2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 53 Review, Pricing, and Specs
- 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 ($86,909-$101,080)
- 2nd place for Best Upper Midsize Luxury SUV – J.D. Power
- Pro: a phenomenal interior loaded with soft-touch surfaces and piles of tech.
- Con: Airmatic suspension leaves much to be desired on comfort and performance
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 benefits from the 2020 redesign that still feels fresh and exciting. This model is significant for kicking off the segment for Mercedes nearly 25 years ago. Even after all that time, the GLE 53 still brings excitement and comfort to the segment. Given its Ute-esque size, the GLE offers SUV capability while still maintaining some sense of sharpness often found in luxury sedans.
After spending a week winding around the Hudson Valley of New York and testing the horn’s limits in Manhattan, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 never failed to impress me with its style, class, and comfort. Despite its “Sport +” mode unleashing all 429 horses, a throaty exhaust note, and some stuffer suspension settings, the GLE does feel a bit stuck in limbo between a sports sedan and an AWD SUV.
Which Mercedes-Benz GLE trim is right for you?
The GLE line has many trims. This is an aspect that many Mercedes-Benz customers really like about the brand and the line. The GLE has seven trim levels starting with the GLE 350 and ending with the top tog, the AMG GLE 63 S. The following are all Mercedes-Benz GLE trims:
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 – $59,140
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 4matic – $62,967
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4matic – $74,654
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 53 4matic coupe – $83,488
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4matic *Ltd availability* – $84,126
- Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 4matic – $86,909
- Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S – $113,950
My loaner Benz came in the penultimate trim level, the AMG GLE 53 W4. Being a press loaner, it was loaded with plenty of bells and whistles. One of the loudest whistles comes from the 429-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine. This engine alone makes the GLE 53 trim worth it, but still, it comes with a lovely interior, upgraded sounds system, AWD, and the pricy optional Nappa leather interior.
Overall, this feels like the best trim for those who want a little snap from their SUV. If not, the GLE 350 and 450 are significantly cheaper and still offer many luxurious features.
Is the Mercedes-Benz GLE 53 a good-looking SUV?
You got to hand it to Mercedes, it sure knows how to make a car that looks like someone special should be driving it. Although the Merc GLE lines aren’t a very traditional boxy SUV look, the swooping lines touch on something sportier and classier than the G-Wagen.
The new GLE still wears the 2020 refresh with a stylish and modern look. The hefty as-tested price tag of $101,080 for our loaner is a lot of money, but at least the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 looks like it should cost six figures.
How comfortable is the 2022 Mercedes GLE 53?
Although I loved the engine, I do have some complaints. Although it drives well, handling and road feel could be better. And, despite my hatred of the number of buttons and the layout, the interior of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 is to die for.
I always pick up my press cars in Chelsea, a busy and bustling neighborhood in central Manhattan. Compared to the busy neighborhood, the most mass-market car with the plainest of interiors feels like a restful space. However, I only had to open the door of the GLE 53 and see the interior and I felt like I was entering another world.
The mix of design elements and materials range from sleek and modern with polished metals and touches of dull silver discretely distributed throughout, to cozy and welcoming with the endless plush of the highly-adjustable Nappa leather seats, dash, and door panels. This is a masterclass in interior design. If the GLE had 50 percent fewer buttons, it would be perfect.
You’ll never want for features in the GLE 53
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 53 is loaded with more features than any mere mortal can use in a single drive. While I enjoyed the massage feature and the many driving modes, I don’t think I worked my way through half of what the GLE 53 offers.
There are enough buttons, features, settings, and configurations to do an entire article on. However, that would be crazy boring and the number of buttons and features we probably my least-favorite part of the car.
This is merely a personal taste thing, but I found myself pretty constantly overwhelmed by the many buttons. In fact, the controls were so overwhelming to me that it took me an embarrassingly long time to adjust my mirror, move my seat, set the climate, and put it in gear. Multiple times I had to pull over to figure out how to do mundane things like changing the song, picking a driving mode, or answering a phone call.
It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the features as I endlessly discovered new ones, it’s just that figuring it all out came at the annoying cost of not focusing on the car itself at times.
How did the Mercedes SUV handle?
This little luxury SUV had a strange and exciting mix of SUV and sedan attributes. The handling, unfortunately, fell in the SUV category. The tangled cliff roads of the Hudson Valley require near-constant steering. The GLE 53 comes with Airmatic suspension and AWD. This should make for a fairly planted SUV, but the steering felt surprisingly light, giving the feeling of vague steering.
Also, surprising was the harshness of the gear shifts from the nine-speed automatic. When I was driving more economically, the shifts were fine, but at higher speeds and more aggressive throttle inputs, the shifts came hard and fast.
Lastly, the suspension felt oddly hard in the city. NYC roads are littered with potholes. Avoiding all of them is impossible. I grew to dread the inevitable potholes in the Mercedes which kind of shocked me. Again, this isn’t to say the suspension is bad, it isn’t. It just didn’t feel as dialed as you might expect from a $100+k Mercedes-Benz.
What engine does the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 have?
Car and Driver also shares our love of the AMG-tuned engine in the GLE 53. The powerful turbo 3.0-liter inline-six making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, should be enough to satisfy anyone’s speed demon. This engine is supported by an electric supercharger that’s powered by a 48-volt electrical system. The AMG GLE 53 is far from the fastest SUVs on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch.
The electric supercharger and turbocharger combo makes for a pretty snappy SUV. So snappy in fact that a 0-60 mph sprint is over in only 4.7 seconds. If you keep your foot down, it’ll do a quarter-mile in only 13.4 seconds. The only downside to stepping up to the AMG-tuned 3.0-liter six is the fuel economy drops significantly down to 21 mpg. Granted, less spirited driving should raise fuel economy but that’s not why you buy the AMG.
These power figures in the GLE 53 make for a really fun SUV to drive. The power never feels scary or too much, the delivery is even and smooth. Onc in “S+” mode, the exhaust baffles open allowing a little grunt and the occasional crackle to trail in the GLE’s wake.
How safe is the Mercedes GLE?
The test unit came loaded with all the safety tech you could ever want. It has blind-spot monitoring, active brake assist, lane-keeping assist, advanced airbag systems, and more. I never used it, but the GLE 53 also has a semi-autonomous driving mode, if that kind of thing gets you going.
Are Mercedes GLE-Class SUVs reliable?
According to Consumer Reports, the predicted reliability isn’t so great. CR has yet to finish testing on the 2022 GLE 53, but based on previous models’ reliability issues, the predicted reliability for the 2022 model is currently at one out of five.
The worst part is, like most import luxury cars, Mercedes aren’t known for their cheap repairs. Mercedes owners spent an average of $908 on car repairs and maintenance costs, well above the industry average of $652.
Mercedes-AMG’s standard warranty policies aren’t anything special. While the warranty is decent, Mercedes offers zero complimentary scheduled maintenance, unlike BMW and Audi, which both offer such a perk.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 review an expert rating of 7.3 out of 10
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53 was a total blast to drive for a week. The interior was lovely and spacious, but the buttons and the sheer number of features became very overwhelming.
The engine was also a blast to experience. Even the inline six had a decent sound when you put your foot in it. However, the ride and handling were not what I was expecting. Again, I hesitate to call this a flaw, but everything else about the GLE felt so high-end except the suspension. It felt closer to my old Jeep Wrangler than the Mercedes E450 I tested last fall.
Despite those few disappointments, going from such a fine Mercedes to most other cars and SUVs also feels like stepping out of a dream world back into reality, a slightly worse reality where your car’s seats don’t give you a heated massage.