2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.What do you get with each? Find out below..
If you are thinking about investing in a new luxury SUV, the 2021 Mercedes GLE might check off a lot of important boxes for you. This luxury midsize SUV was redesigned in 2020, so a lot of what comes on the 2021 line-up carries over from that overhaul. Still, Mercedes manages to introduce two high-powered, AMG-tuned models for this model year: the AMG-tuned GLE 53 and GLE 63 S. These performance versions lend even more diversity of choice to the GLE's impressive list of engine options. Which engine will suit you the best? Let's take a closer look at the different trim levels and their respective powertrains to find out.
Compare the 2021 Mercedes GLE 350 vs GLE 450. What is the difference?
The base 2021 Mercedes GLE 350 is anything but basic. It is powered by a standard turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that generates 255 horsepower. All-wheel-drive (or 4Matic, as Mercedes calls it) comes standard on each trim level in the GLE-Class' line-up save for this trim level, which lets you choose between real-wheel drive and the 4Matic. Seats are available for five people as standard, but a third row can be added to accommodate seven on all but the line-topping AMG GLE 63 S trim level.
Aside from the powertrain, the GLE 350 comes with a respectable array of standard features. On the outside, you will find LED headlights and 19-inch wheels. Inside, you get a lot in the way of creature comforts for a base trim. This vehicle has heated and power-adjustable front seats, push button start with the keyless entry, a power liftgate, and a sunroof. MB-Tex simulated leather upholstery graces the seats.
Tech-wise, the GLE 350 does not feel bare-bones at all. It has many included tech features, such as a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display for the MBUX infotainment system, built-in navigation, and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Advanced safety features feel a little minimal though, with a blind spot monitor and automatic emergency braking being the only real standout features included here.
So, how does the GLE 450 differ from the 350? Well, for starters, it is a 4Matic. It is also powered by a stronger turbo 6-cylinder engine that is capable of generating 362 hp. On the interior, the only significant difference you will see is the inclusion of ambient interior lighting. Other than that, these two vehicles share the same creature comforts, tech, and safety features. Performance is what sets them apart a little ways.
There are some options that you can add to the GLE 450. These include a Class III trailer hitch, adaptive damping system, an AIRMATIC suspension, and a sport exhaust system.
Compare the 2021 Mercedes GLE 450 vs GLE 580 Trims. What is the difference?
The GLE 450 is followed by the GLE 580 trim level, which standardizes most of the GLE 450's optional features. This trim receives its power from a turbocharged V8 engine that is able to muster up 483 hp. Its performance certainly feels more powerful than that of the 450, and it adds in an adaptive air suspension that can raise or lower the SUV's ride height at your will. This can come in handy if you take the GLE 580 off of the beaten path and need to get more ground clearance. It can also come in handy when you need to load or unload items from the cargo area.
Inside, you get treated to the AMG-Line styling package, which essentially outfits the vehicle with AMG styling elements to create a sportier appearance. On the outside, you get upgraded to 20-inch wheels. However, that is about the extent of the differences between these two trim levels.
The one option that you can add to the GLE 580 is the Class III trailer hitch, which allows you to tow up to 7,700 lbs.
Compare the 2021 Mercedes GLE 580 vs AMG GLE 53 Trims. What is the difference?
Some of the biggest changes to the GLE come in the form of its two new AMG models, starting with the AMG GLE 53. The AMG GLE 53 trim level is much more performance oriented, as the AMG tuning suggests. It is powered by a standard turbo 6-cylinder engine that puts forth a power output of 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. And, unlike the lower GLE trim levels, it has an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission helping to supply the power to all four wheels with the 4Matic+ (an enhanced all-wheel-drive system) aiding. This vehicle has no problem getting from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds, shaving some time off of the lower trim levels. It is rated for 18 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway.
On the outside, the AMG GLE 53 gains active LED headlights, which essentially respond to actively changing conditions as you drive. The idea behind them is that they give you - the driver - more time to react to conditions ahead of you as well as improved visibility when you suddenly need it. 20-inch AMG wheels also come equipped and utilize high-performance tires. Up top, you get some sleek aluminum roof rails.
Sporty AMG-themed interior and exterior trim comes on this vehicle to let you know that it is indeed an AMG model. The AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather gives you some huge, perforated grips on either side that include raised thumb rests for extra comfort while steering. The wheel is designed with a a 12 o'clock band, four spokes done in aluminum, and a flat-bottom design. The Nappa leather is completely hand-sewn. There are also dual aluminum AMG shift paddles as well as a series of Touch Control Buttons equipped on the steering wheel.
