2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
January 4, 2022

Buying tip

The GLE 350 has few faults, but the turbo-6 and trick air suspension are worth the moderate price increase of the GLE 450.

features & specs

AMG GLE 53 4MATIC Coupe
AMG GLE 53 4MATIC SUV
GLE 350 4MATIC SUV
MPG
17 city / 21 hwy
MPG
18 city / 22 hwy
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
MSRP
$77,300
MSRP
$73,200
MSRP
$58,200

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class doesn’t compromise on interior space or in performance, though the V-8s are taking a year off.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class? What does it compare to?

It’s a five- or seven-seat crossover SUV that comes in “SUV” and “Coupe” body styles, as well as an AMG edition. It’s a competitor for the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, as well as the Volvo XC90. 

Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good SUV?

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It’s uniformly good, and gets great in powerful turbo-6 versions, with their complex air suspensions. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10, but the piquant AMG versions would score more highly. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?

Supply-chain issues have left the GLE-Class with no V-8 choices this year, but all versions now come with automatic high beams.

The GLE’s dueling body styles let drivers choose whether they’d like a conventional SUV silhouette or a sleeker, tapered shape that’s dubbed a “Coupe,” whether it’s really one or not. Both have a muscular attitude graced with interesting details, from choices of grille textures to AMG-spec or blacked-out exterior trim. Inside, the GLE’s rectangular vents and dual digital displays graft a futuristic look onto traditional luxury fittings like nappa leather and walnut.

With no V-8s on tap, the GLE steams ahead with a perfectly capable 255-hp turbo-4 and rear-wheel drive in base spec. Its solid acceleration complements a relatively plush ride, good steering feel, and a seamless-shifting 9-speed automatic. The mid-size crossover grows more compelling with either of a pair of turbo-6 engines, which issue either 362 hp in the GLE 450 or 429 hp in GLE 53 AMG. It’s swifter, firmer, and more assertive as it ascends to GLE 53 AMG status, where an air suspension with adaptive damping and active roll stabilization extract un-SUV-like grip from the tarmac. 

In the taller-roofed GLE SUV, the front and second-row seats suit five passengers well, with lots of leg and shoulder room; GLE Coupes get stingy with rear-seat head room, obviously, and we’d skip the SUV’s third-row seat, as it’s too small for anything but occasional use. Get a GLS-Class if you’re the go-to for mass transportation.

The GLE’s near-spotless safety record augurs well, as does its standard list of safety technology, which includes automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. Adaptive cruise control costs extra, but comes with lane-change capability. 

How much does the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class cost?

The $56,750 GLE 350 has synthetic leather upholstery, power front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, twin 12.3-inch screens, and 19-inch wheels. Take the $64,550 GLE 450 for its stronger engine and standard all-wheel drive, and top it off with adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, and Burmester audio. AMG GLEs start at $74,600.

Where is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class made?

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

7

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Styling

The GLE has a muscular shape and a suave interior.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a good-looking car?

We give it a 7 for styling. It’s swoopy for an SUV, particularly in Coupe spec, and the rectangular motif of the interior syncs up with its wide-screen displays.

The conservative SUV shape of the GLE-Class softens with liberal use of curves across its front fenders, but especially at the rear, with its rakish C-pillar. The roofline tapers with even more drama on the Coupe version; both body styles offer a range of grille treatments that culminate with the vertical ribs on the AMG edition that call out some of Mercedes’ sports-car heritage from a generation or two ago. The GLE’s come a long way from those ancestors, and from the blocky, Playskool-like M-Class that launched Benz SUVs into reality in the 1990s.

The GLE cockpit adopts some of the styling cues of the E-Class sedan, but swaps in squared-off air vents for the sedan’s round ones. Mercedes slips twin 12.3-inch screens under a single pane of glass to give the GLE an expansive digital window to the world; it’s a transformative touch that lifts the GLE-Class out of the SUV doldrums that might otherwise fill the cabin with knobby knobs and grippy levers and other utility-vehicle clichés. Basic black cloth and dark wood trim panel the base GLE 350, but Mercedes upsells vivid paint colors, richly hued synthetic leather and suede and nappa hides, and lets drivers choose from aluminum trim or from a palette of wood veneers. It’s dressy without going overboard.

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7

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Performance

This year’s GLE skips the V-8.

The GLE-Class has deft road manners in all its various editions—but those editions have been trimmed by supply-chain problems. No V-8 GLEs will come to the U.S. for 2022, but the ample power of Mercedes’ turbo-4 and turbo-6 engines garners a point here. The GLE earns a 7 for acceleration and ride from its base model; it’d be an 8 in more powerful versions.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 4WD?

All but the base model have some version of all-wheel drive. GLE 350s have a basic system that splits power to the front wheels when the rears lose traction, but GLE 450 and 53 AMG versions get a complex, responsive setup that constantly varies the power split between the wheels for optimal traction.

How fast is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?

With its willing 255-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4, the GLE 350 has enough power in reserve to pass easily when it must, and to keep up with traffic. Mercedes says it can reach 60 mph in 7.0 seconds with rear-wheel drive, or in 7.1 seconds with all-wheel drive. 

Four-cylinders have come a long way. Still, we’d prefer the slick inline-6 that’s relatively new to the Mercedes lineup, as it’s outfitted with a 48-volt electrical system. The mild-hybrid setup permits the GLE 450’s 362-hp 3.0-liter turbo-6 to pack on 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of extra torque when it needs to cruise smoothly with less effort from its gas engine. The quiet and strong powertrain can fling the hefty GLE to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, Mercedes says, and permits it to tow up to 7,700 lb.

