2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV

#10
in Fullsize SUVs
2017 MODEL

$52,000 - $54,500

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Overview

It is no secret that Mercedes has been trying to bring a new charm to its product range by rechristening them with a new name. Following the tradition, the ML class of the yesteryears now bears a GLE badge and the base GLE is called the 2017 Mercedes GLE 350.

The GLE 350 can be bought with the regular two-wheel drive or signature 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The car now features much-improved drive dynamics and an even more luxurious interior than ever.

Not only does the GLE 350 carry over the rich heritage of the M-class but it goes far and beyond any M-class vehicle has ever been. With a starting price just a shy over $50,000, it looks destined to stay as one of the top-selling Mercedes vehicles in the United States.

See detailed review »

Pros

Opulent interior

Improved fuel economy

Flexibility with powertrains

Cons

Fuel consumption figures could’ve been lower

Finicky Infotainment system

Odd and synthetic steering feedback

What's New?

The GLE 350 was introduced by Mercedes in 2016 and carries on virtually unchanged from the outgoing model.



Styles

 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV in designo Diamond White Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV in designo Cardinal Red Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV in Dakota Brown Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV in Brilliant Blue Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV in Black color
designo Diamond White Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Safety

7.0

Exterior

8.5

Engine

7.8

Interior

9.3

Fuel Economy

7.0

Features

9.3

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV Base

Base

Fuel: N/A, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$52,000

Configurations
Base 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7AM)
Seating: 5 HP: 302-hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 273 lbs.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm

 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 SUV GLE 350

GLE 350

Fuel: N/A, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$52,000 - $54,500

Configurations
GLE 350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
Transmission: 7A MPG: (18/20/23)
GLE 350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
Transmission: 7A MPG: (14/19/18)

Expert Review


carhp editor November 26, 2018

8.2

Overall Rating


9.3/10
Features

 

7.8/10
Engine

 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

9.3/10
Interior

 

8.5/10
Exterior

 

7.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

The GLE 350 can be bought with the regular two-wheel drive or signature 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The car now features much-improved drive dynamics and an even more luxurious interior than ever.

Not only does the GLE 350 carry over the rich heritage of the M-class but it goes far and beyond any M-class vehicle has ever been. With a starting price just a shy over $50,000, it looks destined to stay as one of the top-selling Mercedes vehicles in the United States.

Features

9.3/10

The 2017 Mercedes GLE 350 is offered in a total of 2 trims namely the GLE 350 and the GLE 350 4MATIC. The base trim starts at $52,000 and comes loaded with a host of features. The standard list includes, LED DRLs, dual zone climate control, 7-inch infotainment screen amongst other features. The 4Matic trim carries the same feature list as the base model but features the signature Mercedes 4MATIC 4 wheel drive system.

Trim

GLE 350

GLE 350 4MATIC

MSRP

$52,000

$54,500

Key

Features

LED Daytime Running Lamps

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Multifunction steering wheel w/Nappa leather trim

7" high-resolution color central screen

Console-mounted rotary central controller

High-resolution color multifunction display

Hands-free Bluetooth interface

HD Radio receiver, SD card reader

Same as base trim

We Recommend

The right model for you really depends on what exactly you expect out of your vehicle. Since the GLE is majorly a soft-roader, it boils down to the area you’d be driving your SUV in. 4 wheel drive is potent and adds all-weather driveability but the 2 wheel drive variant would suffice for general buyers.

Engine

7.8/10
“Compared to other luxury crossovers, the GLE feels overly soft and not all that buttoned down to the road, with handling that is on the graceless side when pushed moderately hard.”-Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

Engine duties on the Merc GLE 350 are handled by a 3.5L DOHC V6 motor paired to a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The motor is good for producing 307 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The engine is one of the smoothest and quietest in the business. The engine provides linear acceleration through the gears. Notably, its nothing that would please an enthusiast inside but the passengers would surely beg to differ.

In comparison, the Merc GLE 350 is only second to the Audi Q7 with 333 hp in terms of power. While all the other competitors are almost even matched with the GLE.

Models

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

MSRP

$52,200

$59,600

$55,500

$62,500

Engine

3.5L DOHC 24-Valve V6

3.6-literPremium Unleaded V-6

3.0L TFSI V6 DOHC

3.0L DOHC 24 Valve Inline 6 Turbocharged

Transmission

7-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Horsepower

302 hp

300 hp

333 hp

300 hp

Torque

273 lb-ft.

