2019 Mercedes GLE price, specs and release date

  • New Mercedes GLE SUV revealed
  • Specs include six-cylinder petrol engine
  • Advanced suspension
  • And standard four-wheel drive
  • Price around £55,000
  • 2019 release date

Pictures and specs have been revealed for the 2019 Mercedes GLE – Mercedes’ midsize SUV is an alternative to cars such as the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.

2019 Mercedes GLE price and release date

While we now know a lot more than we did about the new Mercedes GLE, a confirmed price remains elusive. That said, to keep it in line with its aforementioned alternatives, you can expect the Mercedes GLE to start from around £55,000 for a basic four-cylinder diesel model. You’ll pay £10,000 on top of that for a GLE 450 with Mercedes’ new six-cylinder petrol engine, while the yet-to-be-announced V8 petrol and hybrid models will cost significantly more again.

2019 Mercedes GLE styling

It’s fair to say the 2019 Mercedes GLE is no shrinking violet when it comes to styling – when this car’s sitting on rear your bumper, you’re going to know about. Its huge three-pointed star badge means you’ll also know it’s a Mercedes and hockey stick-style LEDs make it distinctive at night. In terms of lighting, things are even better if you’re behind the wheel because the GLE is available with a pair of LED headlights that have an effective range of 650m – in fact, there as powerful as UK law allows. Side on, the GLE comes with classic prerequisites required of an SUV, its tall ride height shows it’s no flash-in-the-pan crossover – this is an SUV that can go off-road. But huge wheels (18-22 inches in size) mean it also has style and all models come with chrome roof bars that’ll make it easy to affix bicycles, roof boxes, canoes (insert additional lifestyle kit here) to the car’s roof. From the back, the biggest surprise is that the GLE seems to have real exhaust pipes set into its back bumper rather than the plastic outlines we have seen on other Mercedes models – although we’ll need to wait for Mat to jab it with his trusty ‘stick of truth’ to confirm this. More importantly, the GLE’s huge proportions and broad shoulders make it just as imposing from the front as it is from the back, and a pair for fancy rear LEDs give it that all-important premium finish. You’ll be shocked to learn that the GLE’s huge, upright body is actually incredibly aerodynamic (relatively speaking at least) – its 0.29 Cd drag coefficient means it cuts through the air more cleanly than any alternative. The impressive figure comes about as a result of a grille that can close over at speed, small spoilers in the wheel arches and underbody cladding – all of which helps smooth the airflow around the car to improve fuel economy as a result.

2019 Mercedes GLE interior design

The interior is somewhere the current GLE – with its plasticky fascia and dated infotainment – is really starting to show its age, so it’s no surprise that the 2019 Mercedes GLE represents a huge improvement. It has the beautiful bare-wood trims, leather, metal buttons and mood lighting that you would find in a Mercedes saloon. The bluff design is more imposing though, and the GLE has no less than six rectangular air vents instead of the sporty circular vents you get in the C, E and S-Class saloons. A leather grab handle for you and your passengers to clutch to – in the unlikely event of you actually taking the GLE offroad – completes the rugged look.

2019 Mercedes GLE infotainment

The 2019 Mercedes GLE’s gets two, 12.3-inch infotainment screens that form into one massive, high-definition display. It can be set in four different themes – Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive, and Discreet – allowing you to choose from classic dial graphics, information-heavy displays and discreet designs that keep distractions to a minimum. The sat-nav is set to be one of the best available in a car like this. Using a camera mounted at the front of the car, the central sat-nav screen displays an image of the road ahead complete with direction arrows that appear to be hovering above the road. The system even applies house numbers to buildings as you drive past them, so it’s easy to work out where you are going. A unique feature of the car’s MBUX operating system is its ability to anticipate your next move, for instance, if you often call home on the commute back from the office, the infotainment system will suggest the call. You can choose to control the car’s infotainment in a number of ways, either directly using the touchscreen, via a control located between the two front seats or by voice commands.

Voice commands work via Mercedes’ version of Siri – springing into life when you utter the words ‘hey Mercedes’. It understands spoken commands so saying something like ‘hey Mercedes, turn up the heater’ will increase cabin temperature. Although, if the system fitted to the Mercedes A-Class is anything to go by, you can expect its operation to be a little hit and miss. If you fancy throwing even more confusion into the mix, the optional MBUX Interior Assist means you can add gesture controls to the list of ways you can control the infotainment system. With it, the Mercedes can distinguish between you and your passenger so, for instance, moving your hand towards the screen will bring up specific controls for the driver’s seat and vice versa for those sitting next to you. The system also means you can do things like turn on the interior light simply by moving your hand towards the rear-view mirror. Another option is a head-up display (HUD) with a 720 x 240 resolution. It displays information such as speed and sat-nav directions and appears to hover three meters in front of the car, making it easier to focus on when you’re driving than other systems, according to Mercedes. It’s 25 x 15cm display is also big for a HUD. On top of all this, the MBUX infotainment system can visualise the car’s off-roading modes, display fullscreen sat-nav maps, coach you to drive more economically and even adjust the driver’s seat automatically for your size if you spec the optional Adapt seat.

