Mercedes-Benz
GLE-Class
2019
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Willis Kuelthau
Automotive Editor - November 12, 2018

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class OVERVIEW

The Mercedes GLE-Class took some time to find its stride, especially during the days when it was known as the M-Class. It’s now a standby in the world of luxury crossovers. Although due for an update, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class remains a polished package for upscale buyers.

What's New for 2019

The GLE-Class returns mostly unchanged for 2019, with a few tweaks to the available powertrains. Mercedes pulled the hybrid GLE 550e from the market in preparation for a new series of hybrid systems. The GLE 350 gets a 27-horsepower boost and a rebranding as the GLE 400. V6-powered trims get a nine-speed transmission. Rear-wheel drive is no longer available; all-wheel drive is standard on all models.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

With the hybrid option temporarily gone, the GLE is available with four powertrains. The first two are different tunes of a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. In the GLE 400, it produces 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The AMG GLE 43 bumps these numbers up to 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. The two sportier models are also based on the same engine, this time a hulking 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. The AMG GLE 63 produces a startling 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the AMG GLE 63 S ups those numbers even further to 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque.

The former two engines direct power through a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the AMG GLE 63 models use a seven-speed gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard on all models. As you’d expect, fuel economy decreases as power increases. The V6 engine achieves an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 combined (the higher tune drops highway and combined mpg by one), while the V8-powered trim gets a dismal 12/18/14 mpg (city/highway/combined), or 14/18/15 mpg with the higher-tuned engine.

Two body styles are available as well. The SUV has a traditional boxy profile, while the Coupe shows off a heavily slanted roofline. The coupe body is available only on AMG GLE 43 and AMG GLE 63 S trims.

While stylish, the GLE Coupe takes a severe hit in the cargo department. The SUV body can handle 38.2 cubic feet of cargo with the seats in place, while the coupe has to make do with just 23 cubic feet. The difference is even greater with the seats folded: 80.3 cubic feet for the SUV and just 60.7 for the coupe.

On the plus side, standard features are luxurious. In addition to all-wheel drive, all-new GLE models get a power liftgate, a power sunroof, power-folding side mirrors, and dual USB ports. Active safety is another standard bonus, with features like automatic emergency braking, attention assist, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, and a rearview camera standard.

The rest of the features are divided across the four trims:

GLE 400

The cheapest GLE will still set you back at least $56,695 (all prices include the $995 destination fee). That’s a few thousand dollars more than the 2018 GLE 350, but buyers get an upgraded engine and standard all-wheel drive. Also standard are 19-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver’s seat with memory settings, heated front seats, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and power side mirrors. Infotainment is run through a seven-inch screen with a central controller.

The GLE 400 is offered with several packages. The first three are AMG-themed upgrades. An AMG Line Exterior package ($2,900) adds chiseled bumpers and a chrome skid plate along with 20-inch rims, and the AMG Line Exterior with Night Package ($3,200) adds in gloss-black accents. The AMG Line Interior package ($350) includes sport seats, aluminum-brushed pedals, and a sporty steering wheel.

Next up are three packages bundling luxury features. The Premium 1 Package ($3,900) groups blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, keyless entry, navigation, a touchpad controller, XM radio, a household-style power outlet, a Harman Kardon sound system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The Premium 2 Package ($6,900) includes all Premium 1 features plus active LED headlights, adaptive high beams, ambient interior lighting, illuminated sills, heated and cooled front cup holders, rear side-window shades, and a pass-through for the rear center armrest. The Premium 3 Package ($9,080) includes features from Premiums 1 and 2, plus adaptive cruise control, a bevy of automated driving systems, parking assist, and a surround-view camera system.

Finally, the Parking Assistance Package ($1,290) includes just the active parking assist and surround-view camera.

Standalone interior options include leather seats ($1,620), a panoramic sunroof ($1,000), aluminum running boards ($650), a heated steering wheel ($250), a wood and leather steering wheel ($600), ventilated front seats ($570), massage-capable front seats ($1,100), heated rear seats ($580), three-zone automatic climate control ($760), an air purification system ($280), soft-close doors ($550), a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system ($5,800), and a rear-seat entertainment system ($1,950). Performance and safety options are parking assist ($970), an adaptive suspension ($2,910), and wipers lined with holes that spray washer fluid ($350).

GLE 43 AMG

For a starting price of $68,745, the AMG GLE 43 gains 56 horses, a sportier suspension, and extra drive modes. All features from the AMG Line packages are standard here (minus the Night elements), as are a Nappa leather steering wheel, an eight-inch infotainment screen, and all features from the GLE 400’s Premium 1 Package.

This is the first trim available with the coupe body. The style comes with a premium – in exchange for cutting the roof, Mercedes bumps the starting price to $71,495.

The Premium 2 Package is still available, but costs just $2,120. Same goes for the Premium 3 Package, which is reduced to $5,010. The Parking Assistance Package remains $1,290. Standalone options are largely the same as the base trim, but some are cheaper (e.g., the B & O audio system is now only $4,550).

GLE 63 AMG

The first V8-powered GLE starts at $103,695, which includes an inexplicable but mandatory $150 fee attached to the interior trim. The main draw is the engine, which produces a mighty 550 hp and propels the SUV from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. The exterior remains the same as the GLE 43, but the interior gets all the features of the Premium 2 Package as standard.

This leaves just the Premium 3 Package, which drops in price to $2,890. The GLE 63 also opens up a few exclusive options, like an AMG performance steering wheel ($500), a performance exhaust system ($625), and a carbon fiber engine cover ($1,500).

GLE 63 AMG S

The sportiest GLE raises horsepower all the way up to 577, but it'll set buyers back at least $110,695. The extra power shaves a tenth off the zero-to-60 time, and the 63 S gets a few extra goodies like 14-way heated and ventilated AMG sport seats.

The 63 S is the only other trim available as a coupe. The coupe raises starting price to $112,855, but it gains the AMG dynamic sport exhaust. Otherwise, packages and options remain the same as the GLE 63 trim.

CarsDirect Tip

The AMG engines are breathtaking, but the GLE 400 has enough oomph for most buyers looking at the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class lineup. Stick to the SUV body, too – the coupe charges extra just to remove cargo space.

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