Now in its second year on sale, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class offers buyers luxury, practicality, style, and performance in a choice of two body styles - traditional SUV and Coupe. Building on the 20+ year heritage of the ML-Class, the GLE is a step forward over its predecessor.
Given its freshness, the GLE hasn't received too many updates for model year 2017, though there are some worth calling out. All models other than the high-performance GLE 63 S now feature Benz’s premium 9G-Tronic automatic transmission as standard equipment, while the mid-range GLE450 AMG has been renamed the GLE 43 AMG. From an appearance perspective, there are two new exterior colours - Brilliant Blue and Selenite Metallic - plus additional interior colour schemes.
The standard GLE SUV is offered with five different powertrains. The standard engine, a twin-turbocharged V6 engine is featured on the GLE 400; it produces an impressive 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. For those looking for a bit more oomph, there’s a twin-turbo V8 available for the GLE 550, which develops 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Those desiring exemplary fuel economy may wish to consider the GLE350d, which uses a 3.0-litre turbo V6 that develops 255 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. Benz also offers the GLE as a plug-in hybrid in most markets to compete with Volvo and BMW, but it's not available in Canada.
Mercedes also offers two performance versions of the GLE SUV, the less-powerful GLE 43 AMG, and the full-fat GLE 63 S AMG. The 43 gets a more powerful version of the standard V6 which produces 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, while the 63 S develops a pavement-pounding 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque.
The GLE Coupe, designed seemingly to target the BMW X6, offers a slightly different take on the luxury crossover coupe market. Certainly, the styling and design are right in line with the X6, complete with stub-nosed tail, but there's a broader model range. Unlike the Beemer, the GLE Coupe features standard diesel power. The other two trims in the range are the GLE 43 AMG and GLE 63 S AMG.
All GLEs, regardless of engine, come standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Compared to some of the other vehicles in the segment, the GLE SUV's standard setup is oriented towards comfort and ease of driving, with the Coupe and AMG versions offering a tighter, more buttoned-down driving experience. Adaptive suspension is available, as is Active Curve Control, which uses electronically controlled anti-roll bars to provide a level but comfortable ride. Standard emergency autonomous braking, available radar cruise control and lane-keeping assist ensure occupants are safe on the move.
The GLE's cabin is a fine place to be, with comfortable seats, and a clean design that features an iPad-style centre display screen that is controlled via Benz's Comand control system. While leatherette upholstery is standard, buyers can upgrade to glove-soft Nappa leather and even plusher Designo quilted-finish Nappa leather. Heated seats come standard, and can be upgraded to feature ventilation and contour adapting. Even your drinks will ride in comfort with available heated and cooled cupholders.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed