2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC Review: Quick Drive
|Engine:||3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 + Mild Hybrid|
|Output:||375 hp, 369 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy (MPG):||19 city, 26 hwy|
|Starting Price (USD):||TBA|
|Starting Price (CAD):||TBA|
A good portion of SUVs within Mercedes-Benz’ lineup are undergoing a refresh this year.
That includes the brand’s very popular mid-size GLE. All-new for the 2020 model year, the GLE doesn’t radically change for the 2024 model year, but there are updates to nearly every aspect of the vehicle.
Always a segment benchmark, do these updates keep the GLE near the front of the pack, or has the competition caught up? During the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s Spring Rally, we got the chance to take the refreshed 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC for a quick test drive to find out for ourselves.
Slight Tweaks Outside
Probably the least changed aspect to the SUV is its exterior. Up front there is a new front bumper along with a new grille that features horizontal louvres. The inner details of both the headlights and taillights have been changed and there are new wheel choices.
None of these alterations are enough to make a casual passerby instantly recognize this is the new GLE. But we’ve always liked the design of the GLE exterior, so a conservative refresh is probably the best choice here as to not ruin a good thing.
More Tweaks Inside
Inside, the updates are a bit more noticeable. Starting at the driver’s seat, there’s a new steering wheel with similar touch controls as found in other Mercedes-Benz products like the C-Class. Although we’re not fans of these controls, we are getting used to them and they feel more responsive in the GLE. Still, give us traditional buttons and switches please.
Behind the wheel are a pair of 12.3-inch screens, one for the driver information centre and the other for the infotainment system. The latter now features the second generation of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system and can operate with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. When updates are available, they can now be done over the air now as well.
The rest of the interior features updated trim bits like the chrome surrounds on the air vents. Our specific test vehicle has a piano black dash-finish with vertical silver lines running through it.
Overall, we love the look of this revised interior. Some vehicles feature similar levels of features and equipment but lack this SUV’s premium look and feel. The GLE 450 is full of the latest technology, and features a design that looks modern, sophisticated, and most importantly, properly expensive. It rewards owners with a design and layout that pampers, feels special, and is luxurious.
Plenty of Power Possibilities
For 2024, all GLE engines are now hybrid of some sort, with most being mild hybrids that include a 48-volt integrated starter generator (ISG). These include the GLE 350, GLE 450, GLE 580, GLE 53, and GLE 63. Only the GLE 450e is a full plug-in hybrid.
As mentioned, we’re driving the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC which continues to use a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine. With the ISG added, horsepower has jumped a bit to 375 hp while torque remains the same at 369 lb-ft. Paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels, Mercedes-Benz claims the vehicle can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph.
Honestly, this is more than enough power as acceleration is brisk, even when weighed down. There’s ample thrust throughout the rpm range, especially down low. It’s all anyone will ever need, but we totally understand the want for more powerful versions of the GLE; especially those with turbocharged V8s.
The GLE 450’s engine makes a pleasant note, with a mild grumble at low rpms and a nice straight-six sound under heavier acceleration. Driven with restraint, the expected fuel economy figures are 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Despite the addition of the ISG, that pretty much puts it on par with the 2023 model, which was slightly better in the city, but slightly worse on the highway.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC: Goes Down Smooth
The best part of the engine though is how smooth it operates. It’s a characteristic that carries over into nearly every aspect of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC. It’s so smooth in everything it does. The steering, braking, are ride comfort are just so polished and serene. Every imperfection has been engineered out of the mechanical bits.
The SUV is a hallmark of luxury feel, isolating occupants from the outside world, in the best premium way possible. It’s also quite easy to drive for those familiar with a vehicle its size.
With a curb weight exceeding 5,000 lbs. and not being an AMG model, the GLE 450 isn’t exactly engaging to drive behind the wheel. But with the optional tire package featuring massive 275/45R21 tires up front and 315/40R21 in the rear, it features more lateral grip than most large SUVs out there.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC: The Verdict
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC is still one the benchmarks of the segment. An originator in the class dating back to the ML 320 days, the newest GLE continues to carry the torch as a front runner in the mid-size luxury SUV world. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular and the most recent updates should keep it on the top of consumer’s shopping lists.
Full details on pricing should be released at a later date, but our guess is there will be a mild increase in MSRP compared to 2023 models.
Is the GLE changing for 2024?
Yes, the model has undergone a mild-cycle refresh throughout.
What models of the GLE will there be in 2024?
There are the GLE 350, GLE 450, GLE 405e, GLE 580, GLE 53, and GLE 63.
What is the difference between GLE 350 and GLE 450?
The GLE 350 is the entry level model that uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The GLE 450 is a step up and utilizes a turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
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- Powerful Engine
- Smooth Drive
- Luxurious Interior
- No Fuel Efficiency Increase w/ Mild Hybrid
- Steering Wheel Touch Controls