Of all of our new BMW X5 comparisons, this one is likely the least fair. It’s not that the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is a bad car and one not worth being compared to the X5 but it’s an old car. It’s basically still a Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, as Mercedes changed the name and added a few new styling bits but that’s about it. So it’s considerably older than this brand-new BMW X5, as it’s one of the oldest cars in the segment. Still, it’s a car that’s currently in the segment and it’s going to compete with the X5. For a bit.
To be fair, a new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is on its way, with test mules being spotted more and more frequently as of late. So that’s really the Benz that will compete with this new X5. Though, that car isn’t out yet and we haven’t seen what it will actually look like just yet. So, instead, we have to use the old car for comparison.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class was a good car…ten years ago. To be honest, it’s still a good looking car and one that still charms. But there’s no getting around the fact that it looks dated compared to all of its modern rivals. This new BMW X5 looks significantly fresher in every way.
From the front, the X5 is far more aggressive. Its massive Kidney Grilles, angry headlights and heavily creased hood all give it an imposing and rugged look. While the GLE-Class has pretty nondescript headlights and a standard Mercedes grille. It’s not ugly by any means, it’s just old looking now.
In profile, the X5 is again the more athletic looking car. The GLE looks fine from the side but it looks more like a swollen wagon than a proper SUV and it never looks as premium or athletic as a Mercedes-Benz product should. The new BMW X5 has a muscular shoulder line that accentuates its rear wheel arches that gives it far more character than the Benz.
Inside, it’s another case of the Mercedes showing its age. It looks fine and is seemingly ergonomic but its infotainment screen is just slapped on the dash, features a fat bezel and small screen, which looks ancient. Also, its array of buttons underneath the screen looks old as well. While the X5 has an all-new cabin with a massive 12.3-inch screen, virtual gauges and a much simpler, more elegant approach.
Mercedes-Benz will soon be coming out with a new GLE-Class, as it’s currently in the works. When that happens, it will be far more capable of taking on the new X5. Until then, though, this old GLE just can’t keep up.