Mercedes-Benz is updating the GLE for 2024. It’s not the facelift and the interior tech changes that have our attention, though. It’s the addition of a PHEV model, as well as new functions to help make off-roading and towing easier than before, that have caught our eyes.
The biggest change to the model is the addition of the plug-in hybrid. Badged the GLE 400e 4Matic, it starts with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine, just like the GLE 350.
Paired with that engine is an electric motor capable of producing 134 horsepower. The total output on gas and electric power is 381 horsepower with a whopping 479 pound-feet of torque.
GLE 400e Plug-In Hybrid
The GLE 400e has a 23.3kWh lithium-ion battery, which is a lot of capacity for a plug-in hybrid. Although Mercedes-Benz didn’t announce the EPA range estimate, we expect 40-50 miles on the battery based on the smaller GLC 400e offered in Europe.
Mercedes programmed the PHEV to prioritize electric driving in the city, letting it choose drive modes as the computer sees fit. There are manual overrides to the system, so you’ll be able to drive using purely electric power off-road.
Its 11kW Level 2 AC home charging will be standard. There will also be an option for 60kW Level 3 DC fast charging, a rare option on a PHEV.
Gas Engines Gain Mild Hybrid
GLE is losing its rear-drive option for 2024, with all models getting 4Matic AWD. It will keep all the gas engine choices, though, and Mercedes is upgrading them so every version has 48V mild hybrid electrification.
The range starts with the 255-horsepower GLE 350 and its turbo 2.0L four-cylinder. The GLE 450 comes with a 375-horse turbo inline-six, and the GLE 580 has a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes 510 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque.
Mercedes-AMG has a pair of GLEs as well. The GLE 53 gets its 3.0L inline-six tuned to 429 horsepower plus 21 horses from electric motor assist, while the GLE 63 S has 603 horsepower (plus 21 from the electric motor) and 627 pound-feet of torque (plus 184 from the motor) thanks to a twin-turbo 4.0L V8.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE Off-Road Tech
Extra off-road tech for the whole line starts with a new mode in the updated MBUX infotainment system. It shows you new trail-friendly content like grade, roll angle, compass heading, and steering angle all on the vehicle’s two displays.
Get the optional Parking Package with its 360-degree camera and you get the “transparent hood” function. Found already on some more hardcore off-roaders, this gives you a virtual view of the area directly in front of and even slightly underneath the GLE.
Using the new view, drivers can better place their tires on the trail or avoid obstacles. It also makes seeing over a steep hill much easier.
GLE 580 buyers can opt for an Off-Road Engineering Package. This comes with an underride guard, and, if you have the air suspension, an extra 1.2 inches of ground clearance.
Trailer Tow Help
If you’re planning on towing, the Trailer Route Planner will help you do it. Enter your trailer size, and the system will account for it on the navigation routing. You can enter a bike rack into the presets as well as save two trailers.
The optional Trailer Maneuvering Assist is now camera-based. It can monitor and adjust your steering at very low speeds, helping you keep your trailer in the right spot when backing up. It can even guide it around turns of up to 90 degrees.
No, the company didn’t say how much it will be able to tow this year.
2024 Style Updates
Cosmetic changes for the 2024 GLE SUV and Coupe (the one with a sleeker roofline) are mild. Mercedes-Benz has changed the grille to make the center chrome bar larger than before. It has a larger opening to allow air to flow through, too, probably to help cooling. AMG Line (and all GLE 580s) models get a diamond grille filled with Mercedes-Benz stars.
The whole front bumper is new, though the changes are subtle. It’s mostly tweaks to the lower air inlets, and you might need a side-by-side to see the difference. The changes to the headlights are more readily apparent, with Mercedes changing from boomerang-shaped accent lights to an eyebrow and four thin lines.
There is a new steering wheel in the GLE. Like the wheel used in some of the other latest Benz models, it has touch-sensitive sensors on the spokes. This lets you control more functions with fewer buttons, right from the wheel.
Look closely at the new interior vents, because they’re not black plastic anymore. Mercedes-Benz snagged the real metal chrome vents from the Maybach GLS to spread that luxury look around.
Last but not least, the 12.3-inch center screen gets generation two of Merc’s MBUX interface. Mercedes says it has better voice control and can control more features. It also comes with over-the-air updates.
Mercedes-AMG versions of the GLE SUV and GLE Coupe get new paint options, new wheels, and new interior trim. GLE 53 models get more standard equipment, too, and all of them have software tweaks for the suspension system.
Mercedes-Benz said that the Alabama-built GLE line will hit dealers in mid-2023. The company didn’t announce pricing, but you can expect an increase from the $57,700 starting price of a 2023 model GLE 350 SUV.