2019 Mercedes GLE practicality

The 2019 Mercedes GLE has a wheelbase that’s 80mm longer than the old model’s, which means Mercedes has been able to eek out more cabin space. Front-seat comfort wasn’t exactly a problem in the old GLE, so you can expect this model to offer plenty of room if you are tall, and the steeply raked windscreen frees up extra headroom. New for 2019 is Mercedes’ Energizing comfort control system, which can combine music, lighting and the front seats’ massage functions to help make you feel as relaxed as possible. If you happen to own a Garmin wearable smart device, the Mercedes can even monitor your sleep patterns and stress levels to best set up the car for your needs. The longer wheelbase will be most noticeable in the back, where rear passenger legroom has increased by 69mm, while you get 30mm more headroom if you stick with the standard fix-backed seats that split 40:20:40 when you fold them down. The other option is six-way electrically adjustable back seats that can slide forwards and backwards by up to 100mm and also recline. Like the basic seats, they also split 40:20:40 so can you can carry a long load and a couple of passengers, though the seats now fold into the floor electrically via buttons located at the front of the boot. A first for the GLE is the option to specify a third row of two seats, which should be made easier to access because the middle row slides out of the way electrically when you’re getting. Stick with five seats and the GLE has a huge 825-litre boot – bigger than all of its alternatives – that increases to a massive 2,055 litres when you fold the back seats away. A huge boot opening and the absence of a load lip should make it easy to fill the car with multiple large suitcases and cars fitted with optional air suspension drop to their knees to aid loading.

2019 Mercedes GLE engines

The Mercedes GLE will be available with a choice of diesel and petrol engines, with between four and eight cylinders. A plug-in hybrid model will also join the range at a later stage and is said to have an electric-only range of nearly 50 miles. For now, though, we only know about the mid-range GLE 450 petrol which has a six-cylinder, 367hp petrol engine boosted by a 22hp motor for short bursts of acceleration. It should be very quick while also returning fuel economy of 34mpg – which might not sound like much, but is impressive for a large, four-wheel drive SUV with a big and powerful petrol engine. Part of that is down to the car’s impressive aerodynamics and the nine-speed automatic gearbox that is standard with all GLEs. But the other factor is the GLE’s 48V power supply which means the car’s water pump and air-conditioning compressor can be powered electrically rather than having to leach power directly from the engine.

2019 Mercedes GLE driving

Along with helping it save fuel, the 2019 Mercedes GLE’s 48V electrical system means it can be fitted with clever E-Active Body Control suspension as an option on models with more than four cylinders. It’s the only system on the market that can adjust both the spring and the damper rates on individual wheels. As a result, it can stop the GLE from leaning in bends but also limit squatting under acceleration and pitching when you jab on the brakes. It can even make the car lean into bends like a huge motorcycle. All of which means that the GLE should feel more nimble in bends than a car of its size has any right to Comfort, meanwhile, will also be high thanks to the option to add Airmatic air suspension that should give the feeling that you’re hovering over the road on a magic carpet.

2019 Mercedes GLE safety

That said, if you’d rather not drive at all, the 2019 Mercedes GLE has a range of driving aids that can take the stress out of journeys. Specify Active Steering Assist and Active Driving Assist and the GLE can steer, accelerate and brake itself in lane, and slow down automatically for corners. The Active Steering System can even form a rescue lane by hugging the far side of your lane to make the way clear for rescue vehicles responding to an accident.

2019 Mercedes GLE Off-roading

Whichever model of Mercedes GLE you choose, you get four-wheel drive as standard so tackling slippery roads and even offroad conditions shouldn’t be an issue. For tough offroading or heavy towing, a low-range gearbox is an option that’ll give the GLE excellent traction, while six-cylinder models and above are available with Torque On Demand that can send up to 100 percent of power to the front or rear wheels, depending on which have the most grip. Meanwhile, the optional E-Active Body Control suspension doesn’t just make the GLE better to drive on road, it can also rock the car from side to side if it gets bogged down in sand, for example. Bookmark this page or sign up to the carwow newsletter at the top of the page, to get pricing for the new Mercedes GLE as soon as we have it.

Mercedes GLE SUV

Large, luxurious SUV with five or seven seats
£58,335 - £73,430
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