2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV

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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Review: A Luxury Cruiser For The Whole Family

While the compact crossover is quickly becoming the most popular segment in the USA, the midsize SUV has had more time to refine itself and it shows with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. It may not be perfect, especially if you try to cram in a third row of seating, but it excels in the focus areas of the brand. These include an impeccably appointed interior, a cushy ride - if you opt for the air suspension - and lots of high-tech gadgets to keep you comfortable and happy. Sure, it gets a decent selection of powertrains, with the turbocharged V8 taking the cake, but the GLE-Class SUV still can't keep up with the BMW X5, and the Audi Q7 has a lot to offer, too. The battle between the German trio has always been fierce, and which one comes out on top can often depend on personal taste rather than empirical evidence.

Read in this review:

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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Changes: ๐Ÿš™Whatโ€™s the difference vs 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV?

Very little has changed for 2021 since a brand-new fourth generation was introduced just a year ago. Nevertheless, the list of standard equipment has been updated, adding SiriusXM satellite radio, 64-color ambient lighting, and a charging pad for wirelessly charging your mobile phone - all previously extra-cost options. Furthermore, Mercedes has made its parking-damage detection system standard, too. In terms of options, the MBUX Interior Assistant and a head-up display are now both available as standalone extras for the first time.

Pros and Cons

  • Two out of three great engines
  • Good fuel economy from EQ boost powertrains
  • Gorgeous, upscale interior
  • Loads of standard-fit features
  • Nearly perfect safety rating
  • Cramped optional third row
  • Base suspension is unrefined
  • Expensive with pricey options
  • Subpar reliability expectations

Best Deals on GLE-Class SUV

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

GLE-Class SUV Exterior

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Front View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Rear View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Exterior Photos


  • Length 194.3 in
  • Wheelbase 117.9 in
  • Height 70.7 in
  • Max Width 76.7 in
  • Front Width 65.6 in
  • Rear Width 66.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,608.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Lunar Blue Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic, Delayed availability for remainder of year.
  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic, Build Out: 11/16/20
  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic
  • designo Diamond White Bright
  • Black
  • Polar White
  • designo Diamond White Bright, Build Out: 11/16/20, *PRICE TO FOLLOW*

GLE-Class SUV Performance

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Top View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Engine Bay Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

You get a choice of three powertrains with the 2021 GLE-Class SUV. The base power plant is a 2.0-liter turbo gas four-pot that develops 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. This can be sent to the rear or all four wheels depending on which drivetrain you desire. Power is enough to get the midsize SUV around town, but you may feel it lacking on the highway. The mid-tier 3.0-liter turbo 6-cylinder is far livelier, especially since it gets Merc's EQ Boost technology. This gives it a combined 362 hp and 369 lb-ft to play with, which is delivered smoothly for a really engaging driving experience.

At the top of the line is a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine that boasts an impressive 483 hp and 516 lb-ft, also using the same EQ Boost system to supplement outputs. This allows the somewhat portly Merc to sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is quicker than the Audi Q7, but slower than the top-spec BMW X5, which can do the same in 4.1 seconds. Every engine makes use of the same refined 9-speed automatic transmission, and only the base motor can be paired with a rear-wheel drivetrain, while the rest all get all-wheel drive as standard. The 4-cylinder engine enables a max towing capacity of 5,950 lbs, while the inline-6 can handle up to 7,700 lbs.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

GLE-Class SUV Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    22.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/26 mpg
* 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class GLE 350 RWD SUV

GLE-Class SUV Interior

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Steering Wheel Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Infotainment System Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Center Console Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 40.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.6 in

GLE-Class SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Dashboard Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Third Row Seats Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Maximum Cargo Space Mercedes-Benz

GLE-Class SUV Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

Verdict: ๐ŸIs the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good SUV?

You'd be hard-pressed to find any Merc that could be called a bad car, and the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is no different. Yes, the base engine is a little lackluster, but that can be fixed by upgrading the inline-6. The interior is sumptuous and classy across the entire range and even the base model gets a generous helping of creature comforts and driver-assist features. Once you trade out the engines to improve performance, you'll be off to the races.

Apart from being classy, the interior is spacious, so long as you skip over the optional third-row seating, which leaves you with room for cargo. Along with a super safety review, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class serves as an excellent 5-door vehicle for families on the up and up. Our only real gripe is that the standard-fit suspension is not as refined as we expect from the Germans. Luckily, this can be fixed by opting on the air suspension, which is what every luxury car should come with anyway. So long as you aren't trying to race the X5s out there, the GLE is great for cruising the roads in style.

๐Ÿš—What Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Model Should I Buy?

Considering the base engine is a little underpowered for such a heavy vehicle, the entry-spec trim isn't really worth considering. It also gets the rougher suspensions, which is definitely a no from us. Rather go for the mid-tier GLE 450; this means you get the livelier inline-6 engine and AWD as standard. You'll have to pay extra for the AirMatic suspension, and we recommend the Driver Assistance Package Plus, too. If you really want to spoil yourself, the Premium Package adds some nice-to-haves at a reasonable surcharge. The total price of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV with this configuration is $62,500 before the destination charge or that premium paint color you have your eye on.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Popular Comparisons

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