you have your heart set on one, there’s absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t. However, we do think that the best rivals offer better practicality, marginally better build quality and a more polished and sophisticated driving experience.

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  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE

Mercedes-Benz GLE

GLE 350d 4Matic AMG Night Ed Prem + 5dr 9G-Tronic

  • 2018
  • 17,220 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Mercedes-Benz Temple Fortune
  • Middlesex, NW110PU
Price:£42,999
HP: £1,185.81/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £1,185.81, Customer Deposit: £6,449.00, Total Deposit: £6,449.85, Total Charge For Credit: £6,150.01, Total Amount Payable: £49,149.01, Representative APR: 10.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 10.38%

Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE

Mercedes-Benz GLE

GLE 300d 4Matic AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic

  • 2020
  • 8,822 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Mercedes-Benz Brentford
  • Middlesex, TW8 9QR
Price:£49,799
PCP: £853.17/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £853.17, Customer Deposit: £7,469.00, Total Deposit: £7,469.85, Optional Final Payment: £22,728.17, Total Charge For Credit: £10,259.97, Total Amount Payable: £60,058.97, Representative APR: 10.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 10.39%, Excess Mileage Charge: 18ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE right for you?

If you’ve previously owned an M-Class, ML or GLE, then the latest GLE will feel like a real step on. It’s posher than ever before, better to drive than ever before, it has bags of luxury equipment and, like many large SUV rivals, it now offers seven-seat practicality.


Granted, the seven seats aren’t as roomy as those of rivals, so should only be used occasionally rather than habitually. Still, it’s a useful option to have. And where the GLE really comes into its own is on its infotainment technology. It has loads of different functionality, and a good operating system - plus really clever voice control - makes that functionality easy to operate. Tech-heads will love it.

What's the best Mercedes-Benz GLE model/engine to choose?

For our money, most buyers will be best off with the entry-level 300d diesel engine. It’s the cheapest version to buy, it’s strong and refined on the road, and aside from the plug-in hybrid version, it delivers the best fuel economy. For long-distance drivers, it’s definitely the pick. 


However, if you only have a short commute, or you’re a company car driver, you’ll want to consider the 350 de PHEV. That’s because it can do up to 66 miles on electric power alone, meaning short commutes will cost peanuts, and it also gives vastly reduced Benefit-in-kind tax bills for fleet customers. Bear in mind, though, that you can’t have the PHEV with seven seats.


Trim-wise, there’s not much you’d want that entry-level AMG Line trim doesn’t give you, so we’d stick with that.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLE?

Once upon a time, the GLE’s rivals would’ve been pretty clear-cut: the BMW X5, Audi Q8, the Porsche Cayenne, the Range Rover Sport, and any other big, posh SUV that only offered five seats. However, as most rivals have diversified into offering seven seats, just like the majority of other big, posh SUVs, then so did the GLE. The means cars like the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90 are also in the GLE’s crosshairs, and you could argue that bigger offerings like the BMW X7 and Merc’s own GLS, are also in the mix.

Learn more

Mercedes GLE front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLE frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLE gearbox

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLE rear exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Interested in buying a Mercedes-Benz GLE?

View Mercedes-Benz GLE cars for sale