2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV

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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Review: Refining A Proven Recipe

Mercedes' midsize crossover SUV was first launched in 1997 under the ML nameplate, but it was rebranded as the GLE-Class SUV in 2015. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV range now comprises four models, ranging in price from $55,700 to $80,200, excluding the AMG performance models, which receive their own reviews. Buyers get a choice between three different powertrains, as well as either RWD or AWD, depending on trim. These multifaceted SUVs go up against capable rivals in the form of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, but stand apart for their impeccable interior quality and refined ride. However, not every configuration is a winner, so you'll want to choose wisely if you have your heart set on a tristar SUV.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
8.8
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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Changes: 🚙What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Mercedes GLE-Class SUV?

The redesigned new W167 GLE-Class launched as a 2020 model, only two years ago. Last year, nothing much changed and this year, it's the same story. Adaptive Highbeam Assist now becomes standard equipment on all models and there are new Espresso Brown / Black and White / Black leather upholstery options. Lastly, Cirrus Silver joins the range of exterior paint colors. There is expected to be a supply squeeze on GLE 580 models due to the limited availability of its V8 engine, Mercedes citing a "quality issue".

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent quality and materials
  • Slick MBUX infotainment system
  • Air suspension delivers great right quality and handling
  • Entry-level rear-wheel-drive model available
  • Can go off-road when properly specced
  • Good range of engines
  • Tight third row
  • Substandard ride and body control on standard suspension
  • Extras push the price up
  • MBUX can be complicated to master at first

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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
GLE 350 SUV
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$56,150
GLE 350 4MATIC SUV
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$58,650
GLE 450 4MATIC SUV
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$63,950
GLE 580 4MATIC SUV
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$79,800
See All 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

This is the most important part of choosing and speccing your Merc SUV. The base GLE 350 is disliked by many people because it is only available with the standard suspension, which has been slated in some GLE-Class reviews for its ride quality and suspension control on broken surfaces. The adjustable AirMatic air suspension available on the GLE 450 and standard on the GLE 580 is a must-have to address some of the base GLE's ride/handling foibles.

AirMatic transforms the vehicle into a pleasing SUV to pilot and is good value at $1,710, complete with Mercedes' ADS Plus adaptive-damping technology. It's perhaps a little too floaty in its most comfortable setting, but its adaptive nature ensures that the GLE is not all at sea when a corner arrives and won't list like a fishing trawler in a gale when some handling prowess is required. However, like some air-suspension systems, abrupt bumps can catch it off guard. If your budget only stretches as far as the GLE 350 and you only ride on billiard-smooth roads, perhaps you could live with the standard suspension, but try both before you buy.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV a Good SUV?

Yes, but good may not be good enough in the cut-throat midsize SUV class. It has some stand-out features that make it a worthy contender, not least the punchy and economical drivetrain of the sweet-spot GLE 450 and the feature-rich MBUX infotainment system. But the range as a whole is a mixed bag and there are too many pitfalls. It is a shame that Mercedes did not go to more trouble getting the suspension tuning spot-on for the US market because, under certain circumstances, the standard suspension is disappointing. The air suspension papers over some of the flaws, but it's not perfect either.

Opt for the right spec, choose the right model, and don't splurge on the extras, and the GLE can meet all your needs with a truly striking and comfortable interior, decent 5+2 seating if you specify the third row, top-notch tech, and the cachet that goes with the badge on the grille. As a range, it offers more variety than its rivals too, with a lower starting point than the X5 and a faster performance model than the Q7.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Mercedes-Benz
BMW X5 CarBuzz

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV vs Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV

It might be quite a bit more expensive than the GLE, but one has to ask where the GLS fits into the picture if you're considering a seven-seat GLE. At a starting price of $77,200, the GLS 450 gets the same powertrain as the cheaper GLE 450, but it also offers a far more usable third row and more luxury and equipment than the GLE. It's not exciting to look at, but surprisingly exciting to drive; even the base model has features that cost extra on the GLE, such as ventilated front seats with memory, a standard third row, a Burmester surround-sound system, a surround-view camera system, and an AirMatic suspension that has been properly tuned. It might just be the better choice and is a more resolved car if the budget stretches that far.

See Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV vs BMW X5

For superb quality, sharp handling, and excellent performance, the X5 is hard to beat. Importantly, it rides well too, irrespective of suspension choice. However, if you're bent on an entry-level inline-4 option, you'll have to look to the GLE or Q7, because the X5 is not available with anything less than six cylinders. At least a 2WD model is offered, if you prefer that. The steering is not very communicative, but this is hardly a deal-breaker in an SUV. What might be more irritating is a comparative lack of cabin storage. The GLE would rank more highly against the X5 if Mercedes could address its suspension issues. As it stands, the X5 is a better car for about the same money.

See BMW X5 Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV vs Audi Q7

For less money than the equivalent GLE, the Q7 presents a compelling argument. It has a slightly bigger third row, a noticeably bigger trunk, and unrivaled interior quality in this class. It handles and rides better than the GLE on average and while no X5, it is more entertaining than a GLE on a twisty road with better suspension calibration. The base 2.0-liter matches the GLE 350 RWD on price and performance but offers quattro AWD as standard. As an overall package, it beats the GLE and exhibits very few weaknesses other than rather poor fuel consumption.

See Audi Q7 Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Popular Comparisons

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