Mercedes-Benz has declared that they are all-in on two things: electrification and SUVs. The venerable German automaker is purposefully moving to put electric power into their entire vehicle line, and they are making SUVs tailored to the American market. The results are very good.
The midsize GLE is right in the heart of Mercedes’ SUV lineup. On the smaller end you’ve got the GLA, GLB, and GLC, and on the larger end the GLS and the iconic G-Wagen. The GLE has been designed as a family luxury vehicle, and now it also comes as a plug-in hybrid to save on fuel costs.
Mercedes is known for great interiors, and the GLE is no exception. Once you slide into the driver’s seat, the real purpose of the GLE become apparent. This is a vehicle designed for commuting in comfort, or for taking the whole family on an outing. The seats are supremely comfortable, heated and ventilated, and the touch surfaces and appointments are high-quality.
Under the hood, the GLE 450e comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with a plug-in hybrid electric motor. With 48 miles of range and quick recharges, I barely used any gasoline in the week I spent driving this SUV. Performance is excellent for the size of the GLE with 381 total system horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. This SUV will hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, and tow up to 7,700 pounds. The GLE comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2023 GLE-Class as a “Top Safety Pick+,” its best designation. As a 2024 model out early, the institute has not yet rated this year’s model, but it’s the same SUV, so a similar rating can be expected.
As you would expect from Mercedes-Benz, there’s a full suite of safety and advanced driver assistance tech in the GLE, and this test vehicle came with the optional driver assistance package, including adaptive cruise control, steering assistance, lane change and emergency stop functions, evasive steering assistance, active blind spot assistance, and even a function where the vehicle prepares itself if someone’s about to hit you from behind. The GLE will modulate its speed based on the map of the road ahead, to make sure you don’t hit a corner too fast, and it will automatically obey all speed limits, unless you choose not to.
Looking across the dash, you get a single pane of glass that stretches from the driver’s side to the center of the vehicle. This houses a 12.3-inch widescreen driver information center and a 12.3-inch infotainment center. The advanced Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) provides some of the best voice control on the market today, plus enhanced reality navigation and more. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, and of course there’s a mobile device charging pad.
One the road, the GLE drives very well on the electric motor. There’s plenty of power, and the SUV rides with perfect Mercedes aplomb. This is a vehicle that you can enjoy on the freeway or on a winding secondary road. It’s no sports car, but it’s quiet, comfortable, and offers excellent year-round traction with its all-wheel drive system. As mentioned, the GLE is designed for commuting and family use, and it excels at doing that while keeping you and your passengers in comfort.
The 2024 GLE 450e is its own trim level, and comes only with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The base price is $69,500, but it’s easy to add from Mercedes’ long list of options and packages to make this SUV just what you want. The bottom line is easy: if you’re looking for a midsize luxury SUV, the GLE 450e is a compelling choice.
Source : ValleyTimes