January 22, 2021


Connecting People

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 review: The standard-bearer

The AMG Line styling package is by no suggests a obligatory addition, but it does give the GLE350 a small more edge.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Given that the 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course (formerly identified as the M-Course) has slowly and gradually served transform luxurious sedan potential buyers into luxurious SUV potential buyers. It can be not tough to see why, either — persons love sitting up high, and wrapping that working experience in a standard Mercedes-Benz shell suggests no sacrifices in phrases of sensation extravagant. The 2020 GLE-Course builds on every little thing that is occur in advance of with a ongoing target on the areas that count, and the final result carries on to be really worth your time.


  • Snug experience
  • Exceptional interior style
  • Good tech

You should not Like

  • Not the smoothest transmission
  • Overpowering options list

New outside the house, but that interior…

The GLE-Course may possibly have changed its name, but its modus operandi stays the identical. So, you can find not substantially in the way of wild revolution outside the house. It appears substantially like each individual other flashy new Mercedes SUV from the front, whilst the rear maintains a link to GLEs and MLs of yore. My tester gets a small more visual punch by way of the $2,900 AMG Line exterior package deal, which adds a exclusive grille, particular wheels and human body-coloured fender flares, all of which mix properly with the $720 paint work, a coloration identified as iridium silver. A $three hundred Evening Package eradicates most of the exterior chrome, creating it a need to-have in my guide.

The finest component of the GLE’s new glimpse is inside of, where by just about each individual panel has been supplied a massive makeover. The final result is like a smaller sized GLS-Course, and I love it. The middle console’s grab handles hint at some underlying off-road ability, whilst I just definitely like the structure of the squared climate handle vents and the recess that homes both dashboard screens.

While I assume the oversized mottling on the black leather seats ($one,620) appears a small iffy in execution, the general focus to depth in the GLE350 is outstanding. No matter if it truly is the knurled metallic on the steering wheel or the satisfying way the climate handle keys sense when pushed, it truly is apparent that Mercedes place a whole lot of considered into the GLE’s new interior. The glossy wooden trim is current only in compact doses, retaining it from staying too much to handle. At night, the SUV turns into a discotheque with the finest multicolor ambient lighting in the business, component of a $one,000 Top quality Package that also adds wi-fi unit charging and satellite radio.

The GLE350 doesn’t just glimpse fantastic. The leather seats are snug, giving up a commanding watch of the road by means of the tall, plentiful glass on all sides, whilst it truly is a bummer you have to shell out $350 for a electricity passenger seat with memory. My time in the GLE350 has been produced even more snug by the addition of the $2,a hundred Energizing Comfort package deal, which adds front seat air flow and a massage function. The rear seats could possibly not get all that frippery, but they’re continue to snug, with loads of place for heads and legs.

As an alternative of a third row on my tester, you can find a sizable cargo region at the rear of the liftgate, whilst a single is offered as a compensated possibility. I uncover 33.three cubic feet to be sufficient to cope with a family’s amount of groceries or suitcases. Guaranteed, it truly is a whopping .six cubic foot considerably less capacious than a BMW X5, but you would not observe a distinction that compact.

Snug cruiser

The GLE350 is technically a “foundation” product, slotting beneath the GLE450, and whilst it could possibly not have the identical forward-movement hustle as beefier, more highly-priced variants, it unquestionably carries the identical variety of consolation, which is accurately what prospective GLE350 potential buyers are demanding.

Despite this tester not staying outfitted with a cushy air suspension, the GLE350’s experience errs on the supple side, with its static dampers accomplishing a excellent work of minimizing movement in the cabin. There is continue to some comments creating its way by means of the human body, but passing above my tester’s 21-inch wheel upgrade ($one,000) need to only proceed to iron the wrinkles out of that shirt. A bit of wind sound sneaks its way in all over the window seals, but if not, the cabin stays good and quiet on the road.

Even however “350” on a Mercedes badge used to denote a V6 motor, instances have changed. Now, the GLE350 rocks a 2.-liter, turbocharged inline-4 fuel motor creating 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Aside from a standard I4 motor observe, I have a tough time acknowledging you can find a downsized motor in here. It pulls like I would anticipate a V6 to — a seven.one-second dash to 60 mph isn’t the quickest, but it truly is loads in each day use, with usable torque down small in the revs to maintain things relocating alongside for the duration of a early morning commute.

