2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE

Now with 48-volt electric assistance, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE improves both performance and efficiency.

The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE (if you include the two ML generations which preceded the name change) was the first of its series to introduce a hybrid drivetrain to South Africa, in the form of the GLE 450. It featured a splendid new 3.0-litre turbo inline-6 engine with electric assistance in the petrol-powered GLE 450 variant from launch - a combination used to great effect in other large Mercedes models such as the “53”-badged AMGs.

The new or used Mercedes-Benz you want, big or small, will be listed right here on CHANGECARS!

Called EQ Boost in MercedeSpeak, this is one of the best-integrated mild-hybrid systems out there: Unobtrusive in operation and more potent than an older V8 without drinking like one. This technology has now been extended to the rest of the range, with both diesel alternatives also gaining the system as part of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE’s mid-life facelift.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE Grill

As is the norm with such facelifts, some cosmetic revisions to the grille, bumpers, and light clusters are applied, and the interior is updated with the latest infotainment system and a steering wheel with capacitive touch surfaces instead of physical buttons. It’s mostly good news, then, because the latest GLE is pleasant to both behold and operate, thanks to the newly-added electric assistance.

Related: Get more details about the refreshed Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class in this launch report on ALL THINGS MOTORING.

The duties of energy recuperation, battery charging, and engine starting are all incorporated into a single unit, which is mounted on the back of the crankshaft. This 48-volt Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) can recover energy under braking, keeping the batteries topped-up, starts the combustion engine as needed, and provide torque directly to the 9-speed automatic gearbox.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE engine

At its peak, the ISG adds about 15 kW and 200 Nm to the engine’s output, and it acts as a torque-filler for those moments of turbo lag inherent in all boosted engines. The effect on the driving experience is quite dramatic, with instant throttle response and a linear power delivery that both augments the excellent diesel engines and improves refinement.

Related: Visit the Mercedes-Benz website to configure your ideal new GLE.

Even the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel (now with 198 kW and 550 Nm before EQ Boost) in the “entry-level” GLE 300 d is punchy and smooth, but the turbodiesel/electric combo is most impressive in the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 d. Thanks to a peak output of 270 kW, the quoted 0 - 100 km/h sprint time of only 5.6 seconds feel entirely reasonable, but even that doesn’t really reflect the relentless surge of acceleration on tap.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE side view

Overtaking performance is especially impressive, thanks to the 750 Nm available all the way from 1 350 to 2 800 r/min. The best part is the turbine-like smoothness, however, because this 2.9-litre turbodiesel endows the GLE with a refined demeanour that suits a large luxury SUV to perfection. Opting for the GLE 450 d doesn’t even carry much of a price penalty, costing only about 5% more than an equivalent GLE 300 d. 

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE range prices vary between R 1 964 600 for the 5-seater GLE 300 d and R 2 340 500 for the GLE 450 d Coupe. Prices include taxes, a warranty for 2 years with no mileage limit, and a maintenance plan for 5 years or 100 000 km, whichever comes first. Prices were accurate at the time of publication, but are subject to change without prior notice.

Martin Pretorius



Find the new or used Mercedes-Benz GLE of your dreams in this lovely selection here on CHANGECARS.