2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE ranks in the back half of its competitive segment. The GLE has a luxe and comfortable interior, strong engine performance, and good safety scores. But it can’t match the refined handling or value of top rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular engine lineup
  • Luxe and roomy cabin
  • Great safety scores and features
  • Poor visibility and small cargo space in coupe
  • Clumsy handling




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.6
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Overview

Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE a Good Used SUV?

The 2017 Mercedes GLE is worth a look if you’re shopping for a used luxury midsize SUV. The five-seat GLE SUV has a roomy cabin with more than enough cargo space for family excursions and trips to the hardware store. It boasts quality interior materials, good safety scores, and a wide variety of muscular engine options. It also offers a large suite of advanced safety features, some of which come standard, like forward collision warning with brake assist.

There are a few drawbacks, though. The GLE has high ownership costs and clumsy handling. It’s also offered in an impractical coupe variant that sacrifices interior space for sleek styling. Before you buy, consider top-rated competitors, like the 2017 Lexus RX 350.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 43 Mercedes-Benz GLE reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

You can expect to pay between $41,500 and $75,000 for a used 2017 GLE. These figures are based on over 280 listings for the 2017 Mercedes GLE on our site. The average price is $51,200. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Cost to Own?

The Mercedes GLE’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $38,500 – or $7,700 per year. That’s much higher than average for the luxury midsize SUV class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GLE?

The 2018 Mercedes GLE starts at $52,200 and can exceed $110,000 in top Mercedes-AMG models. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used GLE, especially if you want a base model with few options. You won’t miss much by sticking with a used model, either. The only update for 2018 is a 23-horsepower increase for GLE43 models.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLE »

For a less expensive new SUV in the Mercedes family, consider the 2018 GLC, which starts at $40,050. The compact GLC mirrors the larger GLE in most respects. Both have luxe interiors, roomy seating for five, a wide selection of brawny powertrains to choose from, and available SUV and coupe body styles. The GLE is the better cargo hauler. Even so, most shoppers should find the GLC to be more than capable for everyday errands. It’s also more fuel-efficient and has better driving dynamics.

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Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Is Best?

The Mercedes GLE debuted for the 2016 model year as a refreshed version of the Mercedes M-Class. There have been relatively few changes to the GLE over the 2016, 2017, and 2018 model years, so you can save money by shopping for a used 2016 model, while still finding most of the same features as these later models. That said, if you want a GLE SUV with a diesel engine, you’re limited to the 2016 model.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 GLE »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The 2017 Mercedes GLE has a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is above average for the market.

Read more about GLE reliability »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Recalls

As of this writing, there are six recalls for the 2017 GLE. They involve faulty rear door locks, misaligned headlights, a center console latch that could open in a crash, and a software fault that can cause the engine to stall. Two recalls cover air bag issues as well. A fault with the Occupant Classification System could disable the front passenger air bag, and excess insulation could stop this air bag from deploying properly. If the used GLE you are considering is affected by these recalls, make sure the issues have been addressed before you buy.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz GLE safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz GLE Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 GLE is available in six trims: GLE350, GLE400, GLE550e, GLE43, GLE63, and GLE63 S. Most shoppers will be perfectly happy with one of the first two trims, thanks to their many standard features and strong V6 engines. The base model GLE350 has a 302-horsepower V6, and it comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB ports, forward collision warning, keyless entry, push-button start, a power liftgate, a sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, and alloy wheels.

The GLE400 has a 329-horsepower V6, and it adds a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and leather seats. Notably, all of these features are also available in the GLE350. The GLE550e is a plug-in hybrid with 436 horsepower, and it shares its standard features with the GLE400.

The AMG GLE43 is one of two models offered in both SUV and coupe body styles (the other is the GLE63 S). It has a 362-horsepower V6, an adaptive suspension, high-performance brakes, a 360-degree-view camera, and parallel parking assist. The AMG GLE63 has a 550-horsepower V8, ventilated and massaging front seats, rear sunshades, and adaptive headlights. Last but not least, the AMG GLE63 S has a 577-horsepower version of that V8 engine.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

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How Safe Is the GLE?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Mercedes GLE a Good safety score in all areas tested and named the SUV a Top Safety Pick+. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the GLE four out of five stars for its rollover crash safety.

All GLE models come standard with a rearview camera, forward collision warning with brake assist, and a driver drowsiness monitor. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive pivoting headlights, a 360-degree-view camera, parallel parking assist, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, speed limit information, and rear collision warning.

See GLE safety scores »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE or 2017 BMW X5?

