There’s something to be said for knowing you’ve got a good thing going and improving the formula without upping the ante. That’s the guiding principle behind the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE53. This performance SUV throws a little more of everything into the mix, and while the result is largely the same as before, there’s not much here to deal with.
There’s still a supercharged and turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and a 48-volt starter generator under the hood that produces a total of 429 horsepower, but thanks to a larger turbocharger and some revised software, torque is up from 384 to 413 pound-feet. legs. The electric motor contributes 21 horsepower and 148 pound-feet, helping to fill the torque gap down and between gear changes rather than at the engine’s peak. The impressive drive is channeled to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.
It’s amazing what can be done with a little extra twist. In our tests, the revised GLE53 performed better in almost every scenario than the 2021 GLE53 Coupe. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 4.4 seconds instead of 4.7. The updated GLE covers the quarter mile in 13.0 seconds at 107 mph, shaving off four-tenths of a second and adding 4 mph. Acceleration from 30 to 50 mph happens half a second earlier. Comparing outside of the family, you’ll open the door from the Genesis GV80 3.5T, but the Porsche Cayenne GTS will still leave you a bit behind.
The only numbers that haven’t improved are skid pad braking and grip, both of which are nearly identical to the 2021 GLE53. Even fuel economy is a near wash; on our 200-mile, 75 mph highway fuel economy loop, the new GLE53’s 25 mpg yield is just 1 mpg lower than the outgoing version. And that still easily beats its official EPA 23-mpg highway rating.
One of the things that makes the GLE53’s powertrain so peachy is its smoothness. Power delivery is always strong as the electric supercharger zips the turbo up to speed to minimize lag without much disruption from gear changes (it’s smooth too), and the torque-filling nature of the electric motor ensures the powertrain feels strong no matter where the tach needle is. Most stop systems have trouble hiding the jitters on restarts, but not this AMG—it’s one of the least dramatic setups we’ve ever done. It’s almost good enough to warrant omission.
The GLE isn’t that easy when the roads of Pure Michigan rear their ugly heads. Our test car arrived wearing optional 22-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport V107 summer rubber, and the dub was no match for Ann Arbor’s rocky local pavement. The ride is lighter and noisier than we’d expect from a large, luxury SUV that rides on standard air springs with a starting point of $87,900. Unless you live in Palm Springs, we’ll stay in stock.
A sportier mode exists to flatten out the handling and make cornering a little more exciting, but at 5238 pounds to haul around, the AMG GLE53 never really feels like a true speedster—it’s more like a defensive lineman who can surprise with 40 yard dash. time. The steering is generally unremarkable, and the same can be said about how the pedals feel underfoot.
The GLE53’s interior retains the top-tier fit and finish we’ve come to expect from a top-of-the-line Mercedes vehicle, although it does start to feel a bit long. The black and cream two-tone motif doesn’t suffer from boredom, but its heavy-gauge binoculars and the constant presence of the infotainment touchpad now remind you that a mid-cycle refresh doesn’t change everything. AMG’s new two-spoke steering wheel precedes a pair of 12.3-inch displays covering the gauge cluster and infotainment duties. While the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX software here lacks the visual impact of Hyperscreen, it’s still responsive and easy to use, and smartphone mirroring is standard.
The best update to the GLE’s cabin comes in terms of equipment. Stuttgart ditched everything but the kitchen sink here during the mid-cycle refresh, and it’s all standard. This year’s kit swells to include a dual-mode exhaust, Burmester surround sound enhancement, augmented reality navigation, surround view camera, electric panoramic sunroof and nappa leather upholstery.
Then again, given that the base price is up nearly $10,000 along with the refresh, there better be more to enjoy. Our test car kept it fairly quiet in terms of optional equipment. Adding nappa leather and microfiber to the steering wheel costs $500, while heating the windshield wiper nozzles and steering wheel costs just $450. Wheels are the only big-ticket option at $3950, while the Night package, which changes all exterior brightwork to gloss black, tacks on another $750. All told, this GLE53 carries a $93,550 window sticker, which is at least 20 grand less than what you’d spend on the GLE63 and its 4.0-liter V-8.
Mercedes doesn’t really need to do much to the GLE53 to keep it relevant, and it’s clear the company doesn’t feel like messing with success. A little extra oomph, some more standard equipment, and a few aesthetic touches are all it takes to keep this hybrid feeling pretty fresh.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 4Matic+ SUV
Vehicle Type: front engine, all wheel drive, 5 passenger, 4 door wagon
Base/As Tested: $87,900/$93,500
Options: 22-inch AMG Cross-Spoke forged wheels, $3950; AMG Night Package (black exterior accents, AMG exhaust system in black chrome), $750; AMG performance steering wheel, $500; Winter package (steering wheel washer and heated windshield), $450
supercharged, turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 183 in32999 cm3
Power: 429 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm
Suspension, F/R: multi-link/multi-link
Brakes, F/R: 15.8-in vented, cross-drilled disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Yokohama Advan Sport V107
F: 285/40ZR-22 100Y MO1 Extra Load
R: 325/35ZR-22 114Y MO1 Extra Load
Wheelbase: 117.9 inches
Length: 194.4 in
Width: 79.3 inches
Height: 70.2 inches
Curb Weight: 5238 lb
C/D TEST RESULT
60 mph: 4.4 seconds
100 mph: 11.2 seconds
1/4-Mile: 13.0 seconds @ 107 mph
130 mph: 21.4 seconds
The above results leave a 1 foot launch for 0.2 seconds.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.0 seconds
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.9 seconds
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 seconds
Top speed (C/D estimate): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 154 feet
Braking, 100–0 mph: 308 feet
Road grip, 300-foot Skid Pad: 0.85 g
C/D OIL ECONOMY
Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 25 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 400 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 20/18/23 mpg
C/D TESTS EXPLAINED
Cars are jam Andrew Krok, along with boysenberry. After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, Andrew cut freelance magazine features by writing, and now he has a decade of full-time review experience. A Chicagoan by birth, he’s been a resident of Detroit since 2015. Maybe one day he’ll do something about that half-finished engineering degree.