2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
  • Luxurious interior
  • Supremely comfortable ride
  • Loads of choices
  • Terrific performance
  • High-tech features
  • Mega money
  • Could be quieter
  • Third row’s not great
  • Too much model overlap?
  • The GLE350 is just fine for most users, though we wouldn’t fault anyone for spending for the strong inline-6 and hydropneumatic suspension in the GLE450.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is a no-compromise SUV with excellent performance, a spacious interior, and tons of style.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class? What does it compare to?
The 2021 Mercedes GLE is a mid-size, five-seat luxury SUV that squares off against the BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Jaguar F-Pace, and Cadillac XT6. 

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good car/SUV?
You’ll pay for the privilege, but the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE is among the best ways to spend upward of $60,000 on an SUV. 

Overall, we score the 2021 GLE at 7.3 out of 10. It’s safe, spacious, luxurious, and even fun to drive—especially in hot AMG versions.

The GLE lineup is massive: GLE350, GLE450, GLE580, AMG GLE53, and AMG GLE63—but don’t forget about the GLE Coupe variants with their comparatively rakish rooflines and limited cargo capacity. The GLE Coupes come only in AMG variants. 
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
What's new for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?
This year, the GLE lineup expands with new sporty versions from Mercedes’ in-house AMG tuning arm. The GLE53 makes use of a turbocharged inline-6 teamed with an electric starter-generator, while the GLE63 S pops in a twin-turbo V-8. The 53’s no slouch at 429 horsepower, while the big brother GLE63 is a rocket thanks to its 603-hp rating and absolute mountain of torque. 

Otherwise, Mercedes tweaks the GLE’s options list this year. GLE350, GLE450, and GLE580 SUV versions return with turbo-4, turbo-6, and turbo V-8 power, meaning there’s a luxurious Mercedes SUV for just about any budget. GLE Coupes cost more for less, and frankly we’re not sure we understand the appeal in their altered rooflines and lower cargo capacity. 

Most buyers will stick with the 255-hp turbo-4 in the GLE350, which is just fine for typical driving and can be paired with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The GLE450 is all you’ll likely need if towing a boat or camper is a necessity. Anything else is pure excess, but we can understand the AMG allure. 

All share the same swoopy looks inside and out, and all leave the same Alabama assembly plant. First and second rows are supremely comfortable, while the optional third-row seats are tolerable for kids in a pinch. 

Mercedes bakes in a slew of collision-avoidance features, though adaptive cruise control is a costly extra on most versions that ought to be standard by now. This year, wireless smartphone charging and ambient lighting are newly standard. 

How much does the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class cost?
The GLE lineup starts around $55,000, while the GLE S runs more than double that. 
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
Where is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class made?
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Muscular without going overboard, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE is an attractive two-box SUV.

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good-looking car?
Very much so, enough that we rate this SUV at 8 out of 10 points for its looks—a figure normally reserved for sports cars. The 2021 GLE marries the swoopy style of Mercedes’ sedans with a more upright SUV body, and it doesn’t skimp on the details. Expressive grille designs that vary by trim level as well as a rakish C-pillar shared with the original M-Class SUV that vaulted Mercedes into the market nearly 25 years ago help the GLE stand out. 

Coupe versions are nearly identical in the front, but have a more sloping rear roofline that trims down on passenger and cargo space a little. They’re attractive and popular, but we’re still befuddled by the idea of an SUV with less space.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
Inside, the GLE’s interior looks as though it was lifted from the company’s luxurious E-Class sedan. Twin displays housed under a single glass pane make up the instrument panel. Shop carefully as Mercedes offers a host of interior hues and trim combinations; don’t settle, especially at these prices.


Mild to wild, with lots in between, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is a delight to drive.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 4WD?
Unless you live in the sun belt, every Mercedes GLE you’ll find at your local dealer will come with the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The base GLE350 can be had with rear-wheel drive, but don’t expect to find one outside of California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, or Arizona. 

How fast is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
In base GLE350 form, the SUV keeps up well with traffic and has plenty in reserve for passing thanks to its willing 255-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4. It’s able to hit 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, according to Mercedes, a tenth slower with all-wheel drive.

Overall, the lineup scores a 7 out of 10 on account of its good performance and ride. AMG versions might bump that up a notch, too. 

Load up the GLE with passengers and you’ll wish for the 450’s 362-hp 3.0-liter inline-6, which is teamed with a 48-volt electrical system that offers a 21 lb-ft of torque boost allowing for engine-off highway cruising. It’s able to accelerate to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and is capable of towing up to 7,700 pounds, too.

