Reviews

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Walk Around


Mercedes-Benz has given this utility vehicle a more refined feel and look. That includes a more road-oriented, wider stance and a more carlike appearance.

Though its M-Class foundation remains, new front styling for 2016 features a drawn-back air dam and sculpted fenders. Sportier details are evident throughout. Despite being more rounded, the 2016 GLE grille comes across as more imposing. Metal side steps and larger wheels add a dressier tone, while LED lighting sets a modern theme.

The GLE Coupe is a dramatically different interpretation. Instead of remaining largely level past the rear seats, the roofline suggests the arc of a French Curve, meeting a lipped spoiler built into the rear hatch.

Interior

Little has changed dramatically inside, though details help align this SUV with other Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Regardless of model, materials and comfort are superb.

Excellent seats are soft and nicely contoured, yet long-haul supportive. The SUV’s second row can accommodate taller adults, though three across won’t be totally comfortable. Rear seatbacks adjust, and when up, the cargo space can yield more than 36 cubic feet.

Revamped sport seats, freestanding infotainment screens, and restyled, somewhat smaller steering wheels help create a sportier ambiance. The COMAND controller is housed in the center console, with its touchpad above. We’re still not fans of screen-based COMAND, which demands too much looking at the screen.

GLE Coupes convey a sportier, lower-slung look, thanks to their downward-arcing roofline. As expected, a price must be paid. Entry is easy enough and front legroom is decent, but headroom is lacking. Backseat space is skimpy. The flat cargo floor is low, but long and wide.

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