Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss

Sanjay · Sep 4, 2021 12:00 PM

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 01

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?

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 02

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.

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Mercedes-Benz GLE 450: Driving Performance - 34.5/50, Smooth operator

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 01

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Facts and Figures
Engine 3.0-litre, turbo straight-6
Transmission 9-speed AT
Total Power 367 PS @ 5,500 - 6,100 rpm
Total Torque 500 Nm @ 1,600 - 4,500 rpm
Weight 2,200 kg
0-100 km/h 6.4 seconds
100-0 km/h 39.9 metres

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 02

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 03

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 04

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 05

Steering is relatively light and predictable, with a natural feedback that allows one to place and track it accurately along one's intended lines.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 06

Braking is linear, with easy-to-modulate progression, but on the flipside they don't feel very confidence-inspiring at higher speeds.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 07

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
Engine Acceleration 4 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 4 / 5
Throttle Response 4 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2 / 3
Smoothness 3 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering Accuracy 2 / 3
Response 2 / 3
Weight & Feel 1.5 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
Feel 1.5 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 2 / 3
Grip 2 / 3
Load Reaction 1.5 / 3
Total   34.5 / 50

Also read: SST cut extension a boon for CKD 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE, 3 more launches next

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450: Ride Comfort - 40/50, Magical air suspension

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 08

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 09

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 10

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 11

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 12

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Cabin noise
0 km/h (A/C off) 39 dB
0 km/h (A/C on) 43 dB
60 km/h (A/C on) 56 dB
90 km/h (A/C on) 61 dB
110 km/h (A/C on) 65 dB

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 13

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 14

Ambient lighting looks the part

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.

Also read: Ratings: Top 10 quietest cars we've tested - 6 cylinders quieter than electric?

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 8 / 10
Suspension 8 / 10
Passenger Comfort 8 / 10
Seat Support 4 / 5
Ergonomics 4 / 5
Engine Refinement 8 / 10
Total points 40 / 50 pts

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450: Quality and Features – 45/50, Opulence at its best

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 15

Top notch exterior panel gaps and paint quality, just as you'd expect. 

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 3 3.5 0.5
Front Fender 3 2.5 0.5
Front to Rear Door 3.5 3.5 0
Rear Door to quarter panel 4 3.5 0.5
Tailgate 3.5 4 0.5

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 16

'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)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 122
Front Fender 112 112
Front Door 145 138
Rear Door 141 133
Rear Quarter Panel 134 147
Tailgate 126
Roof 132
Average paint thickness: 131 µm ±8

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 17

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 18

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thick
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single-glaze
Rear Windows Single-glaze
Construction One-piece
Boot Opening Powered

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 19

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 20

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
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Leather
  Lower Section Leather
Front Doors Upper Section Leather
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 21

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 22

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.

Also read: Mercedes-Benz MBUX is the best out there, but..

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 23

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 24

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. 

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 25

The second row benefits from power-adjustable seats, and for added privacy there's a set of electric sunblinds on the side windows. 

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 26

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 27

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?

Also read: Top 5 best-sounding in-car audio system we’ve tested

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 28

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 29

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 30

Safety-wise, the GLE gets autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist (LKA), blind spot monitoring (BSM), and Distronic adaptive cruise control (ACC).

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Quality & Feature Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 2 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4 / 5
Materials Used 4 / 5
Features Safety 9 / 10
ADAS 5 / 5
Luxury 5 / 5
Convenience 2 / 5
Infotainment 3 / 5
Total   45 / 50 pts

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Interior space – 31/50, Cavernous size

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 31

The multi-way power-adjustable seats are a little firm, but they're still plush enough to make long journeys comfortable.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 32

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 33

Top to bottom: second- and third-row seats

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 34

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 35

Tennis ball measurements for the second- and third-rows

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 36

Small as it is, third row still offers cupholders

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 37

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 38

Storage options are plenty, and all of them are felt-lined for that extra touch of class.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 39

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
Front Row 7 / 10
Middle/Back Row 7 / 10
Third Row 3 / 5
Boot Space 3 / 5
Practicality 3 / 5
Storage Space 2 / 5
Visibility 2 / 5
Storage Flexibility 2 / 5
Total 31 / 50 pts

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Fuel consumption – 16/20, Not bad for its performance

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 40

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 41

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
Fuel Consumption 12 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 2 / 3
Total points 16 / 20 pts

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Purchase and cost – 17/30, Comparable to rivals

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 42

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.

Also read: Malaysia to launch CKD 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan, GLA, GLE - 5 new CKD models coming

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 43

As with cars of this stature, the maintenance cost is not outlined outright, but here's an estimate using Mercedes-Benz Malaysia's 4-year service package:

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line Maintenance Cost (estimated)
Interval Cost (RM)
4-years service package RM 5,588

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 44

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 10 / 15
Warranty 4 / 5
Cost Maintenance 3 / 5
Fuel Cost 3 / 5
Total   20 / 30 pts

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line: Conclusion – 186.5/250 pts overall

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 45

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.

Ratings: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line - When you must show who's boss 46

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.

Also read: Review: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 – Opulence that makes you forget about its rival

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Sanjay

Writer

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.

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