Better yet is the GLE580 that uses a 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 483 hp to reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Our experience in this top-tier GLE is limited. 
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
New this year are two AMG versions, the GLE53 and GLE63. The GLE53 uses an AMG-ified version of the inline-6 rated at 429 hp, which should provide for thrilling performance; Benz promises a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds. The GLE63 uses a hand-assembled twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that squirts out 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, and its 48-volt system can add up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft in certain situations. It can also add up to a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. We haven’t driven these AMG versions yet, but we’ll report back when we do. 

All GLEs use a 9-speed automatic transmission that pairs well with the family of engines. The former full-hybrid and diesel versions are long gone.

Optional on less-costly GLEs and standard—in various states of tune—on higher-end ones is an air suspension that proves a plush, but controlled ride. The standard coil springs are just fine in base versions, but we do recommend at least trying out the air suspension, which can be augmented with the automaker’s hydropneumatic active body control system. That setup works in concert with various sensors to scan the road ahead and adjust the suspension in anticipation of bumps. Yes, the setup works amazingly well. 

Comfort & Quality

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class cocoons its occupants in luxury.

The 2021 Mercedes GLE is outfitted like a luxury SUV in every possible way, including its price tag. We score this SUV at 9 out of 10 points for front-seat and second-row comfort, decadent materials, and great cargo hauling. 

By the numbers, the 2021 GLE measures 117.9 inches between its wheels, and 194.0 inches overall.

Front-seat riders get thrones that are all-day supportive. For an extra cost, heated, cooled, and massaging seats lavish occupants. Row two isn’t quite as luxurious, but it’s good for the SUV’s size, and access is easy. The optional third row is suitable for kiddos but not adults.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
Cargo space is impressive at 74.9 cubic feet with the second row folded flat, and 33.3 cubic feet with the seat raised in its rearmost position. (On the Coupe versions, it's 63.2 cubic feet with the rear seats down, 27.5 cubic feet with them up.) Roof rails up top offer even more utility when needed. 

We’ve only driven well-equipped GLEs with lots of leather and wood, but base models we’ve seen are equally as nice inside.


The 2021 Mercedes GLE does a good job anticipating and avoiding crashes.

How safe is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?
For now, we rate the 2021 GLE at 8 out of 10 points. That score could go higher if the NHTSA crash-tests one.

Every GLE rolls out of the factory with automatic emergency braking that can see and brake for cars and pedestrians, plus blind-spot monitors. An advanced adaptive cruise control is paired with active lane control and a system that will automatically look for an opening in traffic and switch lanes when the turn signal is tapped. The tech is pricey, but worthwhile.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
Outward vision is good, but not great. The relatively high belt line and beefy roof pillars make the optional surround-view camera system a feature to consider. Coupes are even worse. 

The IIHS rates the GLE a Top Safety Pick+.


Those few features the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE lacks can be found on its lengthy options list.

Mercedes does not skimp on features when it comes to the 2021 GLE. We rate the range at 8 out of 10 on account of the standard fare, big touchscreen, and huge list of optional extras.  

Which Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class should I buy?
Most shoppers will be well-served by the GLE350, which at around $55,000 (plus a couple grand for all-wheel drive) is hardly lacking in features. It gets standard synthetic leather seats, power front seats, twin 12.3-inch screens (the right one governs infotainment), navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, keyless start, 19-inch wheels, and LED headlights. It’s our pick, with available all-wheel drive.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
If you plan to tow, regularly haul around a lot of passengers, or live where it’s hilly or mountainous, consider upgrading to the GLE450.

Options on both those versions include leather upholstery, wood trim, four-zone automatic climate control, Burmester audio, a third-row seat, 22-inch wheels, and an AMG body kit.

The GLE580 is a trifle extravagant. It gains almost all those features as standard, and takes a more luxurious bent than the similarly-priced (by the time a few options are added) GLE53. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
Mercedes asks around $117,000 for a GLE63 S, and even then the automaker dangles upward of $20,000 in optional extras.

Fuel Economy

Look for around 22 mpg in regular use from most versions of the 2021 GLE.

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class good on gas?
By mid-size luxury SUV standards, the 2021 Mercedes GLE is just reasonably frugal. 

The GLE350 checks in at 21 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive versions use a little more gas. 
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review
More powerful versions aren’t that much thirstier thanks to their 48-volt mild hybrid tech. The GLE53 AMG is pegged at 18/22/19 mpg. That holds true until you hit the mega GLE63 S, which guzzles at a rate of 15/19/16 mpg. 

All GLEs use premium unleaded fuel. 

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 09, 2021 Rating: 5


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