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Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one

Sanjay ยท May 25, 2024 10:00 AM

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 01

Thought exercise: perhaps there are subtler ways to talk about the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450, but they all feel rather unapt; dishonest even, now that we've had a good turn of the wheel behind the newly-facelifted member. So we'll just be as brusque โ€“ it's the textbook definition of elegant badassery.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic AMG Line
Price RM 528,888
Segment Mid-size Luxury SUV
Engine 3.0L turbo 6-cylinder
Transmission 9-DCT
Power 381 PS
Torque 500 Nm
0-100 km/h 6.4 seconds
Origin  CKD, Pekan

Exterior: Peak German toughness

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 02

First launched in 2019, this second-gen GLE is a very complete car, improved in the areas that matter in this latest facelift. It still keeps its seven-seat layout, and as a whole, it remains a resplendent thing with its stolid interior and exterior.

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Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 01

With the latest update, there's minimal yet appealing aesthetic changes. Minor as they seem, the new bumpers, grille design, and refreshed light signatures fore and aft bump up the style points a few notches.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 02

It's also the fact that its built on solid foundations. In the right colour the GLE 450 is plain and simple, fantastic. The big G's girth awards it road presence very few cars (even those much pricier than this) can muster.

Interior: Cavernous inside and techy

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 03

Board the GLE's rear quarters and you'd half expect to be asked to put your phone in flight mode and if you'd like a nice drink to go with that. Whichever way its cut, rear seat room is huge, aided by access by ginarmous rear doors.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 04

One touch controls make it easy to get in and out of the third row

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 05

Passengers will love the experience. There's cavernous head and legroom, everyone has their own lights, charging sockets, and even cupholders to go around. Kids can sit at the rearmost seats just fine, though you'd not want adults in there even for short trips.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 06

7-seater mode offers some space for a few bags

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 07

No-seater mode is enough space for a romantic, high-end camp night out

Even if you don't find much use for the third row, fold all the seats and you'll have a 2,055 litre cavern for a boot. Realistically however you'll likely keep the second-row in place, which nets you a pretty respectable 630-litre space.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 08

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 09

On the driver's end of the cabin, there's a few meaningful changes, but they don't really take away the fact that it's quite last-gen in how it looks. I love the recent illuminated jet-turbine air-cond vents, but they don't appear here, for example.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 10

Capacitive touch means theres still chances of pressing something you didn't mean to

There's very little by way of playfulness in the cabin, for better or for worse. There's an air of restraint in how it looks, but not in customisation โ€“ the updated MBUX software beams massive amount of information at you via two giant 12.3 inch screens, all easily customisable by the new AMG steering wheel buttons.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 11

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 12

But in a roundabout sort-of way, this means ergonomics is good. Navigating the screen with the trackpad (no longer a thing on newer Mercs) is something you'll get used to over time, and the dense, clicky buttons to adjust air-conditioning and drive modes are a godsend in an age of distracting in-screen touch controls.

Driving: Sweet engine, supple suspension

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 13

To try the six-pot petrol is to love it. There's only one in Malaysia โ€“ we don't get the 450d diesel โ€“ and it's capable of 381 PS, 500 Nm, and 0-100 kmh in 6.4 seconds. That's strong for a car the size of Mid Valley Megamall, and you are blanketed in the comforting notion that you're barely skimming the vat of torque at your disposal.

Little else is needed to say about its fabulous noise too: near silent when unburdened, and a creamy, bass-heavy hum when properly roused. If anything, the M256 mill serves to showcase what great companions a six-cylinder turbocharged engine and a big SUV really are. Effortless urge, and a 10.8-litres/100 km fuel consumption too.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 14

The facelift also comes with larger brake discs for better stopping power

The EQ mild-hybrid starter-generator makes stop-start operations impressively smooth โ€“ you won't feel it starting up or powering down at traffic lights. Can't pay a higher compliment to idling refinement than that...

If there's a bugbear to the powertrain, the weakest link is its 9GTronic 9-speed automatic gearbox. There's a fair few times it trips up when dropping one or two extra ratios to shove the engine into the meatiest torque range, and there's a couple of times it clunks into place when going into/out of reverse.

Ride comfort: Plush and wafty

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 15

The breadth of its talents don't end there, the GLE 450 also excels in comfort. All-round Airmatic suspension, beautifully calibrated, provides the gentle waft you'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz of this stature.

It's got a banger of an engine yes, but repeat after us: this is not a sporty car. The sooner you accept that it's not to be thrown around in anger, the better. The suspension lies very much on the soft side, and even with the chunky 21-inch wheels the big rims don't thud and thunk across road imperfections.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 16

Quality Airmatic suspension makes the main difference

On the flipside, leaving it in Comfort model makes you aware of the jiggle that's typical of something this tall. Thankfully drive modes are customisable, so you can have the engine in low-intensity Comfort/Eco, while the suspension is on its more poised Sport setting. It was my preferred option, to be honest.

All in all though, it's a quiet car. Merc's clever suspension is just one part of the goodies; wind noise is suppressed very nicely, thanks to plenty of clever touches like bespoke door mirrors, acoustic glass, and special attention paid to seals around the doors.

Verdict: Soulful cruiser for the boss who appreciates the traditional

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 17

It's a pretty complete car, this GLE. It's aced all the tests and done exactly what the very best in its category does โ€“ get supremely quiet and refined โ€“ without losing soul. The stonking yet efficient 3.0-litre engine will make you rethink pure electric power, and the cabin is now properly opulent with the update.

Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic facelift - So badass, you'll want 5 kids to justify buying one 18

Clarity of thought is what sets the GLE apart. It knows exactly what sort of car it's trying to be and never deviates from that mission. The GLE 450 is a car that will carry you and yours in safety and security with minimal fuss, affords you a bit of fun and look good in the process. It's a winner.

Sanjay

Senior 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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