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GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review

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GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review

 
Old 01-27-2017, 12:56 PM
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Mercedes GLE 350d 4Matic
GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review

When I was looking around this forum before ordering the GLE such user opinions were really inportant for my choice, that's why I decided to share with you the first impressions of the car after a week and only couple of hundred kilometers. Please keep in mind I come from a 2014 BMW X3 2.0d Xdrive and willingly or not will compare the two vehicles.

The vehicle is GLE 350d , V6 diesel engine with 258 hp and 620 Nm. Cavansite blue/lunar blue in US/, 4matic, Airmatic, 20", black leather with black piano lacquer, Comand navi, running boards, heated and ventilated seat with massage feature, rear view camera, blind spot assist, electrically folding mirrors, HK sound system, upgraded after delivery with aluminium sport pedals and alu door-lock pins /the latter still not installed/.

From comfort point of view the two cars are absolutely incomparable. The GLE is many times superior like noise isolation. The first impression when you sit in the car is it is abnormally quiet - the engine, the heating/cooling fan, the road and wind noise, everything is out. Maybe the most comfortable car I have ever driven or entered in. With the Airmatic in comfort mode you feel like somehow floating, the stability of the vehicle is not so much sacrificed though. In sport mode the car lowers, stiffens the suspension and feels much different.

The diesel V6 has plenty of torque, when you start, you feel the car is heavy, but it has the potential to accelerate constantly, and the engine noise is nice and mighty, compared to the stressed roar of the 4 cylinder BMW. No vibrations can be felt in the seat or steering wheel even when the engine is cold in the morning.

The seat heating if the BMW heats faster and is stronger than the GLE.

Everywhere in the internet they say the steering of the GLE is " feels too indirect". I'm not a race team member but find the steering in my opinion absolutely normal. It is extremely light in comfort mode and feels quite stiff and secure in sport which is good. The X5 I test drove before ordering the GLE was with really light steering wheel in sport mode even, only in sport+ it felt ok, and this uo to the degree that I felt uncomfortable holding the steerig wheel with one hand when driving on a straight highway with 130-150 km/h.

The 9-G tronic is absolutely adequate compared to the BMW 8-speed ZF, the only thing I prefer in the BMW is that when you stop the car from the Start/Stop button, it goes to P automatically, the GLE goes to N and if you raise your foot from the brake it can roll away. In sport mode the gear changes are sometimes jerky a bit, which is normal, same with the BMW. In comfort the only gear shift you may feel sometimes is from 3-rd to 4-th and downshifting from 3-2-1, but not always.

I have the Multicontour leather seats, extremely comfortable. The leather of the seat is slightly loose, not much like the MBtex ones in the topic here, but stil not as it should be. I'm not sure if only the adjustments of the seat differentiates the multicontour from the standart one with lumbar support, but if this is the only difference, I don't think it makes sense to pay the extra money.

The LED intelligent lights are great, everybody who have them knows this.

The parktronic sensors of the BMW lag when you move slowly with the car and there is a risk to hit something if you don't look through the windows, I think it is the same with the X5 and all current BMW models. The GLE is ok, no detectable lag. The fact that the rear camera is hidden and opens only when you put to R makes it usable compared to the ther brands with open cameras.

The brakes are comparatively soft and if you want to stop rapidly, you have to press the brake quite strongly. The BMW stops better or at least stops better with one and the same effort of the right foot comapred to the MB.

Overal impression is the car is great and comfortable, not for people who would like to race on the streets, still fast enough to make you feel comfortable in all situations on the road. I'd never go back to the X3 if I decide now.

Last edited by yavor; 01-27-2017 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:51 PM
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Very solid write up Yavor!
Thank you
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:06 PM
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GL 450 W4, GLE 350 W4
1st Week Impressions from another new GLE Owner

Originally Posted by yavor View Post
When I was looking around this forum before ordering the GLE such user opinions were really inportant for my choice, that's why I decided to share with you the first impressions of the car after a week and only couple of hundred kilometers. Please keep in mind I come from a 2014 BMW X3 2.0d Xdrive and willingly or not will compare the two vehicles.

The vehicle is GLE 350d , V6 diesel engine with 258 hp and 620 Nm. Cavansite blue/lunar blue in US/, 4matic, Airmatic, 20", black leather with black piano lacquer, Comand navi, running boards, heated and ventilated seat with massage feature, rear view camera, blind spot assist, electrically folding mirrors, HK sound system, upgraded after delivery with aluminium sport pedals and alu door-lock pins /the latter still not installed/.

