2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class


What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Mercedes GLE is a mid-size, five-seat luxury SUV that squares off against the BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Jaguar F-Pace, and Cadillac XT6. 

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good car/SUV?

Review continues below

You’ll pay for the privilege, but the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE is among the best ways to spend upward of $60,000 on an SUV. 

Overall, we score the 2021 GLE at 7.3 out of 10. It’s safe, spacious, luxurious, and even fun to drive—especially in hot AMG versions. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The GLE lineup is massive: GLE350, GLE450, GLE580, AMG GLE53, and AMG GLE63—but don’t forget about the GLE Coupe variants with their comparatively rakish rooflines and limited cargo capacity. The GLE Coupes come only in AMG variants. 

What’s new for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?

This year, the GLE lineup expands with new sporty versions from Mercedes’ in-house AMG tuning arm. The GLE53 makes use of a turbocharged inline-6 teamed with an electric starter-generator, while the GLE63 S pops in a twin-turbo V-8. The 53’s no slouch at 429 horsepower, while the big brother GLE63 is a rocket thanks to its 603-hp rating and absolute mountain of torque. 

Otherwise, Mercedes tweaks the GLE’s options list this year. GLE350, GLE450, and GLE580 SUV versions return with turbo-4, turbo-6, and turbo V-8 power, meaning there’s a luxurious Mercedes SUV for just about any budget. GLE Coupes cost more for less, and frankly we’re not sure we understand the appeal in their altered rooflines and lower cargo capacity. 

Most buyers will stick with the 255-hp turbo-4 in the GLE350, which is just fine for typical driving and can be paired with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The GLE450 is all you’ll likely need if towing a boat or camper is a necessity. Anything else is pure excess, but we can understand the AMG allure. 

All share the same swoopy looks inside and out, and all leave the same Alabama assembly plant. First and second rows are supremely comfortable, while the optional third-row seats are tolerable for kids in a pinch. 

Mercedes bakes in a slew of collision-avoidance features, though adaptive cruise control is a costly extra on most versions that ought to be standard by now. This year, wireless smartphone charging and ambient lighting are newly standard. 

How much does the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class cost?

The GLE lineup starts around $55,000, while the GLE S runs more than double that. 

Where is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class made?

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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