The well-rounded 2017 BMW X5 is a better pick than its GLE rival. Both SUVs have comparably large cargo areas, long lists of advanced safety features, and handsome interiors. They can also go toe-to-toe in terms of engine performance. The BMW, however, makes a better impression in everyday driving. It balances carlike handling with a pleasant ride quality. It’s available with a small – but practical – third row, which is handy in a pinch. The BMW also has lower projected ownership costs.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE or 2017 Audi Q7?

The 2017 Audi Q7 is similar to the X5 in that it offers a more athletic driving experience than the GLE. The Q7 also outshines the Mercedes with even higher quality cabin materials and the practicality of seven seats. It’s a more refined family hauler, but questionable reliability makes it tough to recommend. Consider rival luxury SUVs before making your choice.

Compare the GLE, X5, and Q7 »

2017 GLE Performance

How Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Drive?

The entry-level Mercedes GLE350 has a 302-horsepower V6 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (4Matic) is available. This engine hauls the SUV around town without fuss, and it offers adequate muscle for climbing hills and passing cars on the highway. For more brawn, consider the GLE400, which has a twin-turbocharged V6 with 329 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. This V6 accelerates the GLE with more gusto, and it’s a great candidate if you plan to tow a trailer on a regular basis. It shouldn’t leave you hungry for more power, but if you are, consider the AMG GLE models.

The twin-turbo GLE43 (362 horsepower) and hybrid GLE550e (436 horsepower) can hustle from zero to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds. The GLE63 and GLE63 S models have twin-turbo V8 engines (550 and 577 horsepower, respectively), and they cut this sprint to around 4 seconds.

Despite this abundance of power, the GLE’s driving dynamics are largely disappointing. The GLE feels like an even larger SUV than it is when navigating city streets and parking lots. Its body sways when rounding turns, and its light steering provides little feedback. Its ride quality is rather firm as well, though opting for a model with the available Airmatic suspension and smaller wheels remedies this somewhat. The GLE’s tall ride height and all-wheel-drive system make it a capable SUV for light off-road driving, especially when equipped with the GLE400’s Off-Road package, which adds low-range gearing, a skid plate, and a height-adjustable suspension.

Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Get Good Gas Mileage?

The GLE’s fuel economy is average for the luxury midsize SUV class. The GLE550e plug-in hybrid is the most efficient of the bunch. It has an all-electric driving range of 10 miles, and it returns 21 mpg combined city/highway in hybrid mode. The GLE350 and GLE400 get a decent 18/23 mpg. The GLE43 manages 17/23 mpg, but the GLE63 and GLE63 S get a poor 13/17 mpg.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Towing Capacity

The 2017 GLE has various tow ratings depending on the model. The GLE550e is rated to tow up to 4,410 pounds. The rear-wheel-drive GLE350 can tow 6,600 pounds. All other models have a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about GLE performance »

2017 GLE Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 GLE Seat?

The Mercedes GLE is available in two body styles: SUV and coupe. Each has five seats, but beyond that, they are different animals when it comes to passenger space. The GLE SUV has a spacious cabin with plenty of head- and legroom for occupants in both rows. The GLE coupe model has a sleeker roofline that cuts into available rear-seat headroom. Average-sized adults shouldn’t have a problem sitting in the back, but anyone taller than average may feel cramped. Coupe models are also plagued with poor rear and side visibility. The GLE’s cabin doesn’t look as modern as many of its rivals’, owing to an M-Class design that dates back to the 2012 model year. On the plus side, the interior materials are top-notch.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The GLE has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. Both the upper and lower anchors are easy to find and maneuver around.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Features

The GLE comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, USB ports, and Bluetooth. Available features include a larger 8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a navigation system, satellite radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Both of these infotainment systems use Mercedes’ COMAND setup, which includes a rotary dial on the center console as well as redundant buttons and knobs on the dashboard. This setup has a learning curve and its many on-screen menus can be overwhelming initially. Once you’re accustomed to it, it’s easy to use and responds quickly to inputs.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE specs »

Read more about GLE interior »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz GLE Cargo Space

The GLE SUV has 38.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and a generous 80.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The GLE coupe shrinks this space to 23 cubic feet behind the rear seats and just 60.7 cubic feet with these seats folded.

2017 GLE Length and Weight

The GLE SUV is 15.9 feet long and has a curb weight of between 4,650 and 5,456 pounds. The GLE coupe is 16.1 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 4,960 to 5,379 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE Built?

The 2017 Mercedes GLE was built in Vance, Alabama. The full-size Mercedes-Benz GLS is also assembled at this factory.

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