295 lb-ft

325 lb-ft

300 lb-ft

Acceleration

One thing is for certain that the Merc GLE 350 is not optimized to be a road scorcher in any way. The acceleration stats are a clear indication of the same. The GLE 350 does a 0-60 mph run in under 7.5 seconds and goes to complete quarter of a mile in 16.6 seconds.

In comparison, the Audi Q7 happens to be the fastest to 60 mph in under 5.7 seconds. The BMW X6 does the same in under 6 seconds. Both the Mercedes and the Porsche lag behind in terms of acceleration.

Models

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

0-60 MPH

7.5 sec

7.3sec

5.7 sec

6.0 sec

Quarter mile

16.6 sec

13.8 sec

14.3 sec

14.4 sec

Engine

3.5L

3.6L

3.0 L

3.0L

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

8.8

8.8

8.4

8.4

Ride and Handling

The Mercedes GLE 350 is one of the plushest and soft ridings SUV in the market. The car offers penultimate comfort to the passengers over the smooth tarmac. But, even the slightest of the bumps are felt inside the cabin and even the noise makes it inside. The steering wheel brims of synthetic feedback and even that do not do any justice to the vehicle.

 Braking

Brakes on the Benz GLE 350 features a set of 13-inch rotors in the front and a set of 12.8-inch rotors on the rear. The vehicle does a 60-0 mph stop in under 130 feet. The braking figures aren’t particularly impressive but still good enough for a near 2 ton SUV.

Amongst rivals, the Merc is actually at the bottom of the pit with the Audi Q7 taking the top spot by a good margin and the Cayenne SUV falling the middle at the 2nd spot.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

Brake Front (in.)

13.0

13.8

14.8

13.7

Brake Rear (in.)

12.8

13.0

13.8

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4652

4,486

4,938

4630

60-0 MPH (ft.)

130

126

117

N/A

Fuel Economy

7.0/10

Although the GLE 350 boasts of improved fuel economy over the ML class but still is nothing to be particularly happy about. The car does 20 miles per gallon combined which is what the market standard is for such SUVs. potential buyers must get ready for hefty fuel bills.

None of the SUVs in the segment are particularly good at returning good fuel figures with most of them returning around 20-21 mpg combined.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

MPG (city)

18

18

19

18

MPG (highway)

23

24

25

25

MPG (combined)

20

20

21

21

Interior

9.3/10
“Although billed as an all-new model when it was introduced last year, the 2017 Mercedes GLE-Class still shares its underlying bones with the now-defunct M-Class model.”-Edmunds

Seats and Comfort

Seats and comfort on the Mercedes GLE 350 have been given the top priority. The seats reek of luxury from the very first glance. The premium vinyl upholstery might upset a few folks but it does breathe better than leather. The overall craftsmanship shows quality. The stitches are neatly tucked away and the overall cabin gleams of opulence.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

Passenger capacity

5

5

7

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.9/58.5/40.3

39.6/58.9/57.2

38.4/59.5/41.7

38.3/59.9/40.4

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.5/58.4/38.4

39.0/57.0/36.0

38.8/58.5/38.8

37.2/57.0/35.9

Third

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

N/A

N/A

35.9/49.4/29.2

N/A

Infotainment

The infotainment duties on the Merc GLE 350 is taken care of by a 7-inch high res screen. The MMI can be a bit tricky to get a hold of in the beginning but it will come to terms with the due amount of usage. The overall performance is satisfactory at best with the room for improvement in overall menu layouts in particular.

Interior Features

Some salient interior features are

  • Premium vinyl upholstery
  • Sunroof
  • 7-inch touch screen
  • Dual climate control

Cargo Capacity

The Merc GLE 350 triumph at pleasing the passengers and that includes giving them space to put their luggage. The GLE 350 features 38.2 ft of cargo volume behind the 2nd row which can be folded down to reveal a space of over 80 ft.

