Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class vs. Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - December 12, 2018

Luxurious SUVs are some of Mercedes-Benz's strong suits, as the automaker has been making high-end and powerful SUVs for a number of years now. Consumers looking for a large mid-size offering can explore the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, while those looking for a full-size SUV can choose the GLS-Class. Both are excellent SUVs that put luxury first, but does one have the edge over the other?

See a side-by-side comparison of the GLE-Class & GLS-Class »

What the GLE-Class Gets Right

The 2019 GLE 400 is $14,450 less than the entry-level 2019 GLS 450. That's a wide gap that makes the GLE-Class the obvious choice for those on a budget. You can even step up to the AMG GLE 43 that starts at $68,745 (including destination) and have $2,400 in the bank over the base GLS 450.

In addition to saving you money right out of the gate, the GLE-Class is also the more efficient option. The GLE 400 gets an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 combined. The GLS 450 only gets 16/22/18 mpg (city/highway/combined).

While neither the GLE-Class nor the GLS-Class are city-friendly vehicles, the GLE-Class is easier to drive thanks to its smaller size. The GLE is 13 inches shorter in length, which makes it easier to park and maneuver.

What the GLS-Class Gets Right

As a full-size SUV, the GLS-Class is the more powerful and versatile machine. The GLS 450 comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 362 horsepower. While the GLE 400 comes with the same engine, it's rated at 329 hp. The slight difference results in more towing capacity in the GLS 450. That SUV is rated to tow up to 7,500 pounds – 300 pounds more than the GLE-Class.

The GLS-Class offers passengers with more interior space, too. The GLS 450 has more front head room, rear head room, and rear leg room than the GLE 400. Maximum cargo capacity is more impressive in the GLS 450, too. The full-size SUV is rated to hold up to 93.8 cubic feet of cargo, while the GLE 400 has 80.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Don't Need Extra Space?

The GLE-Class is a fine SUV, with loads of luxury and a good amount of versatility. The lack of an available third row may be a massive downside to some, while the SUV's smaller size will be a benefit to others. It's also reasonably sized on the inside.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

With more powerful engines, a larger cargo area, and more interior space, the GLS-Class is a better fit for the majority of consumers. With an available third row, the SUV is the clear option for families, too. While pricey, its extensive list of luxury features makes it worth the high asking price.

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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