Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 – 2019) Review

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Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 – 2019) At A Glance


Surprisingly capable off-road. Luxurious cabin. Impressive V6 diesel.

Ride can be choppy on poor roads. Boot space on hybrid models is poor. BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 offer better value for money.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE replaces the ML with a heavily revised exterior, new engines and more safety kit as standard. However, despite the new name, the GLE is mechanically the same. That means it suffers from the same problems as its predecessor, with poor value for money being its biggest pitfall.

All models get all-wheel drive as standard and the engine line-up includes the familiar 2.1-litre and 3.0-litre V6 diesels from the ML line-up. However, buyers also get the choice of a new plug-in petrol hybrid which combines a 3.0-litre V6 petrol with an electric motor to return 78g/km of CO2 and 76.4mpg. 

The 350d - powered by the excellent V6 diesel - is the best engine in the GLE range, combining a hefty 258PS with good all-round refinement and quiet running at low speeds. Not only is the power delivery seamlessly smooth, thanks to a new nine-speed automatic transmission, but the V6 returns a nice rumble as you venture towards its maximum 620Nm of torque. Frugal drivers are also rewarded, with up to 44.1mpg and 169g/km of CO2 according to the claimed figures.

The plug-in hybrid improves economy and emissions further, offering an all-electric range of 18 miles, which will appeal to company car drivers. However, the 500e is let down by a small boot, with its battery pack reducing storage from 690 litres down to 480 litres. 

The interior is luxurious and opulent though, with the dashboard dominated by a large infotainment screen atop a familiar Mercedes-Benz centre console. All models get deep, plush leather seats that are among the most comfortable around, while the infotainment system is easy to master, helped by a central touchpad.

The GLE gets a decent level of equipment as standard and entry-level Sport models are fitted with heated front seats, a powered tailgate, rear privacy glass and a rearview camera. The GLE also gets some useful safety systems, with a crosswind assist package and a warning collision warning system that will alert the driver if the car detects an oncoming object. 

Refined, comfortable and capable, the stylish GLE adds some much zest to the weary ML formula, but some of the old faults remain, with an unsettled ride on rough roads and disappointing performance from the entry-level 2.1 diesel. 

However, the GLE’s real problems starts when you compare it to its rivals. Both the BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 are cheaper, more efficient and better value, which makes it difficult to justify the significant sum of money needed to obtain the GLE’s star performer, the 350d.

Road Test 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE 350d

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Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

17–50 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 – 2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Are the fuel economy figures for the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e Hybrid true?

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e Hybrid specs suggest we will get 76.4mpg. Is it true?
The GLE 500e is a plug-in hybrid, so the fuel economy you achieve depends entirely on how you use it. If you regularly drive very short distances - around town, for example - and you keep the car charged up by plugging it in, you could theoretically use barely any fuel at all. Sadly, the reality is you're likely to run the batteries down and rely on the engine on most journeys and, in those situations, fuel economy is barely any better than a normal petrol-powered car. So in short, you're very unlikely to match the official fuel economy figures.
Answered by John Slavin
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What does a Mercedes-Benz GLE (2015 – 2019) cost?

Contract hire from £543.57 per month
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