The only rivals close to the GLE 350 is the Audi Q7 with space of 37.5 ft and even the Q7 falls far behind as far as space when 2nd row is folded down is considered.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

Cargo Volume to seat 3 (ft.3)

N/A

N/A

14.8

N/A

Cargo Volume to seat 2 (ft.3)

38.2

23.7

37.5

26.6

Cargo Volume to seat 1 (ft.3)

80.3

62.9

71.6

59.7

Towing Capacity

Premium SUV such as the GLE 350 are seldom going to be used for towing stuff but that doesn't mean it can’t do it. The Merc GLE 350 can tow a maximum of 6600 lbs.

The leader in the segment is Cayenne which can to around 7716 lbs and the Audi Q7 is at a close second with 7700 lbs.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

Towing Capacity (lbs.)

6600

7716

7700

N/A

Exterior

8.5/10
“The GLE-Class is handsome, top to bottom, with some daring "coupe" options that stretch the definition of the word, but are standouts on the road.”- carconnection

Dimension and Weight

The Mercedes GLE 350 is a full-sized SUV loaded with a lot of features which add up to the curb weight which tips the scales at a substantial 4652 lbs. The car is also the widest in the segment at 78.9 inches. It is at the shortest distance from the ground at 6.7 inches but it definitely is nothing to be worried about.

In comparison with rivals, the Audi Q7 is the heaviest vehicle in the segment at 4938 lbs. It is also the longest vehicle in the segment at 199.6 inches.

Model

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Premium

BMW X6 sDrive35i

Curb weight (lbs.)

4652

4,486

4,938

4630

Length(in)

189.1

191.1

199.6

192.0

Width(in)

78.9

78.7

77.5

78.1

Height(in)

70.7

67.4

68.5

66.5

Ground clearance (in)

6.7

8.5

9.3

7.8

Wheelbase (in)

114.8

114.0

117.9

115.5

Track width (in) F/R

64.9/65.5

65.2/65.7

66.1/66.6

64.7/67.2

Exterior Features

Some key exterior features of the Mercedes GLE 350 are

  • Multi-Spoke alloy wheels
  • LED DRLs
  • Twin roof rails
  • Twin hood vents

Safety

7.0/10

Based on the E-class, the GLE 350 shares a lot of safety features with its sibling. The car features advanced safety tech such as adaptive braking and 7 airbags to enhance the occupant safety. After being tested by major agencies, the GLE 350 has aced all the parameters of the crash test and scores almost full marks in all the segments.

  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • Adaptive braking technology: Predictive Brake Priming, Automatic Brake Drying, Hill-Start Assist, brake HOLD feature
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • 7 air bags offering 9-way protection Active Brake Assist

Competition

Mercedes GLE 350 VS Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne was the actual SUV that kick-started the controversial performance SUV segment. The interior is where the game changes as the GLE 350 offers much better ergonomics and room for the passenger while the quality of the materials used remains best in segment throughout.

But, Cayenne not only looks like a conventional SUV but behaves like one too. The off-road performance is much better when compared to the Merc. Hence, if you want a better soft-roader, the Merc GLE 350 is a better choice.

Mercedes GLE 350 VS BMW X6

The BMW X6 is a vehicle that lays sticks the motto of style over substance. It has successfully latched on the present trend where people prefer sedans over SUVs. Unlike regular SUVs, the X6 is best suited to a smooth tarmac rather than an off-road trail.

The inside of the car is loaded with rich, soft-touch materials but the space could’ve certainly be improved. All in all, there are not many vehicles in the market like the X6 M at present and if you’re in the market for a coupe-like SUV, the BMW X6 is your best choice.

Mercedes GLE 350 VS Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 has been the poster boy for luxury SUVs for a long time and for good reason. The interior quality is probably the best in the segment and the layout is an ergonomic delight as well. Other than that, there is enough tech ladden on the car for it to qualify as a spaceship.

The Audi Q7 is a great vehicle that does the job of an SUV well and can even take a fair bit of off-roading with its 4 wheel drive powertrain. All in all, the Audi seems to be the better vehicle amongst the two.

Final Verdict

The Mercedes GLE 350 is a very potent vehicle that is let down by a few minor niggles. The interior is as good as it gets in the segment. The SUV feels like too much attention has been given to comfort and not enough to its drive which causes a slight imbalance. The car feels almost too soft on the road. But, when it comes to comfort, it is fairly hard to beat which explains why the American audiences are in love with the SUV.

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