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2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Review

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE finishes in the middle of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It's comfortable and posh, but the GLE doesn’t rank higher because it isn't as athletic or engaging to drive as many class rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines in AMG trims
  • Lots of features
  • Elegant interior
  • Rivals are more athletic and fuel-efficient
  • Coupe models have limited cargo space
  • Unsettled ride over bigger road bumps

Rankings & Awards

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class's #4 ranking is based on its score within the Used Luxury Midsize SUVs $40K and up category. It was the winner of our 2019 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Overall: 8.2
Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE a Good SUV?

Yes, the Mercedes-Benz GLE is a good SUV. It looks great inside, and it provides two rows of comfortable seats and plenty of tech features. Standard models also have good cargo capacity, though four-door coupe models do not. This Mercedes doesn’t handle as well as some competitors, but it offers some powerful engine options. We named the GLE our 2019 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families because it has the best combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features in its class. 

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz GLE?

If your primary concerns are luxury and comfort, then the GLE makes a great choice. Still, you may want to shop around. The GLE costs more than many of its class rivals, so you might find another SUV that gives you more bang for your buck. Some good options include the BMW X5 and Audi Q7.

Compare the GLE, X5, and Q7 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The 2019 GLE belongs to a generation that began with the 2016 model year. The only notable change for 2019 is the discontinuation of the GLE's plug-in hybrid model. For 2018, the twin-turbocharged V6 in the AMG GLE 43 gained an additional 23 horsepower.

There have been few major changes to the GLE since its introduction, so you can save money by shopping for a very similar used model. To research other used GLE models, be sure to read our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 GLE »

We Did the Research for You: 40 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current GLE generation, which runs from 2016 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz GLE Cost?

The GLE sports a base price at just below $56,000. That's an above-average starting price for the class, though it's still much less than this Mercedes' most expensive rivals. The top trim in the lineup, the AMG GLE 63 S, starts at a little under $112,000. That's far more than what most competitors' top trims cost.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Versus the Competition

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

The BMW X5 doesn't currently have any performance-oriented trims to match the Mercedes-AMG models, but otherwise, it's much more athletic than its Mercedes rival. The X5 handles better, and it gets better gas mileage than the GLE. Inside, the BMW offers a third-row seat, but the Mercedes is more upscale. This choice comes down to priorities, though the BMW is the more well-rounded SUV.

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

The Audi Q7 finishes ahead of the GLE in our class rankings and costs less. It also has three rows of seats and handles better than the GLE. The Mercedes offers more powerful engines, however. Both SUVs feature terrific interiors, offer plenty of tech features, and have comfortable seats. Yet, the Q7 is the better SUV and a better value.

Compare the GLE, X5, and Q7 »

GLE Interior

How Many People Does the GLE Seat?

This Mercedes SUV seats five across two spacious rows. Adults can ride comfortably up front or in the back, and the large doors make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle. It's worth noting that some rivals come with – or at least offer – a third-row seat, allowing them to seat more than five people.

GLE and Car Seats

The GLE comes with two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the GLE's LATCH system its highest rating of Good for ease of use.

GLE Interior Quality

You'll enjoy the GLE's cabin. It looks great thanks to its fresh styling, and it features an abundance of premium materials that you expect to find in a luxury SUV.

GLE Cargo Space

Most rivals don't have as much cargo space as this Mercedes. In the standard GLE, you get over 38 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and just over 80 cubic feet with them folded down. Coupe models aren't as big, and they only give you 23 cubic feet behind the rear seats and over 60 cubic feet with them folded down.

GLE Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and HD Radio.

Available features include a panoramic sunroof, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

The infotainment system may look daunting at first, but it’s generally user-friendly and intuitive. The COMAND controller knob takes time to master, however, and it can make adjusting some settings more difficult. Fortunately, there are also physical controls for some functions.

