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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz GLE review

£57,930 - £113,805
Published: 27 Aug 2021


What should I be paying?

Prices start at just under £65,000 for a GLE300d with five seats. The GLE350d you really want is £65,710, and the all-things/all-people GLE400d seven-seater is a £68k car.

What's a decent UK spec?

You like bodykits, don’t you? And enormous wheels? And dubious fake plastic exhaust pipes? Yes, of course you like all of those. Well jolly good, because each and every GLE coming to the UK will have the set.

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Mercedes has elected, on popular demand, only to bring the AMG-line GLE, complete with jowly fake intakes and a minimum wheel size of 20 inches (with 22s on the options list) to Britain. Just like BMW, with the M Sport-only X5. Want a non-intimidating SUV? Try a Volvo XC90, and bin off the R-Design trim.

If you really need to clamp down on CO2 output, you’ll want the GLE350de plug-in hybrid, which shunts grammes per kilometre down to less than half of the GLE300d’s 162g/km personal best. Or you could opt for Merc’s other family SUV, the EQ C and its zero local emissions…

Any tips on how to buy one?

Mercedes has sussed out how to equip a car better than most in this modern tech-obsessed age. So, instead of many individual options, you basically choose your engine, your colour, and then there are a handful of packs to tick.

Want to go off-road? Thought not. You’ll not need the off-road pack then. It’s only available on the GLE450 anyway. Are you a bit of a shoddy driver, with a short attention span? Of course, you’re not, but for someone who is, Mercedes will sensibly relieve them of £1,695 in return for the Driving Assistance package.

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This includes Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Distance Assist Distronic, route-based speed adjustment, and Active Lane-Change Assist.

Standard equipment includes the twin screens, blind-spot monitoring, privacy glass, wood trim with Nappa leather upholstery, an automatically-dimming driver’s exterior mirror and rear-view mirror, puddle lamps, heated front seats, Active Parking Assist with associated cameras and sensors, automatic two-zone climate control and traffic sign reading.

Prices start with the five-seat GLE300d at £54,800, and though it can be optioned with seven seats, Mercedes predicts the GLE350d may graduate to best-seller status on account of better value equipment, for a relatively small price increase on finance.

Oh, and watch out while parking the new GLE. If you’re moving up from the old car, you’ll note it’s 105mm longer overall and 12mm, though 24mm lower than before. It’ll feel big in the UK.

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