With no twin-turbo V-8 this year, the GLE 53 takes the top spot in the mid-size Mercedes SUV family. The same turbo-6 gets the AMG treatment to boost output to 429 hp, good for a 0-60 mph time pegged at 5.2 seconds. All GLEs limit top speed to 130 mph.

The GLE’s 9-speed automatic pairs well with either the turbo-4 or the turbo-6, with shift paddles and sport-shift modes to accommodate drivers who want to be more engaged with the myriad gear selections. 

The base GLE has electronic power steering, a coil-sprung conventional suspension, and 19-inch wheels that generate a controlled, even plush ride. More costly versions get air springs and can be fitted with a hydropneumatic active body control system, which uses sensors to scan the road ahead and prime the suspension for a more resilient response when it encounters rough roads. It works amazingly well, and it’s just part of the suite of electronics that give the GLE enormous range in driving ability, from those placid-handling base versions to the grippy, flat-cornering AMG version—which keeps its cool on gravelly paths even with its 20-inch to 22-inch wheels and tires thanks to lower ride height, stiffer settings for its air springs and adaptive dampers, and active roll stabilization that counters body lean as it happens.

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9

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Comfort & Quality

The GLE-Class spins a luxurious cocoon for its passengers.

The GLE-Class offers up to seven seats and a wood-paneled interior on high-spec versions, but even the five-seat models with plainer interiors earn their price tags. We give the GLE a 9 here for its cargo space and for good front and middle-row seats. 

At 194.4 inches long, with a 117.9-inch wheelbase, the GLE has the right-sized footprint to tote up to five full-sized passengers. In front, those people get cloth-upholstered power seats with lots of firm padding and a wide range of adjustment. Moving into more expensive models, Mercedes adds leather upholstery, heating and cooling, even massaging modes; AMG editions finish with sueded trim and heavier bolstering. 

The second row in the “SUV” body style has enough space for three tall people with broad shoulders and a supportive bottom cushion, something that’s not always fitted to even luxury-branded SUVs. The seat has a similar shape in the “Coupe” edition, but head room suffers for the pretty roofline. 

On the traditional body style, the GLE’s rear seat folds down neatly to make it easier for two small people to finagle their way into the available third-row seat, which only makes sense for drivers who shuttle elementary-school pools regularly. Otherwise the folding rear seat expands cargo room from 33.3 cubic feet to 74.9 cubic feet; Coupe drivers pay the penalty again here, with 27.5 and 63.2 cubic feet of cargo space, respectively.

The GLE 350 can pair brown synthetic leather and linden wood that give it the air of the finer mid-size Mercedes SUVs. Still, we’d opt for the snazzy combinations on the higher-spec versions: $1,750 cardinal-red paint, $1,620 macchiato-tinted leather, and $850 flamed-ash veneer ring up the sticker price and the glam quotient at the same time. 

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9

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Safety

The GLE-Class earns top crash-test scores.

How safe is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?

It’s a 9 here, thanks to excellent crash-test scores and its laundry list of safety technology. 

The NHTSA gives the GLE-Class five stars in every test save for a four-star rollover-resistance rating. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick+.

All GLE SUVs come with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and new for 2022, adaptive high-beam LED headlights. Adaptive cruise control with lane-change ability, a surround-view camera system, and a head-up display are available. We’d recommend them as the GLE offers good, but not great, outward vision that’s compromised at the back by thick roof pillars—especially on the Coupe edition.

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8

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Features

The GLE drops V-8s this year, but hangs on to its best tech features.

The GLE-Class has lots of standard equipment, a long list of upgrades, and swell infotainment. It gets an 8 here. 

Which Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class should I buy?

We think the GLE 350 suits many crossover buyers. It costs $56,750 in base spec, which hardly lacks for equipment with its standard power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, navigation, dual 12.3-inch screens, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 19-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charging, and LED headlights with adaptive high beam assist. All-wheel drive costs $2,500 more. 

For $64,550, the GLE 450 gets the turbo-6 engine and standard all-wheel drive; it’s better for towing or toting more people more often.

Options range from leather upholstery and wood trim to a third-row seat, 22-inch wheels, Burmester audio, and an AMG body kit.

How much is a fully loaded Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class?

It’s $74,600 for the GLE 53 AMG or $78,850 for GLE 53 AMG Coupe, which gain 21-inch AMG wheels, active park assist, a nappa leather steering wheel, and sport seats with synthetic leather and suede upholstery.

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4

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class

Fuel Economy

Most GLEs earn about 22 mpg combined.

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class good on gas?

It’s competitive for its size and power. The mild-hybrid GLE 450 earns the best fuel economy of the lineup at 21 mpg city, 25 highway, 23 combined. That makes it a 4 here. The harder-working turbo-4 in the GLE350 earns EPA ratings of 19/27/22 mpg with rear-wheel drive, and 19/26/22 mpg with all-wheel drive. 

With the mild-hybrid turbo-6, the GLE 53 AMG gets rated at 18/22/19 mpg, or at 17/21/19 mpg as a Coupe.

Premium unleaded fuel is recommended for all versions.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$55,700
MSRP based on GLE 350 SUV
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7.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Pricing Insights

  • 2022 GLE-Class has arrived
  • Lease: From $749 per month
  • Rebate: No cash incentives
  • Finance: No finance offers
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