Mercedes GLE SUV (2011-2018) - Reliability & safety

Reliability doubts won’t help the Mercedes GLE, but it has an impressive suite of safety systems

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

Reliability & safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

Mercedes build quality should mean a strong showing for the GLE in future customer satisfaction surveys, but the brand overall didn’t record the best result in our latest Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. On the other hand, the safety kit fitted as standard should stand the SUV in good stead when Euro NCAP performs its independent safety tests.

Mercedes GLE reliability

The GLE sells in too few numbers to have featured in our 2018 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey and the brand finished in 20th place out of 26 marques. While this might seem an unremarkable result, it’s worth noting that rivals Audi were in 18th and BMW in 21st positions. While this is a less than impressive showing for Mercedes the GLE-Class uses a tried-and-tested engine and feels very well put-together.


Although it hasn’t been independently crash-tested by Euro NCAP yet, the GLE is mechanically identical to the M-Class it replaces, and that car scored five out of five stars in its Euro NCAP safety assessments. The GLE also has a large amount of safety kit as standard.

The usual spread of airbags and traction control are complemented by two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points, an active bonnet that flips up to minimise pedestrian injuries, attention assistance that warns you if you’re getting drowsy at the wheel and full LED headlights for extra visibility in the dark.

The safety system switches are buried in the infotainment menu system, which can be a blessing and a curse; while it takes a long time to switch off a driver aid you don't want, it's also impossible to accidentally switch a key system off without meaning to.

Most Popular

Best small SUVs
Small SUVs
31 Dec 2020

Best small SUVs

Best 4x4s and SUVs
Peugeot 3008 SUV rear 3/4 tracking
Family SUVs
14 Jan 2021

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Best first cars
City cars
11 Jan 2021

Best first cars