Better do the homework when picking out that just-right Mercedes GLE. The luxury midsize SUV comes in six trims – GLE 350, GLE 450, GLE 405e, GLE 580, GLE 53, and GLE 63.
Unfamiliar with the GLE brand? It receives high marks with its modern infotainment system, generous seating room and cargo space. It also has a wide variety of standard and optional features. All versions of the GLE come with a powertrain that makes this SUV pleasant to drive.
Since we sampled the 2024 Mercedes GLE 450 for a week, this review will focus primarily on its capabilities. The sticker price for the GLE 450 starts at approximately $69,600.
Note that Mercedes has given all GLE SUVs a significant update. Although not fully redesigned, the 2024 GLE did arrive with an updated grille, new lighting elements, and put a bit more style into the wheels. A new steering wheel has also been added that includes touch-sensitive controls and the performance has been increased.
Judging by recent sales, the changes couldn’t arrive at a better time. After hitting an all-time high with sales of 65,073 two years ago, last year sales plummeted by more than half from the 2021 totals. The GLE brand has been around since debuting in 2005.
The GLE 450 offers more performance than the entry-level 350. The 450 features a turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6 that generates 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It’s also aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system (called EQ Boost) that temporarily provides more power for enhancing acceleration, and helps save fuel when stopping and starting in traffic. All GLE models are mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The 450 travels 0-60-mph in an extremely impressive 5.3 seconds, making it considerably faster than GLE 350 (0-60 in 7.1 seconds). The 450 model has standard all-wheel drive, gets 20-25 mpg, and its towing capacity tops out at around 7,700 pounds when properly equipped.
For a fairly large SUV, we liked how the GLE 450 handled. The precise steering gives the driver a strong feeling of confidence in most driving situations, and that includes leaning into some tight turns on twisting roads.
Standard driver safety features include rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, high-beam assist, front-rear park assist, driver-alert warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system, pedestrian detection, evasive steering assistance, and speed limit assistance.
AT A GLANCE – 2024 MERCEDES GLE 450
- Performance: turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6, 362 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 20-25 mpg
- Price estimate: $69,600
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/50,000; corrosion: 4 years/50,000
The cabin has a modern design that will appeal to most drivers. Inside are a pair of 12.3-inch screens, one focused on driver information and the other containing the infotainment system. The touchscreen displays are massive, stretching nearly the length of the dashboard. The GLE 450 is also equipped with the helpful Mercedes MBUX voice-recognition system.
Although not everyone is a fan of this item and prefers the touch-sensitive approach, the SUV also has a center console touchpad that takes a couple of clicks to interact with the infotainment system to access the menu options.
Seating is comfortable and roomy in both rows of the GLE 450. If the optional third row is added, beware that it’s mostly designed to occupy kids. Cargo space is adequate at 33.3 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and expands to 74.9 cubes with the rear seats folded down.
There are many versions of this luxury SUV to consider, but we feel the 2024 Mercedes GLE 450 is the most practical of the bunch.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.