Mercedes-Benz has been preoccupied with high-profile EV introductions and shuffling the attendant company EV-nomenclature technique for the longer term. However whereas the automaker’s agenda to turn out to be an EV-only concern by 2030 continues to dominate headlines, it quietly slipped the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class 450e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) into its U.S. mid-size SUV lineup for 2024 with little fanfare.
This is not the GLE’s first foray into the world of plugs. For a few years now, the GLE350e and GLE350de fuel and diesel PHEVs, in addition to the smaller GLC PHEV, have been obtainable to Europeans. Choose variations of each plug-ins had been earmarked for earlier North American debuts, however phrase is that European demand proved so robust they have been in a holding sample. As a comfort prize, the usual GLE450 has utilized a 48-volt hybrid system since 2020, however the brand new 2024 GLE450e is the primary GLE mannequin offered right here with a plug-in-hybrid powertrain and a major electrical vary.
The GLE is the second-bestselling mannequin line in Mercedes’s stateside roster behind the compact GLC, and the 2024 GLE450e joins the returning GLE350, GLE450, and GLE580 fashions, which use turbocharged four- and six-cylinder and V-8 powertrains, respectively. For 2024, the 48-volt hybrid-assist beforehand normal on the GLE450 and GLE580 fashions extends to the GLE350 as properly. All-wheel drive is normal throughout the board. The Mercedes-AMG GLE53 and GLE63 S fashions are nonetheless in play, too, and we have reviewed them individually.
As for the 2024 GLE450e’s powertrain, the fossil-fuel aspect of the equation depends on a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated for 248 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The electrical componentry consists of a 134-hp synchronous motor that gives an extra 325 pound-feet of torque, drawing on a lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capability of 23.3 kWh. The tag crew is rated for a mixed 381 ponies and 479 pound-feet, putting it above each the GLE350 (255 horses and 295 pound-feet) and the GLE450 (375 horses and 369 pound-feet).
Mercedes pegs the 60-mph time of the GLE450e at 5.8 seconds, a full 1.2 seconds swifter than the automaker’s 7.0-second declare for the GLE350 and simply 0.5 second behind the GLE450’s acknowledged 5.3-second time. It is tempting to consider the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE450e PHEV as a child step to the electrical future or as a placeholder for drivers who stay skeptical concerning the promised EV Babylon. And indisputably, it is each of these issues.
However the GLE450e can be a totally baked PHEV that operates with seamless precision in any atmosphere whereas ensconcing its passengers in the identical stage of luxurious and options as the remainder of the GLE lineup. It is tranquil at any velocity, largely due to the dogged persistence with which the software program favors electrical operation in almost each driving scenario. On the town, on the freeway, or on the agricultural two-lanes of the Smoky Mountains, the GLE450e shows exceptional restraint, dialing in help from the internal-combustion engine solely when completely required. Certainly, my co-driver and I engaged in quiet dialog for an extended sufficient time that we had been startled when the four-cylinder fired as much as help the almost depleted battery.
Official EPA fuel-economy and vary estimates for the GLE450e are pending, and Benz officers had been cagey about nailing down a agency EV-only vary quantity. Nonetheless, in our palms, the GLE450e lined an indicated 43 miles of electrical vary throughout mixed metropolis and rural driving in a decidedly typical driving trend.
All the basic GLE driving dynamics stay: It feels smaller and extra agile on the helm than its footprint suggests, and the journey is comfortable. However our automotive’s 21-inch AMG wheels, as a part of the AMG Line look bundle, be sure that important highway imperfections don’t cross unnoticed. The electrical motor gives keen acceleration from a cease with the slightest throttle enter; leaping into the PHEV from a standard GLE requires slightly readjustment to keep away from leaping away from a stoplight. It is a rock at or above freeway speeds and, like its siblings, has an electronically restricted 130-mph high velocity.