From comfort point of view the two cars are absolutely incomparable. The GLE is many times superior like noise isolation. The first impression when you sit in the car is it is abnormally quiet - the engine, the heating/cooling fan, the road and wind noise, everything is out. Maybe the most comfortable car I have ever driven or entered in. With the Airmatic in comfort mode you feel like somehow floating, the stability of the vehicle is not so much sacrificed though. In sport mode the car lowers, stiffens the suspension and feels much different.

The diesel V6 has plenty of torque, when you start, you feel the car is heavy, but it has the potential to accelerate constantly, and the engine noise is nice and mighty, compared to the stressed roar of the 4 cylinder BMW. No vibrations can be felt in the seat or steering wheel even when the engine is cold in the morning.

The seat heating if the BMW heats faster and is stronger than the GLE.

Everywhere in the internet they say the steering of the GLE is " feels too indirect". I'm not a race team member but find the steering in my opinion absolutely normal. It is extremely light in comfort mode and feels quite stiff and secure in sport which is good. The X5 I test drove before ordering the GLE was with really light steering wheel in sport mode even, only in sport+ it felt ok, and this uo to the degree that I felt uncomfortable holding the steerig wheel with one hand when driving on a straight highway with 130-150 km/h.

The 9-G tronic is absolutely adequate compared to the BMW 8-speed ZF, the only thing I prefer in the BMW is that when you stop the car from the Start/Stop button, it goes to P automatically, the GLE goes to N and if you raise your foot from the brake it can roll away. In sport mode the gear changes are sometimes jerky a bit, which is normal, same with the BMW. In comfort the only gear shift you may feel sometimes is from 3-rd to 4-th and downshifting from 3-2-1, but not always.

I have the Multicontour leather seats, extremely comfortable. The leather of the seat is slightly loose, not much like the MBtex ones in the topic here, but stil not as it should be. I'm not sure if only the adjustments of the seat differentiates the multicontour from the standart one with lumbar support, but if this is the only difference, I don't think it makes sense to pay the extra money.

The LED intelligent lights are great, everybody who have them knows this.

The parktronic sensors of the BMW lag when you move slowly with the car and there is a risk to hit something if you don't look through the windows, I think it is the same with the X5 and all current BMW models. The GLE is ok, no detectable lag. The fact that the rear camera is hidden and opens only when you put to R makes it usable compared to the ther brands with open cameras.

The brakes are comparatively soft and if you want to stop rapidly, you have to press the brake quite strongly. The BMW stops better or at least stops better with one and the same effort of the right foot comapred to the MB.

Overal impression is the car is great and comfortable, not for people who would like to race on the streets, still fast enough to make you feel comfortable in all situations on the road. I'd never go back to the X3 if I decide now.
Yavor-Nice Write up- Thanks for your impressions. After my first week in my GLE 350 W4 USA version, I would add the following comments:

1. Surround view camera system is a must have and should virtually eliminate wives/husbands from curb rashing rims or scratching bumpers!

2. The quality of finish on the seats is simply sub par & should have never passed QA/QC. If the good folks in Stuttgart are listening you should take a trip to Alabama & see how they are tarnishing the brand by allowing such a substandard product to hit the marketplace.

3. New owners should drive the car in Sport mode for the first 500 miles as Comfort mode typically starts out in 2nd gear and computer may revert to this setting limiting acceleration performance. The Sport modes and manual modes make for a more sporty & frankly more fun driving experience.

4. Apple Carplay feature nice for techies like myself but still needs refining. VR software still not up to "Alexa" standards.

5. I found heated seats "element" to be excellent which is contrary to Yavoor's comments. They are almost too hot & I find myself shutting heat in GLE off.

6. Styling on this SUV could be significantly enhances with some better asthetics at the rear of the vehicle to give it a more finished look. Perhaps a deck lip spoiler of some type.

7. Overall a nice vehicle. At 65K MSRP more items should be "standard" (ie- ventilated seats) I find the color selections to be lacking and many of the dealers carry same boring cookie cutter vehicles. (i had to have one shipped from out of state) That said, we bought a diamond silver one & it look great other than #6 above.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:35 AM
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Mercedes GLE 350d 4Matic
"New owners should drive the car in Sport mode for the first 500 miles as Comfort mode typically starts out in 2nd gear and computer may revert to this setting limiting acceleration performance."

