Sometimes compact SUVs are the right choice, but sometimes, only power will do. Developments in V8 engine technology have let engineers pack a lot of power into smaller displacement engines, and U.S. News set out to find the best SUV with V8 power under the hood. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the one that came out on top, but what pushed it ahead of the competition?
The GLE is the best V8 SUV
U.S News gave the GLE an overall score of 8.7 out of 10, which was enough to beat out 12 competitors, including the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover and the 2020 BMW X7. They were looking for powerful drivetrains that also delivered good fuel economy numbers. They found their favorite powerful but very advanced V8 engine under the hood of the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Reviewers of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4MATIC were impressed with the twin-turbocharged V8 that packs 483 hp. The handling is another reason it came out on top, with an available adaptive air suspension system for added stability. Electronically controlled air springs offer a balanced ride and handling control, and you can also raise and lower the vehicle’s ground clearance with the touch of a button.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
The SUV that was the first in this segment is even roomier this year, with 3 more inches on the wheelbase. With a price tag of $77,600, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is one of the top luxury midsize SUVs. It has a gorgeous exterior, with aerodynamic lines that sweep back from LED headlamps to the wide rear shoulders. Other design features include AMG body styling, sport interior details, and aluminum roof rails.
The cabin reflects the cost, with opulent materials and a spacious feel. Naturally, it is packed with the most state-of-the-art tech, with fully digital instruments on a dash that flows across the front of the vehicle with your choice of five different real wood inserts. When you speak to your GLE it listens, learns, and responds, handling your messages, calls, and destinations with ease.
Something new for 2020 is the third-row seat option. This choice gives passengers of the second row six-way power adjustment for their seating comfort, and they power-fold to let the third-row passengers in and out easily. The GLE also features the most advanced safety features, including several driver-assist features like active brake assist, attention control, and active attention assistance.
The GLE 580 biturbo V8
What reviewers were really interested in was the power provided by the available 580 biturbo V8. It’s equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Boost Integrated Starter-Generator, which produces 21 hp while allowing lower emissions through gas-free coasting. The V8 engine is mated to the nine-speed automatic transmission for efficient cruising. The GLE’s transmission offers quick response thanks to fingertip shift paddles, and the ability to select dynamic driving modes based on mood and road conditions.
You can vary the performance of the engine through a selector on the console. Dynamic Select has four different modes, ECO, Sport, Off-Road, and Comfort. There is also an “individual” mode, which lets you personalize your drive to your heart’s content. The different modes adapt things like shift points, throttle response, and more. There’s even more customization when you add the Airmatic suspension that can adjust damping rates on the fly.
If you’re looking for power in a luxury midsize SUV, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the best choice according to U.S. News. The combination of raw V8 power, opulent luxury, and superb handling put the GLE on top.