Sadly, the regenerative properties of the GLE450e left us wishing for slightly extra refinement within the brake pedal and a bit extra productiveness within the recharging division. Producers have been wrestling with dodgy pedal really feel and uneven braking motion for so long as hybrids have been a factor, and the GLE450e nonetheless struggles. However the quantity of reclaimed vitality—or lack thereof—as indicated by the battery standing indicator on the instrument panel has us scratching our heads.
Like most hybrids and PHEVs, regeneration happens when braking or coasting as directed by the software program, with two completely different regen ranges selectable through the wheel-mounted shift paddles. The primary setting gives gentle regen; the second will increase regeneration and can deliver the automobile to a cease—fairly normal stuff.
Nevertheless it’s price noting that we barely managed to nudge the juice meter throughout a virtually 3500-foot descent down the mountain to roughly 761 ft above sea stage. An anecdotal statement, to make certain, however getting one thing for “nothing” is an affordable hybrid thrill that we have come to anticipate. We’ll discover this statement in depth once we get a GLE450e to check in-house.
The GLE450e comes geared up with an 11.0-kW AC and a 60-kW DC onboard charger, however no official U.S.-specific charging information is out there but. Cribbing from its European cousin, which specs a barely bigger 31.2-kWh battery, we estimate that the GLE450e ought to have the ability to be recharged from 20 to 80 p.c in roughly 20 minutes on a 60-kW DC fast-charger. Homebodies seeking to restore a totally depleted battery will wish to price range as much as 26 hours on an ordinary 120-volt family outlet or simply underneath 4 hours on a 7.0-kW Degree 2 charger. We anticipate Mercedes-Benz to have the related star-spangled figures nearer to launch.
Worth, too, stays a thriller at this level. We estimate the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE450e will begin round $76,000, roughly $8K greater than the usual GLE450. That is considerably greater than the $56,595 determine for the bottom Audi Q5 Premium PHEV (although that mannequin fell in need of its EPA-estimated 23 EV miles in C/D testing). Moreover, the Benz feels much more polished by way of inside supplies. The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid can be within the combine, however it begins at almost $90K and has an estimated EV vary of solely 17 miles. The Volvo XC90 Recharge hews intently to the blueprint of the GLE450e and slides in at simply over $70K ($81K for the Recharge Final) with an EPA-estimated 36 miles of EV vary (29 miles in C/D testing).
Nonetheless, the GLE’s actual bogey right here is the brand new 2024 BMW X5 xDrive50e (which replaces the X5 xDrive45e). The X5 Drive50e begins at $73,495 and claims as much as 40 miles of EV vary from its 25.7-kWh battery—it is nearly as if Munich and Stuttgart shared a spotlight group throughout improvement.
As with most PHEVs, the choice is a numbers recreation. When you think about Benz’s absolutely electrical EQE SUV gives a claimed 253-279 miles of vary for $79,050, consumers have the choice of sidestepping the PHEV and taking the complete EV plunge at a comparatively minor upcharge over the GLE450e. Alternatively, if their use circumstances contain lower than 40 miles of driving on a typical day, the PHEV gives the flexibility to reside the EV promise whereas nonetheless offering a gas-powered security web for longer journeys.
The GLE450e is constructed alongside the remainder of the GLE lineup at Mercedes-Benz’s facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Search for the GLE450e to reach in U.S. showrooms late this summer time.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE450e
Automobile Sort: front-engine, mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 248 hp, 295 lb-ft + permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 134 hp, 325 lb-ft (mixed output: 381 hp, 479 lb-ft); 23.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC Quick-Cost Price: 60 kW
Transmission: 9-speed automated
Wheelbase: 117.9 in
Size: 194.3 in
Width: 76.7 in
Peak: 70.7 in
Passenger Quantity, F/R: 56/51 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 75/33 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 5800 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.2 sec
Prime Pace: 130 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 24/25/23 mpg
Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 60 MPGe
EV Vary: 40 mi
Andrew Wendler brings a long time of wrenching, writing, and editorial expertise with quite a few shops to Automotive and Driver. A rust-belt native and tireless promoter of the area, he as soon as gained a $5 wager by strolling your entire size of the elevated Individuals Mover observe that encircles downtown Detroit.