2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 review: The standard-bearer

Jeffrey Cuebas

The AMG Line styling package is by no means a obligatory addition, but it does give the GLE350 a tiny further edge.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Considering that the 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course (earlier termed the M-Course) has slowly but surely aided transform luxurious sedan buyers into luxurious SUV buyers. It’s not tough to see why, either — people like sitting down up significant, and wrapping that working experience in a standard Mercedes-Benz shell means no sacrifices in phrases of feeling fancy. The 2020 GLE-Course builds on almost everything that is appear ahead of with a ongoing emphasis on the areas that depend, and the consequence continues to be well worth your time.

Like

  • Cozy ride
  • Fantastic inside structure
  • Great tech

Will not Like

  • Not the smoothest transmission
  • Frustrating options listing

New outside the house, but that inside…

The GLE-Course may possibly have altered its identify, but its modus operandi stays the identical. Therefore, you can find not a great deal in the way of wild revolution outside the house. It seems to be a great deal like every other flashy new Mercedes SUV from the entrance, when the rear maintains a link to GLEs and MLs of yore. My tester gets a tiny further visual punch by way of the $2,900 AMG Line exterior bundle, which adds a exceptional grille, exclusive wheels and entire body-coloured fender flares, all of which blend properly with the $720 paint career, a coloration termed iridium silver. A $three hundred Night time Package deal removes most of the exterior chrome, earning it a will have to-have in my reserve.

The ideal portion of the GLE’s new glimpse is inside of, in which just about every panel has been provided a large makeover. The consequence is like a smaller sized GLS-Course, and I like it. The heart console’s get handles trace at some underlying off-road functionality, when I just actually like the layout of the squared local weather handle vents and the recess that residences each dashboard screens.

Whilst I consider the oversized mottling on the black leather-based seats ($1,620) seems to be a tiny iffy in execution, the general awareness to element in the GLE350 is spectacular. Whether or not it can be the knurled metal on the steering wheel or the fulfilling way the local weather handle keys really feel when pushed, it can be apparent that Mercedes place a large amount of believed into the GLE’s new inside. The shiny wooden trim is current only in tiny doses, holding it from becoming frustrating. At evening, the SUV turns into a discotheque with the ideal multicolor ambient lights in the market, portion of a $1,000 High quality Package deal that also adds wireless system charging and satellite radio.

The GLE350 would not just glimpse great. The leather-based seats are at ease, supplying up a commanding watch of the road by way of the tall, plentiful glass on all sides, despite the fact that it can be a bummer you have to shell out $350 for a electric power passenger seat with memory. My time in the GLE350 has been built even extra at ease by the addition of the $2,a hundred Energizing Comfort bundle, which adds entrance seat air flow and a massage operate. The rear seats may well not get all that frippery, but they’re continue to at ease, with plenty of space for heads and legs.

Alternatively of a 3rd row on my tester, you can find a sizable cargo location guiding the liftgate, despite the fact that just one is available as a paid out alternative. I discover 33.3 cubic toes to be more than enough to deal with a family’s amount of groceries or suitcases. Confident, it can be a whopping .6 cubic foot a lot less capacious than a BMW X5, but you will not likely detect a variance that tiny.

Cozy cruiser

The GLE350 is technically a “foundation” product, slotting beneath the GLE450, and when it may well not have the identical ahead-movement hustle as beefier, extra expensive variants, it surely carries the identical kind of comfort and ease, which is accurately what opportunity GLE350 buyers are demanding.

Inspite of this tester not becoming outfitted with a comfortable air suspension, the GLE350’s ride errs on the supple facet, with its static dampers undertaking a fantastic career of minimizing movement in the cabin. There is continue to some responses earning its way by way of the entire body, but passing about my tester’s 21-inch wheel upgrade ($1,000) must only carry on to iron the wrinkles out of that shirt. A little bit of wind sound sneaks its way in all around the window seals, but otherwise, the cabin stays great and silent on the road.

Even though “350” on a Mercedes badge used to denote a V6 motor, moments have altered. Now, the GLE350 rocks a 2.-liter, turbocharged inline-four fuel motor earning 255 horsepower and 273 pound-toes of torque. Apart from a standard I4 motor note, I have a tough time acknowledging you can find a downsized motor in in this article. It pulls like I’d expect a V6 to — a 7.1-second sprint to 60 mph isn’t the quickest, but it can be plenty in each day use, with usable torque down reduced in the revs to maintain issues going together all through a early morning commute.