Read more about interior »

GLE Performance

GLE Engine: The AMG Models Are the Stars

The GLE comes standard with a 329-horsepower V6 that does just fine during daily driving. However, it doesn't deliver the kind of authoritative acceleration that you get from the performance models. The Mercedes-AMG models feature 385-, 550-, and 577-horsepower engines, and they're all decidedly quicker than the base trim.

GLE Gas Mileage: You're Not Confusing It With a Hybrid

Several competitors get better fuel economy than the GLE. It's most efficient engine is the base V6, which is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Compared to rivals like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, you'll spend at least $150 more on gas each year in the GLE, though it's worth noting that the Q7's base engine is a turbo-four.

GLE Ride and Handling: Worse Than Expected

By Mercedes standards, the GLE's ride is disappointing. It’s great over smooth roads, but when the pavement gets rough, ride quality drops off. This SUV also lacks the athleticism of many of its classmates, so don't expect to be out there carving up winding roads.

Read more about performance »

GLE Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE Reliable?

The 2019 GLE earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Warranty

Mercedes-Benz covers the GLE with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

GLE Safety

GLE Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 GLE a Top Safety Pick+ designation after giving it the highest rating of Good in all crash tests conducted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to fully crash test this Mercedes-Benz, but they gave it four out of five stars in the rollover test.

GLE Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a drowsiness monitor, crosswind assist, and Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe, which tightens the seat belts, closes the windows, and locks the doors when the GLE senses a crash is imminent.

Available features include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, cross traffic alert, and a surround-view parking camera.

Read more about safety »

Which Mercedes-Benz GLE Model Is Right for Me?

You have four trim options with the GLE, three of which are performance-oriented models. The base GLE 400 4Matic makes a great choice for most people. It's not as powerful as the higher trims, but it offers almost all the same features, and its engine still has ample power for every driving situation. The three Mercedes-AMG trims are flashier choices, but they cost significantly more and don't add that much beyond horsepower.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 400 4Matic

The GLE 400 4Matic carries a base price of $55,700. It comes with a 329-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and HD Radio.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a drowsiness monitor, crosswind assist, and Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 43

The AMG GLE 43 starts at $67,750. It features a twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 385 horsepower. Standard features include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, a Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The AMG GLE 43 is also available in a four-door coupe body style, which has less cargo space and a more cramped rear seat but is otherwise the same. The coupe version has a starting price of $70,500.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63

The AMG GLE 63 starts at $102,550. It features a twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out 550 horsepower. The GLE 63 comes standard with a surround-view camera, parallel park assist, and Nappa leather upholstery.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S

The AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC has a starting price of $109,700. This is the most powerful and fastest trim in the lineup. It features the same twin-turbo V8 as the AMG GLE 63, but in this trim, that engine produces 577 horsepower. The features list mirrors the GLE 63's.

As with the AMG GLE 43, you can get the AMG GLE 63 S in a coupe body style, which starts at $111,860.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

See 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE delivers plenty of luxury, but rivals are more athletic and well-rounded. That's why the GLE finishes in the middle of our rankings instead of near the top. However, this is still a good SUV that’s worth a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV premium midsize crossover rides out this current generation. By doing so, it remains an excellent choice within the class, starting out with sedate luxury and topping off the range with a ballistic 577-horsepower version. Some rivals offer three rows of seating, but the GLE sticks with two and keeps things comfortable. Even though it's ready for replacement, the GLE doesn't feel particularly dated. Perhaps there's an air that it's past its 'best before' date, but the technology on offer is still pretty good, the attention to detail remains reassuringly obsessive-compulsive, and the engines are superb." -- AutoTrader
  • "What are you looking for from a luxury SUV? If it's comfort, ample cargo space and many available features, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class could be for you. A wide range of available engines furthers its appeal." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The GLE, no matter what flavor of powertrain a person selects, is the complete package. It still has the utility to carry all the gear for a hockey team, but it does so with more luxury than before." -- Motor Trend (2016)
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2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

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