Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss
Sanjay · Sep 4, 2021 12:00 PM
This week's WapCar Ratings returns to SUVs, and we have the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line with us here today. At RM 475k, it outprices all other SUVs we have tested, but will it thoroughly outdo them as well?
Just as with every other model, scores here are relative to the GLE's segment and not the new-car market as a whole. For every other car, they're in our Ratings page which can be accessed here.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Facts and Figures
3.0-litre, turbo straight-6
367 PS @ 5,500 - 6,100 rpm
500 Nm @ 1,600 - 4,500 rpm
Opinions from my colleagues conclude one thing: this is a car most would rather be chauffered than drive. And for good reason too, as you'll see further down this article.
Sure, it may lack some of the driving involvement you'll get from the BMW X5, but we think that may not be overtly necessary for a premium SUV of this size.
As such, the GLE is a fantastic cruiser. Thanks to its 3.0-litre turbo straight six and 48V EQ Boost mild hybrid system, its 2.2-tonne kerb weight barely feels anything as the powertrain pulls with ease and grace.
While its auto start/stop system is slightly premature (as in, it cuts the engine off even before the car is stopped, such as passing through tolls), it's generally seamless in all other times.
But for all it's engine's smoothness, its 9-speed automatic transmission judders slightly as you slow down to stop. It's good, but not as perfect as the 8-speed ZF auto 'box in the X5 which remains the benchmark.
Steering is relatively light and predictable, with a natural feedback that allows one to place and track it accurately along one's intended lines.
Braking is linear, with easy-to-modulate progression, but on the flipside they don't feel very confidence-inspiring at higher speeds.
As it is implied, this isn't a car where you go carve corners in. Comfort is what it does best, and the Airmatic air suspension smoothens out road knicks and imperfections very well, but don't ask too much of it by blitzing in and out of corners.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Driving Performance Breakdown
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450: Ride Comfort - 40/50, Magical air suspension
Over dips and crests, the suspension does an impressive job at keeping the car levelled. So it's the same on uneven roads, as the GLE glides along them almost effortlessly while still remaining taut enough to not wallow about.
Though most of the time your passengers won't be complaining about the ride, bigger potholes and unusually sharp edges does intrude the cabin a bit, in fact a little more than its otherwise regal character would suggest.
As comfortable as the rest of the car is, some might struggle to find the ideal recline angle and lumbar support in the GLE, but this varies from person to person. That said, thigh support is excellent with its range of adjustments, seat base angle, and length.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Cabin noise
0 km/h (A/C off)
0 km/h (A/C on)
60 km/h (A/C on)
90 km/h (A/C on)
110 km/h (A/C on)
Rear seats are typical German-car quality, which means they are a little on the firmer side of things. Size-wise they're decent, with appropriately-sized, angled seat bases which gives a great level of thigh support.
Long-distance journeys will not be a concern.
There's acoustic glass all-round, so it goes without saying that noise insulation is top-class. Retroactively, it would snag a podium spot in our Top 10 Quietest Cars list.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Ride Comfort Breakdown
8 / 10
8 / 10
8 / 10
4 / 5
4 / 5
8 / 10
40 / 50 pts
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450: Quality and Features – 45/50, Opulence at its best
Top notch exterior panel gaps and paint quality, just as you'd expect.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Panel Gaps (mm)
Front to Rear Door
Rear Door to quarter panel
'Cavansite Blue' is subtle, but yet sharp enough for one to discern themselves from the blacks, blues, and grays of the world, which Mercedes-Benz Malaysia offers as well.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Paint Thickness (µm)
Rear Quarter Panel
Average paint thickness: 131 µm ±8
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Exterior Material Use
Being a rather tall car, you might need to climb a little to get into the GLE. More so if you set a high seating position.
Once you've settled in though, it's a cabn that cocoons around you. Central to the whole experience are the sweeping surrounds for the dual 12.3-inch high-definition digital displays, one which my colleague Shaun calls as 'theatrical'.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Cabin Material Use
Sold in sole AMG Line variant, you get black headlining, Anthracite open-pore oak wood trim elements, Nappa leather sports steering wheels, AMG sports pedals, leather seats, and Artico leather upholstery on touchpoints.
The digital displays are the familiar good stuff, with clear, crisp imaging. The digital instrument cluster is customisable, and the touchscreen infotainment system comes with Mercedes Me Connect, as well as wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Audio is channeled through a 13-speaker 590-watt Burmester Surround Sound System. Though bass might be a little lacking, it boasts an impressive soundstage with a wide, airy sound. Voices are clear, and instruments have decent separation.
The second row benefits from power-adjustable seats, and for added privacy there's a set of electric sunblinds on the side windows.
It's also got plenty of air-cond vents, including some on the B-pillar on top of the ones on the centre tunnel, and there's blowers underneath the front seats as well. Malaysian heat? What's that?
The multi-way power-adjustable seats are a little firm, but they're still plush enough to make long journeys comfortable.
Getting to its third-row seats takes time as it takes ages for the second-row seats to (electronically) get out of the way, and it's another wait for it to set back in its original position. It must be said that the third row is better suited for children.
That aside, the GLE is humongous in other aspects. The second row affords more than 3 tennis balls of kneeroom, and 2 tennis balls of headroom for a 177 cm-tall adult.
Storage options are plenty, and all of them are felt-lined for that extra touch of class.
The Malaysian-spec GLE 450 comes with Easy Pack, which is Mercedes' parlance for a handsfree, powered tailgate. It's an equally big boot too, opening up to 630 litres, and maxing out at 2,055 litres.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Interior Space Breakdown
7 / 10
7 / 10
3 / 5
3 / 5
3 / 5
2 / 5
2 / 5
2 / 5
31 / 50 pts
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Fuel consumption – 16/20, Not bad for its performance
After a 109.4 km journey broken down to 60% highway, 40% city driving, the amount of fuel required to brim the tank was 11.78 litres. This gives a calculated fuel consumption figure of 10.8-litre/100 km.
Considering its weight, body shape, engine size, and output, 10.8-litre/100 km is an impressive figure. The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 1.4 with half its engine capacity and power does 10.3-litre/100 km.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
12 / 15
2 / 2
2 / 3
16 / 20 pts
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Purchase and cost – 17/30, Comparable to rivals
Though RM 451k is a rather steep asking price, but one gets a lot of car for the money. There's plenty to like about the GLE 450 AMG Line, and if you're looking for a car at this price range this is a good package with its fair share of strengths against rivals.
So, what do we think of the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line? It certainly looks the part, it's (expectedly) well-built, and whoever you're chauffeuring (or maybe its you) will be more than happy with its ride quality.
If you're looking to splurge half a million Ringgit on a luxury car that's beyond regular sedans, the GLE 450 AMG line is worth a look.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.