The Mercedes updated the GLE for 2020 – here's how it compares to competitors from BMW and Audi.

Mercedes improves the GLE for the 2020 model year, growing the SUV in size while adding three-row seating as an option. The design is smoother with the German automaker packing its new SUV with the latest and greatest technologies. But it does have stiff competition from the redesigned 2019 BMW X5 and 2018 Audi Q7, which debuted for the 2016 model year. 

Now that the GLE comes with an optional third row, it can better compete with the X5, which also has the option, and the Q7, which comes with three rows of seating as standard. That’s why the Q7 has a smaller cargo area compared to the X5 and GLE. All three offer wheelbase lengths that are less than an inch apart. 

Mercedes GLE 2019
BMW X5 2018
Audi Q7 2015
  2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 2019 BMW X5                  2018 Audi Q7                      
Engine 3.0-Liter Inline-Six  3.0-Liter Inline-Six   3.0-Liter V6
Horsepower 362 335  333
Torque 369 330  325
Transmission 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic  8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive Standard Standard Standard

Under the hood, the GLE sports a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine augmented with a mild-hybrid electric motor. This is for the GLE 450 4Matic trim. It's the only GLE trim Mercedes released information for. It produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque with the electric motor adding 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. 

Mercedes GLE 2019
BMW X5 2018
Audi Q7 2015
  2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE                     2019 BMW X5                                       2018 Audi Q7                                              
Length  194.3 Inches 194.3 Inches 199.6 Inches
Wheelbase  117.9 Inches 117.1 Inches 117.9 Inches
Cargo Room (2nd row)  29.1 Cubic Feet 33.9 Cubic Feet 14.8 Cubic Feet (3rd-row standard)
Cargo Room (2nd row folded)  72.6 Cubic Feet 72.3 Cubic Feet 71.6 Cubic Feet

The GLE is more powerful than its competitors. The X5 xDrive 40i has a turbocharged inline-six engine making 335 hp and 335 lb-ft. The Q7 makes slightly less power from its supercharged V6 – 330 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard across all three. 

Mercedes GLE 2019
BMW X5 2018
Audi Q7 2015

There is a GLE 350 trim coming that makes all-wheel drive an option. The GLE will come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which will compete with the 2.0-liter option of the Q7. Mercedes hasn’t released any information about that powertrain yet. 

The redesigned Mercedes GLE, with its sleek aesthetic and improved performance, should give both the new X5 and aging Q7 stiff competition. We may even see some high-performance AMG models down the line, too. 

Learn more about the 2020 Mercedes GLE:

Gallery: 2019 Mercedes GLE Versus Audi Q7, BMW X5