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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Review

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE has a lengthy list of features and a high-quality cabin. However, an extremely high total-cost-of-ownership score and a ride that isn't as engaging as its competitors' push it toward the bottom of our luxury midsize SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Many standard features
  • Posh interior
  • Potent engine options
  • High ownership costs
  • Dull handling
  • Limited cargo space in coupe and hybrid models

New for 2018

  • Additional horsepower from the AMG GLE 43 twin-turbocharged V6 engine




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.5
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Overview

Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE is a decent two-row luxury midsize SUV, but there are better options in this class. If you’re into driving dynamics, consider the 2018 BMW X5. Those looking for a comfortable family cruiser should check out the 2018 Lexus RX 350.

The 2018 GLE has several strengths:

  • Long list of standard safety tech features, such as forward collision warning
  • High-quality materials like standard synthetic leather upholstery
  • Available engines include a potent V6 and two brutish V8s
  • Excellent safety scores for the class

But it has several weaknesses as well:

  • Cargo capacity in coupe models is small for the class
  • Hybrid models lose considerable cargo space to the battery pack
  • Steering is loose and offers little road feedback
  • Body roll through turns
  • Unrefined stop-start system
  • Poor visibility out the back, especially in coupe models
  • High projected ownership costs
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 46 Mercedes-Benz GLE reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

Based on listings for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE on our site, the average price is $54,000. Prices range from $46,000 to $72,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Cost to Own?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $37,495, or $7,499 per year. That’s above average for a luxury midsize SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GLE?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE has a starting price of $53,700. A used 2018 model is likely less expensive, but many buyers will find the new GLE worth the extra cost. Mercedes completely redesigned the GLE for the 2020 model year. Performance enhancements result in more agile handling and a more cushioned ride, while a longer wheel base delivers more passenger space. Additionally, the 2020 GLE boasts an all-new infotainment system.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLE »

The GLE debuted as an all-new model for 2016, replacing the M-Class, and its first generation ran through 2019. The GLE didn’t see many changes over these years, but the few it did see were significant. The diesel model was discontinued for 2017, the same year an AMG-tuned GLE 43 trim was added. For 2018, that trim's twin-turbocharged V6 engine gained an additional 23 horsepower. The plug-in hybrid model was discontinued for 2019.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 GLE »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about GLE reliability »

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz GLE safety recalls »

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

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE comes in five trims: GLE 350, GLE 550e, AMG GLE 43, AMG GLE 63, and AMG GLE 63 S. The base trim is well-equipped with features such as synthetic leather upholstery, forward collision warning, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch display. The GLE 55e is the plug-hybrid variant, and the performance-oriented AMG models begin with the AMG GLE 43. The top two AMG trims deliver dynamic performance, but they'll likely cost you substantially more than the lower trims.

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 350: The GLE 350 comes standard with a 302-horsepower V6 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch infotainment system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and a sunroof. A rearview camera, forward collision warning, crosswind assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe are also standard.
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e: The GLE 550e is a plug-in hybrid with a twin-turbo V6 engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 436 horsepower. It's mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Standard features include lane keep assist, navigation, an 8-inch display, a touchpad controller, voice control, a Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 43: The AMG GLE 43 has a 385-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine. This trim is also the only one with an AMG-enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission. It's available in a coupe body style.
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63: The AMG GLE 63 comes with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 550 horsepower. It's paired with an AMG-enhanced seven-speed automatic transmission. This trim adds Nappa leather upholstery, heated and cooled front cup holders, ambient lighting, parallel park assist, and a surround-view camera.
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S: The AMG GLE 63 S has the same powertrain as the AMG GLE 63, but its engine puts out an additional 27 horsepower – giving it 577 in total. This trim is also available as a coupe.

See 2018 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the GLE?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 GLE a Top Safety Pick+ designation. It earned the top rating of Good in all six crashworthiness tests, and properly equipped GLE's earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. Depending on trim and options, its headlights received Good, Acceptable, or Poor ratings for how well they illuminate the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not fully evaluate the 2018 GLE. It received four out of five stars in the NHTSA's rollover test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • driver drowsiness monitoring
  • crosswind assist
  • forward collision warning
  • Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe (prepares the vehicle for an imminent crash by tightening seat belts and rolling up windows)

Available advanced safety features:

  • lane keep assist
  • blind spot monitoring
  • parallel park assist
  • adaptive cruise control
  • 360-degree parking camera

See GLE safety scores »

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE or 2018 BMW X5?

