2019 Mercedes GLE. 2019 redesign to see how much further upscale Mercedes-Benz might take its midsize crossover. If the model-year 2019 redesign of its E-Class sedan to which the GLE is mechanically related is any indication, expect Mercedes to take the crossover new heights of luxury and technology, including near-self-driving capability. Note, though, that it’s unclear how much of the GLE ’s expansive line will in fact be all-new at the start of the 2019 model year. The German automaker has in the past spread out its model-launch resources and could delay the introduction of next-generation GLE AMG, Coupe, or hybrid and diesel models. The current versions could linger in showrooms concurrent with their fully redesigned GLE cousins. Like most Mercedes-Benz crossovers, the M-Class received a mild update and an all-new name back in 2019.
The newly minted GLE -Class continued into 2019 with just minor shuffling of its standard features, and for 2019, we expect no major changes. Mercedes should take a bold step with the family minded GLE -Class and make the full range of accident avoidance safety features, especially blind-spot warning and lane-keep assist systems standard. Not only does it seem petty to make what are fast becoming essential items optional, Mercedes bundles them in costly options packages that include myriad items a given buyer may not otherwise want. And among those options that aren’t part of a package, Mercedes frequently makes them available only in tandem with other features. Simplifying the options choices would make ordering easier for dealers and buying more amenable for consumers.
The model-year 2019 revamp included an updated front end that helped position the 2019 Mercedes GLE among the more attractive upscale crossovers. The curvy Coupe’s rakish roofline sacrifices some rear headroom and limits its ability to carry taller items in the cargo hold. Don’t look for changes to the GLE ’s interior; it’ll again be quite posh, with rich-looking and solid-feeling materials throughout. Both body styles furnish great room in front and supportive seats in back, with uncompromised rear headroom in the conventional body style. They’ll again share a handsome dashboard that places a large, tablet-type infotainment touchscreen between big air vents. An easy-to-use mouse-like touchpad to control various systems is on the front center console. Mercedes might come up with a software update or added app to help keep it abreast of the latest in-car tech. The 2019 line should again offer an array of premium interior trim upgrades for added style and exclusivity. Expect, for example, burl walnut, eucalyptus, or aluminum accents to again be available at no extra charge, with anthracite poplar, brown ash, and piano black lacquer wood optional. Leather upholstery in a variety premium-grade types is optional, with “regular” leather optional on the 2019 Mercedes GLE 350 and standard otherwise.
Mercedes might jugGLE some transmission applications, but don’t anticipate major revisions beneath the sheet metal. The GLE 350 will almost certainly continue to come with a 3.5-liter V-6 with 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Accelerating 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, it’s a fine basic engine, though not as punchy as the GLE 400’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. It has 329 horsepower, 354 pound-feet of torque and does 0-60 in 6.0 seconds. The GLE 500e will likely continue to augment its twin-turbo 3.0 V-6 with an electric motor for a net 436 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The GLE 550e can travel solely on battery power for an EPA-certified 18.6 miles on an initial plug-in charge, after which it operates like a conventional hybrid, with the gas engine doing most of the heavy lifting.
Acceleration is impressive, at just 5.3 seconds 0-60. Assuming the EPA eventually clears the diesel-powered GLE 300d for sale in the U.S. it should again feature a 2.1-liter turbocharged four-cylinder turbodiesel with around 215 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. The AMG-labeled models are massaged by the automaker’s performance team, and include specially tuned suspensions. The AMG GLE 43 iteration of both the conventional crossover and the Coupe should again use a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 with 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque for 0-60 in around 5.6 seconds. The AMG GLE 63 version of the conventional crossover and the GLE 63 S versions of both body styles should reprise a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8. It should repeat with 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and 577 and 561, respectively, in the “S” variants. Their 0-60-mph times in are in the low-4-second range.
Most 2019 Mercedes GLE The GLE 400 and the AMG GLE 43 models will return with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes could upgrade some of the other 2019 Mercedes GLE models to this gearbox from their slightly less efficient seven-speed automatic. The GLE 350 should return with a choice of rear-wheel drive or the automaker’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which is standard on the balance of the GLE line. An air suspension and two-speed transfer case for series off-road duties should again be exclusive GLE 400 options. That would put the GLE 350 at 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined with rear-wheel drive and at 18/22/19 with 4Matic AWD. Despite its additional power, the nine-speed automatic in the GLE 400 will likely continue to help it rate on a par with the GLE 350 4Matic, at 18/23/20 mpg. Among AMG editions, expect the GLE 43s to again rate 17/23/20 mpg and both GLE 63 versions 13/17/15.
The GLE 500e plug-in hybrid should continue to be rated the gas equivalent of 43 mpg in combined city-highway driving while running on battery power alone. That’s less than the 47- mpg-e rating of the Porsche Cayenne plug-in, though the Porsche has less net horsepower 416 versus 436 and can travel 14 miles on electric power, versus the GLE 500e’s 18.6. The 2019 Mercedes GLE 500e should again be rated 21 mpg city highway combined while running on gasoline as the primary source. Premium fuel should again be required on all of the above models. And assuming the EPA eventually clears the diesel-powered GLE 300d (along with most of the industry’s diesel-powered models) for possible emissions anomalies, it should be rated around 23/30/26 mpg.
We expect the 2019 Mercedes GLE -Class’ production to begin in July 2019, putting its arrival in showrooms around August or September. With no changes coming, we expect pricing to remain the same as the 2019 model, which ranges from $52,925 to $111,575 (destination fees included). Mercedes commonly offers lease deals and low APR financing offers on the GLE -Class, and we expect this to remain the same in the new year. The key competition for the 2019 Mercedes GLE Class will be the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, and the Volvo XC90.