We had the chance to review the Mercedes-AMG GLE43 at the beginning of the year with its biturbo 3.0-liter V6 engine delivering 362 horsepower. Motor1 Senior Editor, Jake Holmes, found the six-cylinder mill to be quite impressive given the vehicle’s weight just shy of 5,000 pounds. The GLE is now embracing the 2018 model year bringing an additional 23 hp for a grand total of 385 hp for the sporty “43” model, thus matching the punch of its European counterpart.
Output is channeled to the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system through the same nine-speed automatic transmission whereas the rest of the GLE models come with a seven-speed ‘box. Mercedes USA isn’t saying a word about the GLE43’s performances, but the 2017MY was able to cover the 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) run in 5.6 seconds and max out at an electronically capped 130 mph (209 kph).
The bump in output comes at a cost as the starting price of the 2018MY GLE43 is $67,750 MSRP or $600 higher than before. For those who want to go all out, the 550-hp GLE63 available from $102,550 and the flagship 577-hp GLE63 S priced at $109,700 are both now available with additional wood trims for the new model year.
Elsewhere in the GLE family, Mercedes is upgrading the mbrace Connect package and is making the SUV one of the several models in the 2018MY lineup to benefit from a remote start function.
Further down the line, an all-new GLE is expected to see the light of day at some point next year and will eventually be followed by a range-topping “63” version our spies caught on camera a couple of weeks ago. The top dog in the midsize SUV’s family will lose the biturbo 5.5-liter V8 engine in favor of a 4.0-liter and is likely scheduled to arrive for the 2020 model year. Images of prototypes have shown an increase in size, yet the next-gen GLE will be considerably lighter than the current version as a result of switching to the MRA platform.
Gallery: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43: Review
The Mercedes-Benz GLE continues success for 2018
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE continues to shine in the Mercedes- Benz family of SUVs. The AMG GLE43, first introduced for the 2017 model year, receives a bump in power for 2018 to an impressive 385 hp (+23 hp). Additional wood trims are also available for 2018 on the AMG GLE63 and AMG GLE63 S.
For 2018, the Mercedes-Benz GLE line includes the GLE350, available in either rear-wheel-drive or 4MATIC, with a V6 gasoline engine (302 hp, 273 lb-ft); the GLE550e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid (436 combined hp, 479 combined lb-ft); AMG GLE43 (385 hp, 382 lb-ft), AMG GLE63 (550 hp, 516 lb-ft) and the GLE63 S, with its range-topping 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque.
The GLE550e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid powertrain uses a direct-injection 3.0L V6 plus an electric motor. The lithium-ion battery allows an electric-only range of more than 10-miles (est.), and predictive energy management, which uses the navigation system to optimize gas/electric/hybrid operation.
The AMG GLE43 boasts an AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The remainder of the GLE line is equipped with a 7G-TRONIC 7- speed automatic transmission that provides an exemplary combination of performance, efficiency and quiet, responsive driving.
The AMG GLE43, which boasts an AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine and AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC transmission further expands the "43" lineup.
Featuring AMG Performance 4MATIC® all-wheel drive as well as AMG-tuned steering, AMG braking system, AMG Sport Suspension and throttle mapping, distinctive and sporty exterior and unique interior features, the GLE43 draws significant influence from the range-topping AMG GLE63.
New Connectivity and New Value in Reconfigured Packages
Mercedes-Benz, which pioneered automotive telematics 15 years ago, has continued to upgrade mbrace® Connected Car Services, making the new mbrace® Connect package standard, along with five years of complimentary service.
The mbrace® Connect package includes Mobile App, Web Services, Roadside Connection, MB Apps (non-streaming), Vehicle Homepage (EVs), Diagnostics Data and Remote Update for five years. The GLE is one of several 2018 Mercedes models that will include a Remote Start function as part of mbrace® Connect. In addition, customers can choose from three mbrace® subscription upgrade
packages: "Secure," "Concierge" and "Entertain."
Versatility and Luxury
The Mercedes GLE lineup provides comfortable seating for five and also offers generous carrying capacity, with 38.2 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear seats and 80.3 cu-ft with the rear seatbacks lowered. A standard power liftgate makes loading and unloading cargo easy.
Available deeply contoured sport front seats, brushed-aluminum pedals with rubber studs, and a sport steering wheel clearly convey the serious driving attitude of the GLE.
Driver & Passenger Safety
Other examples of trailblazing GLE innovations include: Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver by simulating rumble strip vibration in the steering wheel if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. It operates at speeds above 37 mph via a system that recognizes lane markings by using a small camera in the windshield and a computer that analyzes the video images.
Blind Spot Assist monitors both blind spots behind and to the sides of the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings. Available as a separate option, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist incorporate an intervention feature, in which ESP braking automatically helps correct the vehicle's course if the driver doesn't heed the initial warning.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses a small video camera to sense both headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions between high and low beam operation to avoid blinding other drivers. With this system, the range of the headlights can be varied infinitely from their current 220 feet to up to 1,000 feet.