2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 Review

Our favorite Merc SUV

Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief

Positives: Silky and potent inline-six engine, incredibly smooth ride, stunning interior, great steering effort, manages its weight well, built like a tank.
Negatives: Somewhat anonymous exterior styling, overly complex infotainment system.
Bottom Line: The GLE 53 is an impressive luxury SUV that boasts power, space, comfort, and refinement. If you can get past the overdone infotainment system, which we did, you'll be very pleased with it.
The venerable GLE-Class is the brand's best-selling vehicle, and it can be had in two performance-minded AMG versions the 53 and the 63. The AMG 63 has as much 603 horsepower from a twin-turbo V8 while the GLE 53 provides 429 horses via its turbocharged inline-six. Both models have coupe versions, which are high on style but lose some cargo space (as well as two doors). For the 2024 model year, the GLE 53 gets a new front bumper, updated LED DRLs and taillights. There's a strong set of standard safety and tech features, but one of them is not huge Hyperscreen that can be had on the EQE and EQS electric models. It's not even optional equipment here, either. We drove the GLE 53 for a week, and you can read our full impressions below.

Driving Experience



You'd never think something this big and heavy would be good to drive, but the AMG GLE 53 really is, aided by the smooth inline-six engine, a nifty supplemental electric supercharger that's powered by a 48-volt electrical system, and a unique suspension setup with an air-bag system and active anti-roll bars. For a vehicle this large and heavy, it's quite impressive to drive. The throaty exhaust note is a thing of joy, but not everyone within earshot will agree.

Ride Quality: This is one of the best aspects of driving the GLE 53. It's comfortable but still connected to the road. Bumps are nicely isolated, and you can still feel like you're driving something fun.

Acceleration: This beast is quick, launching to 60 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds. The 9-speed automatic makes quick work of shifting, and sport mode really makes this thing hunker down and haul.

Braking: The GLE 53 weighs over 5,000 pounds, but the brakes manage stopping duties very well with good progression and pedal feel. Responsiveness is very good.

Steering: You get a good amount of steering effort combined with some actual feedback coming through the wheel. It's precise, on-center, and nicely weighted.

Handling: The suspension does a great job of keeping things in check in the turns. For a vehicle that's tall and heavy, the GLE 53 is predictable and controllable in turns.




Upon first glance, the MBUX infotainment system is gorgeous. The screens are vivid, the graphics are stunning, and the entire look is very modern. It's just too bad the functionality leaves much to be desired. The controls are also flawed, despite their attractive looks. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infotainment System: The GLE 53 does not get the giant Hyperscreen that incorporates a 7.7-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for the driver, and a 12.3-inch screen for the front-seat passenger. Instead, it has the twin 12.3-inch screens for the instruments and the infotainment. It's refined, stunning, and it responds well to inputs. Its giant menu and unintuitive operation make it a distraction to operate while driving.

Controls: Far too many functions are assigned to the touchscreen, and the haptic feedback controls (especially on the steering wheel) are frustrating and distracting to use. You do get used to things, but physical switchgear would be much better.




Some might say the GLE SUV is too conservatively styled, but we like it that way. It's not as dramatic as the coupe version, but at least it's more cohesive with the larger greenhouse that matches the thicker front end. The interior is stylish without overdoing it like the versions in the EQS and EQE EV lines.

Front: The grille that was derived from the AMG GTR looks fantastic here. It mates well with the large intakes and the blocky headlights.

Rear: The taillights, though slimmer than the headlights, look great with the quad tailpipes and the lower vents and the roof spoiler.

Profile: Contours and creases above the fenderwells and at the base of the doors provide a nice dose of style. The black window trim and lack of chrome keeps things sporty and business-like.

Cabin: The interior gets ample amounts of real carbon fiber trim, tons of suede, a sport steering wheel, chunky grab handles, and aluminum accents throughout. It's an excellent cabin that feels premium but properly sporty.




Everything about the interior is geared towards comfort. The cabin is large and accommodating in both rows, and you can even get three rows in the GLE if you so choose. Materials quality is excellent, and a family of five can sit here for hours.

Front Seats: Great adjustability, combined with excellent cushioning and bolstering amount to a very comfortable ride. Elbows and arms fall on soft surfaces, and it really does feel premium.

Rear Seats: 40.9 inches of legroom in the back means it's great for tall passengers. Even the middle seat is comfortable for longer periods of time.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The GLE 53 is built like a bank vault, and the build quality is evident. Road and wind noise are hushed even at high speeds.

Visibility: Visibility all around is quite good. The seating position and the big glass certainly help.

Climate: We like the large center vents that provide ample airflow. Overall, the climate system works very well.




The GLE 53 does very well in crash tests and just so happens to be one of the safest midsize luxury SUVs in the business. Some safety features aren't standard, though. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, and lane keeping assist cost extra, unfortunately.

IIHS Rating: The GLE Class nabs the Top Safety Pick+ rating for scoring "good" in all crash test categories.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: The GLE Class comes standard with Active Brake Assist, Blind Spot Assist, LED, Rearview Camera, PRE-SAFE Predictive Occupant-Protection System, Adaptive Highbeam Assist

Optional Tech: None.




The GLE 53 is a capacious beast with plenty of cargo space and good small item storage choices in both rows. The center console is a bit crowded due to the infotainment controls and accompanying wrist rest, but Mercedes manages to squeeze in some easily reachable spaces.

Storage Space: The front charging pad, cupholders, armrest, and door pockets are great for easy access to phones, beverages, and other small gear items. The second row door pockets are also pretty good.

Cargo Room: The GLE Class offers 33.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind row two and a substantial 74.9 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. That's more than both the Audi Q7, BMW X5, and even the big Lexus LX 600.

Fuel Economy



When it comes to fuel economy the GLE53 is EPA rated at 18 mpg city and 22 highway, and we were able to do pretty well in combined driving despite staying in Sport mode most of the time.

Observed: 17.3 mpg.

Distance Driven: 192 miles.




sThe GLE 53 comes standard with a truly excellent Burmester premium audio system. It pumps out great sound with substantial bass and top-notch clarity. We really enjoyed listening to this system, and it's on par with the Lexus Mark Levinson systems.

Final Thoughts

We were surprised at how good the GLE 53 really is. Its conservatively handsome styling will hold up very well over the years, there's a high level of comfort, and there's more than enough space for a family of five. It's not as potent as the V8-powered GLE 63, but there's more than enough grunt to please even the driving enthusiast, and we'd dare to say the inline-six engine is smoother than the V8. The in-car technology isn't the best to use, despite its fancy appearance, but you'll get used to it the more you drive it. There's so much to love about this performance-minded SUV that doesn't sacrifice comfort and usability for power. It's one of our favorite SUVs of the year.

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