This week, we’re taking a look at the all-new from the ground up, 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350. This is the fourth generation SUV that started out as the M-Class.
My review vehicle is the 4Matic, which means it is all-wheel drive, and you can also get a GLE 450 with a larger engine. This 2020 model is 3-inches longer than the previous version, and for the first time, you can get a 3rd row seat. My review vehicle does not have the 3rd row, and my best guess is it would be for children only.
I like the exterior looks of the GLE, it has a bold new grill, large tires and wheels that sit out to the corners of the vehicle, broad rear shoulders, and a sleek rear end with dual exhaust and a spoiler.
Under the hood is a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbo that is putting out 255-horses. It is hooked to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
As you would expect, like all Benz models, the real story is the luxurious interior and a wide range of amenities.
A rich interior welcomes you immediately when you open the door. Then you see the center console that features cool grab handles in a triangular form that are super comfortable to leave your arm on when driving.
Hit the pushbutton start button and two 12” color displays light up across the dash. Behind the wheel is the configurable driver info center and to the right is the MBUX infotainment system that operates everything.
You can operate the infotainment system from a touchpad on the center console, or use it as a touch screen. The touchpad takes a LOT of getting used to, and I’m still not comfortable with it, even after a week. I found using the touchscreen to be easier and less distracting.
Four big air vents are center dash, and below that are air conditioning controls, a wireless cell phone charger, and a switch to change the drive modes. My favorite of course is the Sport mode, it gives this SUV a lot of low-end torque.
All interior surfaces are soft, with nice stitching everywhere you look, and at night, ambient lighting runs across the dash into the doors, and you can choose from 64 colors.
I found the back seat room to be larger than I expected and I love that both backseat occupants can control their own temperature. There are power shades on both back windows, and there is a huge amount of cargo area.
This SUV comes extremely loaded with everything you can imagine including a moonroof, power liftgate, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It has a huge head-up display with speed sign recognition.
The GLE has a great voice recognition system. Much like you ask Siri or Alexa a question on your phone, all you say is: Mercedes and give your command or ask a question. If you are talking to someone or on your phone and say the word Mercedes in conversation, she WILL interrupt you.
The GLE 350 has incredible massaging heated and air-conditioned seats and it has Energizing Comfort that combines the climate control, air fragrance, ambient lighting, audio, and massaging driver and passenger seats. You can select from 10-minute programs with cabin lighting and pre-selected music.
The GLE drives like a dream, is full of safety features, and overall is just a joy all around.
Pricing and Availability
The GLE 350 will not be available in dealerships for another month or two, so I don’t have pricing info or fuel economy, but the base price is $57,200 and the fuel economy seems really good. As a guess, I’d say this one will come in with an MSRP of around $70,000.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 4MATIC
- What I liked most: Handling and interior quality.
- What I would change: Work on that touchpad, it’s a bit of a whipping.
- MSRP: Base price $57,200 including destination.
- Fuel Economy: N/A but in real-world driving I got 25 combined.
- Official Color: Brilliant Blue metallic.
- Odometer reading when tested: 6200 miles.
- Weight: N/A.
- Spare Tire: Full-sized with steel wheel.
- Length-Width-Height: 194.3” long/84.9” wide/70.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 22.5 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- 2020 GLE 350 in a few words: Great looking, great driving, very comfortable SUV.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Tuscaloosa, AL.
- Manufacturer’s website: www.MBUSA.com
- Up Next: 2019 Audi A6