The Mercedes-Benz GLE Is Getting An Early Facelift

Spy Shots / Comments

The pressure is on to beat the BMW X5.

It hasn't been long since the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV was last updated. The mid-size model was completely overhauled for the 2020 model year, with the GLE Coupe following a year later. Though the GLE is still competitive in its segment, Mercedes is already prepping a facelift, as our spy photographers discovered. We spotted Mercedes testing this GLE prototype around the Nurburgring in Germany, wearing some light camouflage on the front end and around the rear lights.

From what we can tell, the facelifted GLE will receive new headlights and taillights, keeping the SUV closer inline with more recent product like the new S-Class. As evidenced by the camo, or lack thereof, not much else will change on the car's exterior except for the wheels.

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The changes inside could be a bit more significant, keeping the GLE up-to-date with the recently facelifted E-Class. These updates will likely include a new steering wheel with touch capacitative controls and improvements to the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system. Under the hood, we don't imagine the GLE changing much. Expect a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with a mild-hybrid EQ Boost.

A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in AMG and normal flavors should be offered as well, assuming Mercedes is back to building V8s by then following a supply chain issue. Though our spy photographers only spotted the SUV, the GLE Coupe should receive a facelift too.

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It seems pretty soon for Mercedes to release a facelifted GLE, but German rival BMW is currently working on an update for the X5. The facelifted X5 should gain some improvements inside, like the larger screens from the iX. BMW and Mercedes are constantly locked into an internal sales war, so each pays close attention to what the other is doing. As of now, there is no concrete timeline for when the updated GLE will debut, but we typically expect a faceift three years after initial release, so a reveal could occur in the middle of 2022.

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