The GLE350’s seats are at ease, despite the fact that true leather-based instructions a top quality about the foundation MB-Tex vinyl.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The only sore place with the powertrain is the 9-speed computerized transmission. The interaction amongst cog swapper and motor isn’t my most loved — some shifts seem to be too arrive too early, triggering acceleration to fall precipitously, when other moments I’m stuck depressing the pedal and waiting for some thing to in fact take place. The shifts themselves are clean, though. The brake pedal is useless basic to modulate, earning for clean stops every time.

Ditching a pair cylinders means the GLE350 has a crack at superior fuel economic system figures. The EPA estimates that this SUV will realize 19 miles for each gallon city and 26 mpg highway. A clean foot that retains the motor out of raise must, by my working experience, reward a highway economic system nearer to thirty, with the city economic system figure seeming a tiny extra exact, if not a tiny optimistic.

Enjoyable, useful tech

With a new entire body comes a whole bunch of new tech, and Mercedes-Benz’s hottest infotainment process stands at the forefront of the GLE350’s technological freshening. MBUX has been slowly but surely creeping into every revised Mercedes, and I consider it can be a wonderful process. It removes the submenu hell of Comand, with vastly improved responsiveness whether you’re employing the touchscreen by itself, the touchpad on the heart console or the thumbpad on the right facet of the steering wheel. Its pure-language voice recognition will work virtually flawlessly for me, turning on seat massagers or modifying any amount of components with a basic request.

It’s aggravating that it enters the discussion at any time you so a great deal as utter the term “Mercedes,” but that is MBUX’s greatest downside.

MBUX is ready for the 2020s. Apart from all the stuff I stated over, it also consists of Apple CarPlay, Android Car, embedded navigation and linked automobile services. MBUX also hides a enjoyment tiny innovation that asks for your height and puts the seat and steering wheel in what it believes to be the optimal place. If you don’t have a USB-C cable for your system however, I advise selecting just one up, simply because that is the only way you’ll get a wired link in the entrance row. Between each rows of seats, there are an spectacular 5 USB-C ports regular.

Whilst there are some security devices regular in the 2020 GLE350, the huge the vast majority of them stay (like so quite a few creature comforts) locked guiding an optional bundle. The GLE350 comes from the factory with computerized unexpected emergency braking, blind-place checking and an lively parking assistant. The remaining package comes by way of the $2,250 Driver Support Package deal, which adds total-speed adaptive cruise handle, lane-holding guide, lane departure warning and targeted traffic indicator recognition. As much as palms-on devices go, this is just one of my favorites. It operates efficiently in just about every scenario, lessening the tedium of commutes and supplying a tiny further peace of intellect at the identical time. A surround-watch digital camera array is also on provide for the remarkably inexpensive value of $400.

MBUX is useless basic to get used to, which retains distraction to a minimum.


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How I’d spec it

If you discovered how quite a few dollar indications had been scattered all around this evaluate, it can be not tough to pick up on the idea that building a appropriately high-class GLE-Course demands extra than just a foundation product. My tester’s $fifty six,two hundred beginning value is pretty sound, but the as-examined value of $seventy two,685 (like destination) can be a tiny eye-watering.

I can conserve some income by ignoring the $3,two hundred in AMG Line-unique exterior enhancements, and ditching the 21-inch wheels knocks one more $1,000 off the invoice. MB-Tex vinyl is a wonderful regular seating product if you want to prevent spending $1,620 on leather-based. I will, on the other hand, fall $250 for a heated steering wheel and $1,a hundred for thicker windows and extra seem insulation.

I will keep the $1,850 High quality Package deal for its Burmester seem process and 64-coloration ambient lights, in addition to spending $580 on heated second-row seats and $450 for entrance-seat air flow. My ultimate alternative is a $1,710 upgrade to air suspension, bringing us to a a great deal extra palatable $62,690 summary.

Down to brass tacks

The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course is portion of a pretty hectic industry. If you want extra emphasis on driving dynamics, the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne are similarly priced and sized, when technophiles (and 3rd-row addicts) will like the space and slick screens in the Audi Q7. The Volvo XC90 presents its luxurious in a extra staid-searching wrapper, but I don’t consider it can be as at ease as the GLE-Course. If you’re big on American metal, the Lincoln Aviator packs extra wagonlike seems to be when carrying fancier appointments than ever ahead of.

But, despite standing in the center of a thick crowd, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course continues to impress. The 2020 GLE350 aims to maintain issues productive without having sacrificing just one iota of the luxurious that buyers have appear to expect from a 3-pointed star on the grille. For as prolonged as it can be been kicking, the GLE feels fresh as a daisy.

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