Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 Facelift Review

A power upgrade and more features push the price up but make one of Mercedes' best-sellers more interesting

By Girish Karkera


7 mins read


Published on November 18, 2023

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  • 48V Mild-Hybrid adds more finesse to city driving
  • Feels properly muscular on the move
  • Comfortable, both to drive and be driven in

The GLE is the second-largest SUV in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. In spirit, it is the SUV version of an E-Class. And just like an E, it is one of the more evergreen and popular SUVs wearing a three-pointed star, with over 20,000 units sold in India. This is a midlife facelift to the fourth-generation GLE that came to India back in 2020. While it was then introduced with two diesel powertrain options, the range grew to include a petrol version as well, and that option has also carried over to the facelift, the GLE 450 4MATIC, which is the one we've driven.

Design & Dimensions


In terms of dimensions, not much has changed. The GLE is a spacious 5-seat SUV with a large boot. With the 4th generation model, India got the long wheelbase version of the big SUV. While in international markets there is an option to fit a third row of seats in this LWB version, in India, it is available as a five-seater only.


Revised headlamps, tweaked grille and bumpers freshen up the GLE's styling.


The GLE may not be the most handsome-looking of the lot but it has presence thanks to its size. The facelift has further given it a fresher and more modern front end, especially on the 450, with its star-studded grille and an AMG-designed apron on the front bumper. The headlight assembly is a lot more complicated to look at. These are Multibeam LED High‑Performance headlamps with four light points complementing the distinctive daytime running light signature. In profile, it still looks everything like the pre-facelift model but unique thanks to the glass area behind the C-pillar. Massive 20-inch alloys are also courtesy the AMG Line trim. The tail is rather simple and underwhelming. The interior of the tail lights have been revised, now formed with two horizontal blocks.


Changes to the rear include a tweaked bumper and revised lighting elements in the tail lamps.


Mercedes-Benz GLE dimensions 
Length4924 mm
Width1947 mm
Height1797 mm
Wheelbase2995 mm
Ground Clearance215 mm
Turning Radius5.9 m



Cabin & features


Inside, the big size of the GLE translates into lots of space. They have given a side step to make it easier to climb into the SUV. Ground clearance is 200mm plus even at its lowest setting. The seats are plush and massive and come with power controls, of course. Sadly, there's no massage function on offer even in this top spec. Once in the driver's seat, it feels like you are perched above most of the rest. The view is commanding. Rear visibility isn't the best but you get surround cameras and sensors all around to get rid of that problem. The dashboard is near-identical to the pre-facelift model's, but look closely and you will notice how the steering wheel controls have sensor surfaces, which takes a bit of getting used to. Bigger change is to the touchscreen unit which houses the latest generation MBUX system. It gets a whole new range of commands and connectivity options. There is also a colour head-up display with more detailed information but we found it a bit too intrusive. Thankfully, you can switch it off, even using the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice command on the go. We did find the voice commands to be more reliable than the first time we experienced it on the previous generation GLC.

Not many design changes to the cabin; digital screens now run the latest MBUX.


The rear seat is quite spacious and plush too. There is more than enough room for two at the rear. A third passenger will be a tight fit, especially with foot room being limited by the rear AC vent housing. Motorised window blinds are standard. AC vents and two Type-C charging points are the only notable add-ons for the rear passengers. Ventilated seats are only available for the front passengers. With the facelift, the rear seats now get a recline function though. Overall it is a comfortable space to be in. Better than before but not necessarily fancy. In the boot you only get a space-saver. Upside of not having a full-sized spare is that you get humongous luggage space, ideal for long-distance travel or even multiple golf bags.


Rear seat is quite spacious and plush, but best for two passengers.

Boot space630 litres
Fuel tank93 litres


Power & Performance


There are 2 diesels and one petrol engine being offered with the GLE. All mild hybrids. The diesel range has a 300d and a range-topping 450d. The GLE driven here is the 450 4MATIC which features a 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder petrol engine with a nine-speed automatic gearbox (torque converter). Power goes to all wheels but with a rear bias. This unit makes close to 376bhp and a healthy 500Nm of torque. The mild-hybrid unit provides a further boost of power of around 20bhp and 200Nm. This shows in the way the GLE picks up speed from a standstill or through the gears crawling through traffic. It is totally at ease. Showing urgency isn’t met with any resistance and it glides into three-digit speeds with minimum fuss.

GLE picks up the pace with little fuss be it in city traffic or open roads.


On the move, the GLE continues to give you a sense of power. The steering weighs up well but this is a big SUV so body roll will be noticeable. 


GLE packs AIRMATIC air suspension and adaptive dampers that help improve ride quality.


The ride is balanced. While it does pitch and roll a bit, it’s less jarring with not much vibrations being felt inside by the occupants. It gets the AIRMATIC air suspension which offers an adaptive damping system as well. This allows it to adjust automatically depending on vehicle speed and load, counterbalancing for driving stability on uneven surfaces. You thus experience less thudding from the suspension inside the car. The GLE’s cabin is also well-insulated, reducing outside noise substantially. Visibility at the rear can be a challenge but nothing the onboard cameras – including surround view - and sensors can’t compensate for. An inherent off-road able SUV, Mercedes has upped the ante further with a more capable all-wheel drive system. To help matters it also gets the ‘transparent bonnet’ feature that gives a view of the actual road below the car in real-time. There is also underbody protection. 

Buyers can choose between a pair of 6-cylinder petrol and diesel engines or a four-cylinder diesel mill.


Engine SpecificationsMercedes-Benz GLE 450Mercedes-Benz GLE 450dMercedes-Benz GLE 300d
Engine2999cc, 6-cyls, turbo-petrol2989 cc, 6-cyls, diesel1993 cc, 4-cyls, diesel
Power376 bhp362 bhp266 bhp
Torque500 Nm750 Nm550 Nm
Gearbox9-speed AT9-speed AT9-speed AT
0-100 kmph5.6 sec5.6 sec6.9 sec
Top Speed250 kmph250 kmph230 kmph


Ownership & Cost


The GLE, slotted between the GLC and GLS, competes with the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90. It is the most expensive of the lot but gets two-year service packages starting at Rs 85,000 only. Mercedes is offering the facelifted GLE in five colours. The one featured here is Polar White while the new to the palette is Sodalite Blue. Even as Mercedes-Benz is promoting its emission-free EQ range a lot, the manufacturer claims even as much as 85 per cent of this GLE can be potentially recycled. Of the three variants launched, deliveries for the 450d will start early next year. 



The GLE has been one of the mainstays of Mercedes-Benz's SUV range in India. It is an imposing size, has immense rough-road ability and is versatile in both intra and intercity duties. With a substantial upgrade, it has become an expensive proposition but still remains a potent luxury SUV package that is assuring and alluring at the same time. 


Mercedes-Benz GLE variantsPrice (Ex-showroom)
GLE 300d 4Matic (Professional Line)Rs 96.40 lakh
GLE 450 4MaticRs 1.10 crore
GLE 450d 4MaticRs 1.15 crore



Spacious interior, extensive features list, powerful engine, rough road-ready



Rear seats not the plushest, expensive, formidable rivals

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