History / Overview
Born in the late 1990s as the M-Class -- Mercedes-Benz's first-ever SUV -- the mid-size GLE luxury utility adopted its current name in 2016.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
For 2020, the GLE-Class enters its fourth generation, having been completely redesigned. The GLE Coupe and wild AMG GLE 63 models have been temporarily discontinued, but should return next year with a similar new look and updated technology.
Mercedes offers the 2020 GLE-Class in GLE 350, GLE 450 and AMG GLE 53 trims. All are built around distinct powertrains. The GLE 350 uses the model's first-ever four-cylinder engine, a 2.0L turbo unit. GLE 450 and AMG GLE 53 share a 3.0L turbo V6 with a mild hybrid electric assist system; it's tuned for more performance in the latter variant.
The Mercedes-Benz 4Matic AWD system is standard across the range, along with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
GLE 350's standard technical and exterior features include a selective damping suspension, 20-inch wheels, aluminum roof rails, LED headlights/taillights/daytime running lights, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, power tailgate, and power-folding side mirrors.
Inside, the GLE 350 comes with a heated/Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel, multi-colour ambient lighting, oak wood trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated/power-adjustable front seats with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, Artico upholstery, a power-adjustable steering column,a sunroof, 12.3-inch infotainment and digital gauge cluster displays, navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Among GLE 350's standard safety items are blind spot assist, vehicle exit warning, traffic sign assist, rain-sensing wipers, tire pressure monitoring, and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking.
GLE 450 adds an Artico stitched dashboard, active parking assist, heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, and an integrated garage door opener.
Finally, AMG GLE 53 trim brings an air suspension with adaptive damping, AMG-tuned transmission and all-wheel drive, a sport exhaust, performance brakes, 21-inch wheels, climate-controlled front cupholders, a panoramic sunroof, and in-car Wi-Fi.
A premium package adds active park assist, garage door opener, panoramic sunroof, a hands-free tailgate, and passive keyless entry and push-button engine start. Premium plus adds rapid front seat heating, heated front-seat armrests, and heated second row seats.
A tech package comprises a head-up display, 360-degree camera views, active multibeam LED headlights, and automatic high beams.
A comfort package adds ventilated front seats with massage, and a cabin fragrance system.
The intelligent drive pack turns the GLE into a semi-autonomous vehicle, with adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, active steering and evasion assist, cross-traffic detection with automatic braking, active blind spot and lane change assist, and route-based speed adaptation.
Finally, a third-row seating option adds (obviously) third-row seats, electric second-row seat adjustments, and two USB-C ports in the third row.
As of this writing, Mercedes-Benz had not published fuel consumption estimates for the 2020 GLE-Class. With its new engines, count on it being at least marginally more efficient than last year's model, whose estimates ranged from 13.5/10.3 L/100 km (city/highway) to 14.1/10.9 L/100 km.
The GLE-Class's competitors include the BMW X5, Audi's Q7, the Volvo XC90, the Cadillac XT6, Acura's MDX and the Lexus RX, Infiniti's QX60, the Lincoln Aviator, Jaguar's F-Pace, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and the Porsche Cayenne.