The 2018 BMW X5 is far superior to the 2018 GLE when it comes to performance. The X5 is an athletic SUV with sharp handling, a firm suspension, and tight steering. Like the GLE, it has both plug-in hybrid and high-performance variants. Unlike the GLE, it’s available with a third row of seats, though they’re not really suitable for adults. Overall, the X5 is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE or 2018 Audi Q7?

Like the GLE, the two-row 2018 Audi Q7 comes with a substantial list of standard features and high-quality cabin materials. The Q7's projected ownership costs, however, are considerably less than the GLE's. The Audi also provides a superior driving experience, delivering a comfortable ride with refined handling. With standard all-wheel drive and available seating for seven people, the Audi is the better value.

Compare the GLE, X5, and Q7 »

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Performance

How Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Drive?

The GLE delivers a comfortable ride over smooth roads, but you'll feel the drop in ride quality when the pavement turns uneven. There's noticeable body lean through turns, and there’s too much play in the steering. Taken together, this SUV doesn’t feel particularly well-planted to the road. The standard V6 engine has enough power for your daily driving needs, but this is a heavy SUV, so it's worth test-driving a model with one of the more-potent available engines.

  • Base engine: 302-horsepower 3.5-liter V6
  • Available engines:
    • 385-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
    • 550-horsepower twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8
    • 577-horsepower twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8
  • Available powertrain: twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that make a combined 436 horsepower (plug-in hybrid)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive.
  • Transmission: standard seven-speed automatic; available AMG-enhanced nine-speed automatic; available AMG-enhanced seven-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2018 GLE’s gas mileage figures are about average among luxury midsize SUVs.

  • 3.5-liter V6, RWD (GLE 350): 18/23 mpg city/highway
  • 3.5-liter V6, AWD (GLE 350): 18/22 mpg
  • 3.0-liter V6 (AMG GLE 43): 17/23 mpg
  • 3.0-liter V6 (AMG GLE 43, coupe): 17/22 mpg
  • V8 (AMG GLE 63 and 63 S): 14/18 mpg
  • Plug-in hybrid (GLE 550e): 21 mpg combined city/highway
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Alternative Fuels and Charging

The GLE 550e is a plug-in hybrid that comes with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and an electric motor that together produce 436 horsepower. It can travel up to 8 miles on electric power alone, and it gets 43 MPGe combined city/highway when it's in hybrid mode.

Read more about Mercedes-Benz GLE performance »

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Seat?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE seats up to five people in two rows. This Mercedes lives up to its luxury nameplate with supple, supportive seats and lots of space for adults, even in coupe models. The GLE also features large door openings, which make it easy for the driver and passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. If you are shopping the coupe model, note that rearward visibility is exceptionally poor.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • heated steering wheel
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated outboard rear seats
  • massaging front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the GLE's LATCH system the highest rating of Good for ease of use.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Features

The GLE's standard infotainment system features a 7-inch display that you operate with a rotary controller. The available system comes with an 8-inch screen. Both come with a learning curve, but they are easy to use once you get the hang of them. Physical buttons are also integrated on the center of the control panel.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch display screen, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch display screen, a touchpad controller, navigation, a Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and a sunroof
  • Other available features: navigation, voice control, and satellite radio

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE specs »

Read more about Mercedes-Benz GLE interior »

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz GLE Cargo Space

There's lots of cargo space in standard GLE SUV models. You'll find 38.2 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are up and 80.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. GLE coupe models don't have as much space. They provide 23 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 60.7 cubic feet when the back row is down. All models come standard with a power liftgate. Mercedes did not report the cargo space dimensions for the hybrid model, but reviewers note that the battery sits behind the second row and eats up considerable space.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Length and Weight
  • Length: about 15 feet, 8 inches to 16 feet, 1 inch
  • Curb weight: 4,650 to 5,460 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Built?

Mercedes-Benz built the 2018 GLE in Alabama.

Best 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs

  • #1

    2018 BMW X5

    $40,708 - $67,195 AVG. PAID

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  • #2

    2018 Audi Q7

    $40,036 - $46,262 AVG. PAID

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  • #10

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See the full 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs rankings »

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