2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — Can it take on the new BMW X5?

3 Series, BMW X5, News | September 12th, 2018 by 15
Mercedes Benz GLE Class 18 830x553

The new BMW X5 is one of the most highly anticipated Bavarians currently in the works. It’s the successor to the highly successful, and very …

The new BMW X5 is one of the most highly anticipated Bavarians currently in the works. It’s the successor to the highly successful, and very well-liked, F15-gen X5 and, despite having a lot to live up to, it seems to be exciting the fanbase. But the new BMW X5 isn’t the only SUVs in its segment that’s going to be all-new for 2019. The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has just been revealed as well.

Also replacing a very successful model, this new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has a lot to live up to. The previous-gen GLE-Class (ML-Class, originally) was a very good car and one that sold very well, but was getting a bit long in the tooth. So it was due for a serious upgrade. Though, at first glance, it doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade at all.

Mercedes Benz GLE Class 10 830x553

On the outside, it’s a handsome enough car but it’s very underwhelming. It looks nearly identical to the car it replaces, albeit with a different grille and slightly more rounded body lines. Considering Mercedes has made some really good looking cars as of late, this is a huge disappointment. It’s nowhere near as striking or as good looking as the new BMW X5, nor is it as good looking as the far older Audi Q7 and it can’t even touch the Jaguar F-Pace. Mercedes-Benz is better than this.

Thankfully, its interior is better. It continues Mercedes’ corporate use of dual screens coming together to make one massive one, which gets some flak but it doesn’t look bad here. The surrounding air vents look cool and the four square air vents underneath the infotainment screen look good tucked into the wood trim with aluminum surrounds. Everything seems of typical Mercedes high quality. It’s not the most exciting interior but it looks comfortable. Not sure it looks better than the X5’s interior, though, which really looks great. We’ll have to see it in person to make final judgement.

Mercedes Benz GLE Class 15 830x553

Under the skin, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is more advanced than its exterior makes it seem. So it gets a 48-volt electrical subsystem, which helps power its new hydropneumatic active suspension setup, which can control the damping forces to each individual wheel. That helps reduce body roll, pitch, dive and squat, making it handle better while also being more comfortable than the last car.

As far as engines go, the GLE-Class will get two (in America), a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six that makes 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. The latter of which gets what Mercedes calls EQ Boost, which uses an integrated-starter generator that’s capable of powering all typically belt-driven ancillary components, making the I6 completely beltless.

It’s an interesting car, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. On one hand, it looks very underwhelming and has an understated, but likely very good, interior. However, on the other hand, it packs some interesting tech, a new trick suspension and some good engines. So will it be as good or better than the new BMW X5? We’ll have to drive both to fin out.

15 responses to “2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — Can it take on the new BMW X5?”

  1. Icebreakerr says:

    LOOOOOOOL looks awful

  2. Joshua Stein says:

    Like the interior (except the screens) but the exterior is a step back from the 12-19 design, I don’t know why but Mercedes can never get the looks of this suv right. It’s been ugly since birth.

  3. mod9 says:

    Not pretty but also not ugly. I would take the front of the Benz and the back of the X5.

    I personally think the X5 is ugly at the front.

  4. Andrewthecarguy says:


    That’s quite obvious.

  5. Arunabh says:

    What just happened here !! Suddenly, the Merc design revolution appears to have come to a grinding halt. This looks old. Atleast a decade old !! Whether it be inside or out. Other than the prominent front Merc grille, lmost everything about the exterior is extremely generic. And the less said about the interior, the better. It looks more Pickup truck-ish and less Luxury SUV-ish. This car is giving me same feeling what G30 5 series gave – An Epic Mediocrity !

    Compared to this, the upcoming X5 appears to be a rockstar thats atleast 8-10 years ahead in aesthetics. Though, for me, both of them can’t hold a candle to Volvo XC90, the very definition of timeless gorgeousness on wheels (in and out).

    I guess the design hits and misses are cyclic in nature, and just as is the case with everything good design momentum too comes with an expiry date. Even apple isn’t untouched to this phenomenon.

    • BacklaJean says:

      Spot on, I completely agree. The exterior is very boring and looks like a step back as the current GLE looks quite good for a SUV. It seems that all brands are going the audi design language way with the front. On the other hand the interior looks very cool.

  6. PK says:

    The interior’s perfect! About time the new GLE get a new refreshed interior! The exterior needs abit of work.

  7. Alexander S says:

    Why BMW doesn’t do soft-hybrid (48 volt) engines?? Like Audi and Merc…

  8. Senne says:

    Mercedes’ latest design is an absolute joke. The fronts are OK, it’s a Mercedes after all. It’s not going to be as sporty as a BMW, and doesn’t have to be. The rear is just awkward. The side makes me think of the generation before the current S Class. The “new” CLS especially. It looks worse than the first gen CLS. Whereas before this they were very modern. Well, I hope this makes it even easier for BMW to take the sales crown again.

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