Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • More cabin space thanks to longer wheelbase than old car 
  • Roomy second row seating, rearmost seats are mainly for kids
  • Cavernous boot is vast, especially with all seats down

Both the GLE’s first and second row of seats are supremely comfortable with plenty of space to stretch out.

>> We rate the best seven-seater SUVs for 2020

Even those sitting in the middle seat will benefit from a reasonable amount of shoulder room, plus a shallow central tunnel means there’s little issues with leg and foot space. Those in the second row are also treated to their own dual-zone climate control, with USB charging another standard feature.

Access to the rearmost seats isn’t suited to those unsteady on their feet, thanks to a large step up and narrow access. And while the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second row means you can fold the seats down one-handed, they are quite slow to move fully in to and out of position.

Once you’ve managed to clamber in, it’s clear that the rearmost seats are best suited to children. Headroom is reasonable, yet knee and foot room is tight unless the second row seats are moved forward. Note that seven seats are fitted as standard to the GLE, apart from on 300 d (optional) and plug-in hybrid (unavailable) models.

2020 Mercedes GLE third row - limited access

Storage space, meanwhile, is generous. Large door pockets easily capable of swallowing a one-litre bottle of water should prove useful, while a decent-sized glovebox and cavernous under-armrest compartment complement the GLE’s practicality. Heated and cooled cupholders (in the front) are also included as is a spot for your phone (with wireless charging).

How big is it?

Longer and wider than the previous model (which wasn’t exactly petite), the GLE is a sizeable car to navigate through city streets and car parks. The blindspots are chunky (hence the standard blindspot monitoring kit) and the long, tall bonnet can be hard to judge in tighter gaps. Just viewing it parked reveals just how big it is. 

However, Mercedes-Benz does give you a fighting chance by fitting the Parking Package as standard. This includes a 360-degree camera – giving you a bird’s eye view of the car – and Active Parking Assist, capable of manoeuvring the car into and out of parking spaces. Despite its chunky size, it is surprisingly manoeuvrable with light steering and a tight turning circle for such a large car, making it a bit more user-friendly than an Audi Q7 when manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Will my luggage fit?

The GLE’s boot offers an extra 45 litres of luggage space (with the third row folded flat) over the previous generation car, yet this still isn’t enough to overtake the gargantuan Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90. That said, it is bigger than what the BMW X5 has to offer, and a two-seat capacity of 2,055 litres is bigger than all of its rivals.

Ease of use is impressive thanks to a standard electronic tailgate, minimal loading lip and handily shaped floor with zero intrusions from the wheelarches. The rear seats can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split using switches in the boot – handy for when you’ve got your hands full. As the GLE sits quite high off the ground, the lip is quite high to lug heavy items over. If you have air suspension fitted, though, you can lower the car to make it a bit easier. Definitely a worthwhile consideration for things like luggage and pushchairs.

Lashing points are also provided to secure luggage in place, while specialised boot tub and luggage crates can also be ordered from the dealer.

How safe is the GLE?

  • Five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP
  • Proves to be a very safe family car
  • Vast array of safety kit – much of it optional

Tested in 2019, the GLE achieved a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP, making it one of the safest large family SUVs with impressive scores for adult occupant protection and child occupant protection. 

You do have to pay extra for the most advanced driver assistance gadgets, though, with standard kit only consisting of features such as Active Braking Assist (similar to autonomous emergency braking), blindspot assist, lane-keeping assist and attention assist.

Splash out on the Driving Assistance package however, and the door will be opened to more sophisticated technology, including Active Blindspot Assist (where the car can intervene if it senses a collision with a vehicle in its blindspot is imminent), Active Lane-change Assist (allows the car to automatically change lanes when the driver indicates) and route-based speed adjustment – where the car automatically adjusts its speed (when on adaptive cruise control) when approaching junctions or corners.

As well as the advanced assistance technology, the GLE also features a large number of airbags and two Isofix child seat points on the outer rear seats as standard.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Central locking
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric mirrors
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Heated seats
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Folding rear seats
  • Parking sensors

AMG Line equipment

AMG Line standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
AMG Line optional equipment
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Folding rear seats
  • Parking sensors

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2019
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 91%
Child Occupant: 90%
Vulnerable Road Users: 78%
Safety Assist: 78%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.