Also, take note of other luxury-oriented features, such as the brushed aluminum pedals on the floor with rubber studs built onto them for a high-performance, no-slip design.
Another cool addition is that of the side mirror logo projectors, which will beam the Mercedes logo onto the ground like the Bat Signal when you unlock or remote unlock the GLE. This can help you see what is near your door in the dark and, quite frankly, just looks high-end.
In this model, you get to use the 64-color LED ambient lighting/illuminated door sills, choosing the colors that you want to light up the interior of your vehicle. You can adjust the brightness levels, and you can even select two tones to use at once. You can essentially put on a light show to welcome you into your Mercedes.
AMG floor mats also come equipped in the AMG GLE 53, and the side windows benefit from having privacy glass along the rear liftgate, rear doors, and rear quarters.
There are a lot of options that can be added to the AMG GLE 53. These options include illuminated running boards, the AMG Night Package, 20-/21-/22-inch wheel size options, several different versions of the AMG Performance steering wheel, AMG Track Pace, double sun visors, wood trim done in grey for the cabin, aluminum trim with a longitudinal grain, wood trim in natural grain gray oak, wood trim done in a chic walnut brown, several fancy-looking designo trim options, trim done in a metal weave style, AMG carbon fiber trim, red or black seat belts, and a black DINAMICA headliner.
Compare the 2021 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 vs 63 S Trims. What is the difference?
Marking a significant price jump over the AMG GLE 53 is the also-new AMG GLE 63 S trim level. This trim level truly reaches the pinnacle of achievement for Mercedes and embodies a sportiness not seen in the other GLE-Class trim level variations.
The AMG GLE 63 S comes in your choice of 11 different exterior color options. It receives its power from a high-performance handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 bi-turbo engine with EQ Boost. This engine has absolutely no problem with generating a power output of 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Of course, that means its fuel economy takes a nosedive down to 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway. Like the AMG GLE 53, it is equipped with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. Unlike the AMG GLE 53, this beast is easily able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 3.7 seconds. Performance is aided under the hood by the inclusion of computer-controlled dynamic engine mounts. The magnetorheological fluid that fills them is progressively stiffened by a flow of electrical current. Since their support is individually optimized, they max out precision handling during extreme driving scenarios while still giving a sense of smoothness during normal driving.
What's interesting about the AMG GLE 63 S's engine is the use of the EQ Boost Integrated Starter-Generator. It weaves together a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and a power supply meant for the engine's electrical aspects and the advanced suspension system. When you need a quick burst of acceleration, you get it with the extra boost of 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It even supports energy recuperation from whenever you have to brake and makes ECO Stop/Start function a lot more fluidly. Also, it lets the vehicle glide quite efficiently.
Its suspension is composed of a self-leveling AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL system with integrated roll stabilization and an Adaptive Damping System Plus (which is referred to as ADS Plus). There is speed-dependent electromechanical power assist with the rack-and-pinion style of steering. The 21-inch AMG twin 5-spoke come with two distinct high-performance tire sizes: 275/45R21 in the front and 315/40R21 for the rear tires.
Other AMG-tuned mechanical aspects include the AMG electronic limited-slip rear differential, which locks the differential with improved speed and precision. AMG DYNAMIC SELECT gives you six drive modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Trail, Sand, and RACE) to choose from when you want to change up the throttle response. The AMG DRIVE Unit lets you quickly change performance settings, and there is 3-stage Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to use in any given driving situation. AMG RIDE CONTROL+, AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL with roll stabilization, AMG High-performance Braking System with red calipers, and an AMG Performance Exhaust System come equipped as well.
Options for the AMG GLE 63 S are limited to just the Class III trailer hitch and the AMG High-performance Ceramic Composite Front Braking System, which is exclusive to this trim level. This braking system is track-oriented since it is designed to drop weight and comes with chic bronze painted calipers. The carbon fiber design adds extra durability and is known for lasting a lot longer than the standard material. Overall, the vehicle gets more brake force from its discs while they manage to be much lighter.
Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Mercedes GLE is a line-up riddled with high-powered choices that combine luxury and fun into a sporty package. The new AMG models are undeniably thrilling, but their price tags might prove to be too excessive for some buyers. That is why we recommend sticking with the GLE 450 4MATIC. It gives you just enough features without jacking the price up. And its engine has the better blend of power and fuel economy that many drivers (even in the luxury segment) crave these days.
• Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Trim Levels