Mercedes-Benz has revamped its naming system, and the model that replaced the M-Class is the GLE-Class. The GLE300d is the diesel version of this new lineup, and it is little more than a lightly refreshed version of the highly rated ML250 BlueTEC. It’s no surprise that we're overwhelmingly pleased with 2016 GLE300d.

Pricing and Equipment

Being a luxury diesel-powered crossover, a high price is something we expect. Fortunately, though, we find that the GLE300d is still a pretty good value at $52,500. At this starting price, the GLE comes standard with:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Power front seats
  • Dual-zone auto climate control
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • Power sunroof
  • All-wheel drive

There are also lots of optional packages that help luxe up the crossover even more.

Performance Pros

With its standard 2.1-liter diesel four-cylinder, the GLE300d is plenty capable in terms of towing (6,600 pounds) and performance. Sure, it is no AMG model, but it is suitable for its class. Its standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive makes this luxury rig perfect for snow and loose surfaces.

  • Engine with 201 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque gets the base model to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds
  • Low-end torque makes towing easy.
  • Excellent fuel economy for its class.

Performance Cons

As with many diesel-powered vehicles, though, the GLE300d feels pretty sluggish next to its gasoline-powered siblings. And the price of diesel in certain regions may offset better economy.

Interior Pros

Mercedes-Benz GLE300d Interior

We consider the interior of the GLE-Class quite comfortable and roomy. The front seat passengers are treated to plenty of high-end features and comfortable seating, while the rear seats have plenty of headroom and legroom for adults.

  • Plenty of premium features
  • Comfortable seating
  • Whisper-quiet interior
  • Lots of cargo room

Interior Cons

It is hard to find fault in the GLE300d’s cabin, but there is one glaring issue. At $52,500, we would expect leather upholstery. While MB-Tex is one of the best faux leathers on the market, this is a high price to pay to get fake leather. Also, things get tight when seating three adults in the second row.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

mercedes-benz gle300d

The M-Class that the GLE-Class replaces was one of the safest SUVs available, and we totally expect the GLE300d to receive the same five-star rating once the NHTSA gets around to testing it. Safety features like Attention Assist, Pre-Safe, Pre-Safe Plus, and Collision Prevention Assist Plus all assure the GLE-Class will continue its safe ways.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The slower acceleration with the diesel engine is very noticeable and un-Mercedes-like for buyers who don't remember the brand's diesel-powered cars from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Bottom Line

The ML250 BlueTEC was an amazing luxury crossover, and its replacement, the GLE300d will continue this trend. While it is not a speed demon, the GLE300d can handle hard-core towing and deliver excellent fuel economy with its four-cylinder diesel engine. What’s more, its large body has loads of room, tons of features, and a premium feel. The GLE300d is a great all-around luxury SUV.