Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is an accomplished luxury SUV that gives little away to its biggest rivals – the Volvo XC90 and BMW X5 – or in-house E-Class Saloon equivalent. It doesn’t have the outright wafty comfort and composure of the E-Class on the move, yet its cabin is more up-to-date and showcases a bigger wow factor, while the ability to carry seven (just) and even do a spot of off-roading while you’re at it isn’t to be sniffed at.

If you’re after the cheapest GLE on offer then the only choice is the base 300 d model with five seats. If you’re likely to use the car around town a lot of the time and have room to up the budget, it could be worth reaching for the 350 de plug-in. It’s also restricted to just five seats, but the opportunity to drive over 60 miles without the engine starting could save a huge amount of money, if you use it correctly. 

The plug-in hybrid will still be well suited to those that do a blend of city and motorway driving as the diesel-PHEV arrangement is more efficient than a petrol one when the battery runs out, while the GLE 350 d isn’t significantly more expensive than the 300 d or 350 de, yet offers a far superior overall package than the entry diesel – we found the 300 d a little underpowered, and it’ll be more noticeable with a full load and passengers.

Aside from the more powerful, smoother engine, you’ll also get seven seats (an expensive option on the 300 d) and the excellent air suspension as standard, not to mention the opportunity to purchase the Off-Road package (also not available on the 300 d).

For performance fans, the AMG 53 could be very tempting, while waiting for the outrageous 63 will be worth it for some. That said, if you’re a driving enthusiast, the BMW X5 is more involving to drive than the GLE, but also manages to offer a more comfortable ride when you’re not feeling sporty. And if carrying people is a priority, a Land Rover Discovery’s taller body offers more headroom throughout its cabin

>> Do you need something smaller but like a Mercedes badge? Try the GLC

>> Alternatively, research more of all of the SUVs on sale here

Rear view of a white Mercedes GLE 400 d in AMG Line Premium Plus spec