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Mercedes GLE SUV (2011-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

There’s just the one engine for the GLE but it’s a fairly impressive performer

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

Just one engine is offered in the GLE - the 3.0-litre V6 diesel – putting its power to the road via Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and a nine-speed automatic gearbox that changes gears with little fuss.

The GLE can be specified with air suspension and while it performs better than the standard steel spring set-up it can still be a little too firm at times. In Comfort mode, most bumps are ironed out, with only the chunkier ones posing a real problem. The ride becomes noticeably firmer in Sport mode, but on the plus side this reduces body lean in corners.

In fact, Sport mode changes more than just the suspension – the steering and throttle both become more sensitive and precise. We think you're better off in Comfort, though, as the GLE's size means it’s more of a cruiser than a performance car.

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The 350d has more performance on offer than its figures might suggest. It sounds good and is smooth under acceleration while the nine-speed automatic performs well. With 254bhp it has a top speed of 140mph and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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