Wide powertrain selection; smooth, quiet driving experience; good looks
Interior showing its age; some rivals have a little more flair
The erstwhile GLE 350 entry-level model has morphed into the GLE 400 4Matic. The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid has been discontinued. Wood trims become standard in the AMG GLE 63 and 63 S models.
The big news is that a fresh generation for the 2020 model year is imminent. Some buyers like to wait for a new model's bugs to be ironed out, however, and now could be the time to negotiate a sweet deal on an outgoing version. If it was us, we'd put the GLE 43 at the top of our list.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV comes as differently equipped versions according to the drivetrain.
The GLE 400 4Matic ($56,695) 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 tailgate, 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, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi, 8-speaker audio setup, HD Radio, two USB ports, 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, 115-volt power outlet, blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance.
Premium 2 builds on 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.
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 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 ($69,145) has an adaptive air suspension, 20-in alloy wheels, sport exhaust and a power sunroof.
The high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 ($104,045 for the regular model; $111,195 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, plus shift paddles and pedals made from aluminum.
Many features are available in lower models that come standard at higher trim levels. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rear-seat entertainment system, 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.
|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|
2019 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.
2019 Audi Q7 -- Impressively luxurious in virtually every respect. One of the best in this class.
2019 BMW X5 -- The GLE's closest rival, with sharper handling and a bolder design, but not the GLE's comfortable, relaxed driving experience. An all-new generation debuts for this model year.
2019 Lexus RX -- Offers much more distinctive styling than the GLE and driving dynamics that might be considered sporty compared with older generations. It also has a long list of technology features and a reputation for excellent long-term reliability.
2019 Volvo XC90 -- Handsome and plush, the XC90 doesn't have any sporty variants, but there is a plug-in hybrid.