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2020 Mercedes Benz GLE Class Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE Class? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

A luxury SUV is the ideal vehicle for many consumers. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is an outstanding option. It has a great balance when it comes to performance, technology, and safety features. A thorough examination also reveals a few drawbacks here, however. In a market segment that is full of great choices, does the new GLE have what it takes to beat the competition?

What's New for 2020?

The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is completely redesigned this year. This vehicle is now entering into its second generation. Mercedes-Benz listened to consumers when redesigning this vehicle and it is now even closer to perfection than before.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE Class – The Pros

1. Spacious and Luxurious Cabin

One of the changes for 2020 was lengthening the wheelbase for the GLE. This allows for even more room for passengers to stretch out. This SUV comes with two rows and room for five standard. Even if buyers choose to add a third-row, there is ample legroom for everyone. All models of the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE are full of luxurious materials such as wood, leather, and various metals. The overall effect is very sophisticated. For extra comfort, buyers can get heated front seats, back seats, and arm rests. They can even add heat to the center console lid.

2. Cutting-Edge Tech Features

Standard for all models is the very popular MBUX infotainment system. This includes smartphone integration with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is a 12.3-inch touchscreen display as well as a 12.3-inch digital cluster display. Voice recognition helps make it easier for drivers to access the many features available on this system. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE also features enhanced navigation including an augmented reality feature, making driving this SUV a futuristic experience.

3. State-of-the-Art Safety Aids

There are many standard safety features for the new GLE that will appeal to buyers. All models are equipped with blind spot monitoring, active brake assist, a rearview camera, and a driver attention monitor. Also standard is what Mercedes calls its Pre-Safe system. When this system detects an impending collision, it will do its best to minimize injuries by closing windows, tightening seatbelts, and even emitting a noise meant to protect hearing during the impact. Also standard is an active parking feature that can automatically steer into parallel parking spaces using specialized sensors.

4. Available E-Active Suspension

One of the fanciest features for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the available E-Active suspension. This is a type of air suspension. When cornering, it mimics what a motorcycle rider would do by leaning. This reduces the feeling of lateral cornering forces, making a more relaxing experience for everyone inside the cabin. Another neat trick offered by this optional suspension is adjusting the height for each wheel when going off-road. This can also help rock the GLE out if it gets stuck in mud or sand.

5. Strong Engine Choices

Consumers will have three engines to look at for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE. Standard is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. This produces 255-horsepower as well as 273 lb-ft of torque. Working with this engine is a nine-speed automatic transmission. Another option is a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six that will generate 362-horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a twin-turbo V8 that will generate an impressive 483-horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Models with these engines also get a 48-volt EQ Boost electrical system. This can produce an extra 21-horsepower when the situation calls for it. Models with these engine also get all-wheel-drive automatically. The standard engine comes standard with rear-wheel drive but can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive if desired.

6. Smooth and Competent Handling

One of the areas Mercedes-Benz improved on for the all-new GLE was its suspension and handling. Even models that do not have the upgraded E-Active suspension are smooth on the road. This is a particularly impressive feat considering the size of the vehicle. Consumers who need a midsize SUV but are not willing to deal with excessive body roll or a stiff ride will want to take a good look at the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

7. Car-to-X Communication

Car-to-X communication is an incredibly advanced feature being rolled out for new Mercedes-Benz models. The idea is that any vehicle on the road with this technology can communicate with others that do as well. This feature can send out warnings to drivers going the wrong way down the road. It can also alert other drivers that an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind. This system is designed to alert drivers to potential dangers much sooner than conventional sensors are able to.

8. Easy-Pack Tailgate for Convenience

It is simple to both open and close the tailgate of the GLE thanks to the Easy-Pack feature. To make sure the tailgate does not get dinged when opening, it has an automatic obstruction detection feature. This feature also works when closing the tailgate to ensure no one is injured and things are not damaged. The tailgate can be stopped at any position while opening, further adding to its convenience.

9. Available Third Row

For the first time ever, the Mercedes-Benz GLE is available with a third-row. This takes the maximum seating capacity up to seven. Consumers who need room for more than five people but do not want to go to a full-size SUV will want to give this vehicle serious consideration.

10. Better Than Average Fuel Economy

It is a given that a midsize SUV is not going to have the greatest numbers when it comes to fuel efficiency. That said, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE beats out most of its competitors. The standard engine gives drivers a very respectable 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. Going with all-wheel-drive lowers these numbers just slightly, down to 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. When looking at other vehicles of similar size, it is easy to see how the GLE can save buyers some money down the road.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE Class – The Cons

1. Shifting Doesn't Always Feel Smooth

Drivers may find they are more aware of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE shifting than they would like. It would be a stretch to say this vehicle shifts roughly, however. Many consumers will quickly get used to the shifting of the GLE, while others may never notice any problem in the first place.

2. Infotainment System Can be Complicated

While having a lot of features is typically a great thing, drivers will want to make sure the infotainment system in the GLE does not distract them. There are many layers to the menus, which may be frustrating at first. Luckily, there is a voice recognition feature that can make things easier to navigate.

3. Adding Options Will Raise Price Dramatically

No one expects a Mercedes to be cheap. That said, buyers may be surprised at how quickly the price tag goes up as they add optional features. At the same time, the entry-level model is very well-equipped and will likely have everything many consumers are looking for in a midsize SUV.

4. Finicky Steering Wheel Controls

The steering-wheel-mounted controls on the GLE are very sensitive. Drivers may find they are accidentally hitting buttons when simply trying to reposition their hands on the wheel. There are also a lot of buttons on the steering wheel, potentially over-complicating a feature that should make life easier. This is another thing that most drivers will simply get used to over time and is unlikely to be a deal-breaker.

5. Narrow and Awkward Running Boards

The GLE does come standard with running boards. The potential problem here is that the GLE rides relatively close to the ground, making them unnecessary at best, and annoying at worst. Their placement is somewhat awkward and drivers and their passengers may find themselves hitting their ankles until they get used to them.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

Buyers have no shortage of options when it comes to luxury midsize SUVs. One option they may consider choosing is the BMW X5. Like the GLE, the X5 is fully designed for 2020. While both are good options, the X5 costs a bit more and is lacking some of the luxury touches that the GLE has going for it. Another choice is the Audi Q7. It is another great option, although it has smaller-than-average cargo space. There are also fewer standard safety features for the Q7. Buyers looking to spend a little less may also consider the Volvo XC90. Although it has a lot going for it, the XC90 simply cannot match the GLE when it comes to power and performance.


Buyers will find that the redesigned 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE has a lot to love and not many things to hate. Its long list of tech and safety features is sure to appeal to those looking to stay cutting-edge. The three strong engines and two different suspension options also allow drivers to find a version of this vehicle that is perfect for their style. Overall, the 2020 GLE is an excellent SUV that is able to justify its price tag.
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