- Engaging drive
- Dynamic styling
- Spacious interior
- Packed with technology
There is no escaping the fact that SUVs are taking over the world.
They dominate our roads, buyers can not get enough of them, and demand is predicted to grow for some years yet. So it is no surprise that carmakers are falling over themselves to churn them out, and the choice is daunting.
If you are in the market for an SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLE will undoubtedly be on your radar with its plush, high-tech interior and a whole host of features for you to enjoy.
Equipment and Technology
The Mercedes-Benz GLE features twin 12.3-inch screens; a touchscreen for the infotainment system and a digital driver's display. The tech does not stop there though with plenty of other features included like Mercedes' impressive MBUX multimedia system with voice activation, digital radio, heated front seats, and ambient interior lighting that can be set to 64 different colours.
If you opt for the 7-seater version, you also get additional USB ports in the back, four-zone climate control, and electronically adjustable and folding second-row seats.
The interior undoubtedly has the wow factor, with chunky grab handles on the centre console, a phalanx of air vents, and trendy aluminium-look illuminated running boards.
Driver assistance features are plenty, with automatic emergency braking, keyless entry and ignition, blind spot assist, a powered tailgate, and a drive mode selector.
Design and Practicality
The GLE has the sporty AMG body-styling that is standard across the range, along with an attractive interior, boasting Nappa leather upholstery and open pore oak wood trim as standard.
In truth, it is probably best to regard the GLE as an occasional seven-seater, as most trim grades can be had in five-seat form too. The rearmost seats are certainly best reserved for the kids, due to the limited space on offer back there and the agility needed to clamber into them.
Nevertheless, the option is a good one to have if you are regularly pressed into taxi duties for the kids’ mates or extended family, for instance.
Elsewhere in the cabin, there is definitely no shortage of space, though. The GLE is an imposingly proportioned motor that offers good head and legroom for five to travel in luxury.
It is also pretty practical, with plenty of decently-sized storage spaces and, in 5-seat configuration, a spacious 630-litre boot which rises to 2,055 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Engine and Performance
Like most large SUVs, the GLE is not an overly engaging motor to drive, but it is far from a chore either, and with a wide selection of powerful engines on offer, it is still a joy to drive.
Our car was powered by the 242bhp, entry-level 2.0-litre diesel engine but still had pace aplenty to put a smile on your face – with the 0 to 62mph benchmark coming up in just over seven seconds and a top speed capability of 140mph.
They are decent figures for a chunky SUV, and the versatile and slick 9-speed automatic gearbox is efficient and responsive, meaning that progress is smooth at all times and acceleration prompt and swift when called for.
There is a bit of body roll in corners, and the handling is not super sharp or nimble, as expected for a car of this size. However, the steering is accurate and well-weighted, and the 4x4 system ensures that grip is always solid and assured.
Ride quality was impressive too – although our test car was fitted with the air suspension system and adaptive damping, which is not usually available with the 300d engine.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is an impressive SUV to add to the Mercedes-Benz line-up. As ever with the premium German brands, there are plenty of extra options packs if you are looking for even more features, but with plenty of equipment already packed in, these are not essential for an enjoyable drive.
The AMG Line specification also boasts a higher performance than other trim levels, perfect for those wanting all the benefits of an SUV without sacrificing an ounce of performance.