Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE (2019)

Much improved GLE gets active air suspension and new engines.

Not coming until 2019.

Mercedes-Benz GLE (2019): At A Glance

The 2019 GLE gets with new engines, active air suspension and the option of seven seats. Headlines changes for the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE include the introduction of S-Class inspired air suspension, which scans the road ahead and adjusts the damping to mitigate the impact of potholes and rough surfaces.

The system will also be available with a curve function that cuts bodyroll by tilting the car into the bend to reduce centrifugal forces.

The GLE uses a longer (80mm+) wheelbase that should provide significantly more head and legroom in the front and back. A third row of seats makes it to the options list, which means the GLE SUV becomes a fully-fledged seven-seater for the first time.

Luggage capacity is now 825 litres (up by 133 litres) behind the rear seats. A 72mm increase in the boot width should make the GLE much more practical than the outgoing model, with the air suspension featuring a useful load function, which drops the ride height by 40mm to make it easier to load/unload heavy items.

The GLE will be launched with a single six-cylinder petrol engine, in the form of the GLE 450 4Matic. The 367PS petrol will return an advertised 34mpg and be linked to a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which will boost power by 22PS for overtaking. CO2 emission are still awaiting WLTP authentication, but expect the petrol unit to emit between 190-220g/km.

A four-cylinder diesel will be added in mid-2019, along a range or eight-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid diesel will be launched in 2020 and all will use a nine-speed automatic transmission and feature four-wheel drive as standard.

The adaptive cruise control now uses live traffic updates to warn the driver of lengthy tailbacks, which should diminish the risk of rounding a bend and arriving at the sudden end of a queue of vehicles. The GLE will also be able to control its throttle and braking in stop and start traffic and adjust the vehicle’s speed to match signposted limits when congestion clears. 

Like the A-Class, MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience – will provide more hands free options, with the voice control system automatically activating when the driver says “hey Mercedes”. A 12.3-inch colour screen dominates the dashboard, while a customisable digital instrument binnacle and colour head-up display will be offered as an option.

What does a Mercedes-Benz GLE (2019) cost?

List Price from £57,340
Buy new from £49,624
Contract hire from £505.72 per month

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz GLE (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

What should I replace my ageing Mercedes-Benz E-Class with?

I presently have an E Class E320 CDI sport auto. I love it but it's a 2007 reg and has done 82,000 miles. What should I replace it with?
The obvious choice is another E-Class. The current model is a lovely car, although it's fairly big. Many buyers are now moving towards SUVs - you could also look the Mercedes-Benz GLC or GLE. I'd also recommend visiting a Volvo dealer - most of their range is very good, especially SUVs like the XC40 and XC60.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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