Wide powertrain selection; smooth, quiet driving experience; good looks
Interior showing its age; some rivals have a little more flair
The AMG GLE 43 receives a boost in power from last year's 362 horsepower up to 385 hp. And there are some extra wood trim options for the GLE 63/63 S. See the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class models for sale near you
Buyers of luxury vehicles can usually get what they want, but the regular GLE350 with the Premium 1 package and extra safety equipment would work well. The extra thrust of the GLE43 is tempting, though. Try to stretch to the air suspension, since the greater range of comfort and control over the standard suspension is something that becomes more appreciated over time.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV comes differently equipped according to the drivetrain.
The GLE 350 ($53,195) has 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, remote start, LED daytime running lights, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery (much better than it sounds), driver's-seat memory settings, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power lift gate, roof rails, self-dimming rearview and driver's-side mirrors, an 8-in center screen with Mercedes-Benz's proprietary Comand infotainment system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, an 8-speaker audio setup, HD Radio, a USB port, forward-collision mitigation, side curtain airbags, Crosswind Assist and a driver-drowsiness monitor.
Options are often bundled together. The Premium 1 package offers keyless entry/ignition, navigation, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, upgraded Harman Kardon audio, a 115-volt power outlet, blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance.
The Premium 2 builds on the Premium 1 with LED lighting inside and out, active high beams, heated/cooled cupholders, a rear center armrest pass-through hatch and sunshades for the rear side windows.
The Premium 3 includes all the advanced safety equipment, such as adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, a 360-degree camera system, cross-traffic assist and a self-parking feature.
The GLE 550e 4Matic ($67,695 before any federal and state incentives) has the Premium 1 package as standard, along with leather upholstery and 19-in alloy wheels.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 ($68,745) has an adaptive air suspension, 20-in alloy wheels, a sport exhaust and a powered sunroof.
The high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 ($103,545 for the regular model; $110,695 for the S) adds front and rear parking sensors, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, a 360-degree camera system, automated parallel parking, enhanced leather upholstery and aluminum shift paddles and pedals.
Many features that come standard in higher trim levels are available as options in lower models. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio system and massaging front seats.
Cargo space is 38.2 cu ft. behind the rear seats and 80.3 cu ft. when they're folded down. That applies to the plug-in hybrid as well.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2018 Acura MDX -- Although the Acura badge won't measure up to the 3-pointed star in some people's minds, the MDX is a highly capable luxury SUV with reasonable pricing and a reputation for durability.
2018 BMW X5 -- The GLE's closest rival, with sharper handling and a bolder design. But not the GLE's comfortable, relaxed driving experience.
2018 Lexus RX -- Offers much more distinctive styling than the GLE and driving dynamics that might be considered sporty compared with those of older generations. It also has a long list of technology features and a reputation for excellent long-term reliability.
2018 Volvo XC90 -- Handsome and luxurious, the XC90 doesn't have any sporty variants, but there is a plug-in hybrid.