The GLE350’s seats are snug, whilst genuine leather instructions a top quality above the foundation MB-Tex vinyl.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The only sore place with the powertrain is the 9-velocity automatic transmission. The interaction involving cog swapper and motor isn’t my favored — some shifts feel as well get there as well early, creating acceleration to drop precipitously, whilst other instances I am caught depressing the pedal and waiting for something to actually transpire. The shifts them selves are clean, however. The brake pedal is lifeless uncomplicated to modulate, creating for clean stops each individual time.

Ditching a few cylinders suggests the GLE350 has a crack at far better gasoline financial state figures. The EPA estimates that this SUV will accomplish 19 miles for every gallon city and 26 mpg freeway. A clean foot that retains the motor out of strengthen need to, by my working experience, reward a freeway financial state nearer to thirty, with the city financial state determine seeming a small more exact, if not a small optimistic.

Pleasant, functional tech

With a new human body arrives a complete bunch of new tech, and Mercedes-Benz’s hottest infotainment system stands at the forefront of the GLE350’s technological freshening. MBUX has been slowly and gradually creeping into each individual revised Mercedes, and I assume it truly is a excellent system. It eradicates the submenu hell of Comand, with vastly enhanced responsiveness no matter whether you might be using the touchscreen alone, the touchpad on the middle console or the thumbpad on the ideal side of the steering wheel. Its natural-language voice recognition is effective virtually flawlessly for me, turning on seat massagers or altering any range of factors with a uncomplicated ask for.

It can be aggravating that it enters the dialogue anytime you so substantially as utter the phrase “Mercedes,” but that is MBUX’s major drawback.

MBUX is prepared for the 2020s. Aside from all the stuff I mentioned higher than, it also consists of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, embedded navigation and related vehicle providers. MBUX also hides a pleasurable small innovation that asks for your top and places the seat and steering wheel in what it believes to be the exceptional situation. If you really don’t have a USB-C cable for your unit but, I suggest finding a single up, since that is the only way you may get a wired link in the front row. Among both rows of seats, there are an outstanding 5 USB-C ports conventional.

While there are some protection techniques conventional in the 2020 GLE350, the extensive the vast majority of them continue to be (like so lots of creature comforts) locked at the rear of an optional package deal. The GLE350 arrives from the manufacturing facility with automatic emergency braking, blind-place checking and an lively parking assistant. The remaining package arrives by way of the $2,250 Driver Aid Package, which adds total-velocity adaptive cruise handle, lane-retaining guide, lane departure warning and targeted visitors indicator recognition. As significantly as fingers-on techniques go, this is a single of my favorites. It operates effortlessly in just about each individual situation, cutting down the tedium of commutes and giving a small more peace of head at the identical time. A surround-watch camera array is also on offer for the amazingly very affordable price of $400.

MBUX is lifeless uncomplicated to get used to, which retains distraction to a bare minimum.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

How I would spec it

If you noticed how lots of dollar indicators ended up scattered all over this assessment, it truly is not tough to choose up on the plan that creating a properly high-class GLE-Course demands more than just a foundation product. My tester’s $56,two hundred starting price is fairly solid, but the as-analyzed price of $72,685 (such as destination) can be a small eye-watering.

I can save some cash by disregarding the $three,two hundred in AMG Line-precise exterior enhancements, and ditching the 21-inch wheels knocks another $one,000 off the monthly bill. MB-Tex vinyl is a great conventional seating content if you want to steer clear of paying out $one,620 on leather. I will, on the other hand, drop $250 for a heated steering wheel and $one,a hundred for thicker home windows and more sound insulation.

I am going to keep the $one,850 Top quality Package for its Burmester sound system and sixty four-coloration ambient lighting, in addition to paying out $580 on heated second-row seats and $450 for front-seat air flow. My final possibility is a $one,710 upgrade to air suspension, bringing us to a substantially more palatable $sixty two,690 conclusion.

Down to brass tacks

The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course is component of a really occupied area. If you want more target on driving dynamics, the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne are in the same way priced and sized, whilst technophiles (and third-row addicts) will like the place and slick screens in the Audi Q7. The Volvo XC90 provides its luxurious in a more staid-looking wrapper, but I really don’t assume it truly is as snug as the GLE-Course. If you might be large on American metallic, the Lincoln Aviator packs more wagonlike appears whilst carrying fancier appointments than at any time in advance of.

But, regardless of standing in the middle of a thick crowd, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course carries on to impress. The 2020 GLE350 aims to maintain things economical without the need of sacrificing a single iota of the luxurious that potential buyers have occur to anticipate from a a few-pointed star on the grille. For as lengthy as it truly is been kicking, the GLE feels new as a daisy.