Are you sure about that, I agree it's more fun to drive in sport, but during the breaking period of your engine it is not the best thing to drive close to the red zone, like it is in sport with throttle pedal down.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:26 PM
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GL 450 W4, GLE 350 W4
Break in period in Sport Mode

Yes- I was warned to do this by a knowledgable Mercedes tech at the dealer. He indicated that Comfort mode starts car in second gear & that the computer system will "learn" driving habits and react that way going forward. Sport mode allows engine to run out a bit more but by no means does it redline the RPM's (unless you are running in Manual Sport mode and you are not upshifting). You should contact your dealer and ask for their best trained tech on GLE's & get his/her input. I would be curious to hear another techs response.
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:51 PM
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Doesn't the transmission continually adapt as shifting inputs change? I can't imagine that the adaptive software is forever set in stone after the first few hundred miles.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Boston View Post
New owners should drive the car in Sport mode for the first 500 miles as Comfort mode typically starts out in 2nd gear and computer may revert to this setting limiting acceleration performance.
If this is true, there's an exception for the AMG models. The owner's manual recommends just the opposite.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Shrdlu View Post
Doesn't the transmission continually adapt as shifting inputs change? I can't imagine that the adaptive software is forever set in stone after the first few hundred miles.
I'm sure you are right, however, starting in second gear probably would not change under normal driving conditions. GLE just posted that his AMG manual says not to do this. I fact checked the MB tech that told me this on some other assertions he made but NOT this particular one. It made sense to me as I have seen car start out in second gear in comfort mode and first in sport mode. That said; I'm going to fact check this recommendation and get back to group. If there are any MB techs on this board, please chime in!
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:32 AM
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I've driven my 350d in comfort mode since day one although I use the customized setting where I have the steering and suspension in sport mode while the engine stays in comfort mode. Works for me, heavier steering, firmer ride but relaxed transmission shifts and maximized fuel economy. Just spent the weekend in northern Ontario where we got huge amounts of snow (pretty much snowed without stopping for 48 hours) and I am very impressed with the GLE in a mixture of bad driving conditions. I LOVE the smart wipers where the fluid comes out from the blades - have never had such a clean window when driving in horrible conditions. Felt very safe with my wife and daughters as precious cargo this weekend.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:29 AM
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Logically thinking I don't think it is so important whether you drive in Sport or Comfort mode, because in both modes if you are careful with your right foot the engine shifts to a higher gear b/n 2 and 3500 rpm. It is true that in sport mode it is easier to get closer to the red part of the rpm scale, but if you press full throtle in Comfort, you also load the engine more than desired during the break period. Overall for the first 1500km it is important not to overload the engine too much and not to get in the red rpm-s too often, right?
As far as the adaptive feature of the transmission, my previous vehicle had an adaptive transmission as well and I didn't notice significant difference in the way it shifts after mild or sporty driving. For me the transmission adapts much more subtly to the way we drive and it is not so evident whether it changes the gear faster or raises the rpm-s before going to next gear.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:54 PM
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I have been reading about this adaptive transmission and can someone tell me what it actually means, and when I go for a test drive how can I find out?


I have seen a few people recommend to pass up the GLE and wait until a refresh. Also considering the X5, Volvo XC90 and the GL450.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tin369 View Post
I have been reading about this adaptive transmission and can someone tell me what it actually means, and when I go for a test drive how can I find out?


I have seen a few people recommend to pass up the GLE and wait until a refresh. Also considering the X5, Volvo XC90 and the GL450.
When I was considering the same vehicles as you, also few people told me not to go with the GLE. Believe me all those people do not test drive these vehicles, they are not gonna buy them, they are watching reviews in youtube and that's it. When you test drive a gle, you wont feel nothing special from the adaptive transmission, its idea is that it adapts to your manner of driving with the hundreds of kilometers passed, and if you drive sportier, it starts to shift gears sportier. If you don't know it is adaptive, you will never understand by itself

Considering the different vehicles, go and testdrive them yourself, and buy the one you feel is for you. I didn't testdrive the XC90 because it's crazy to buy a 2 ton SUV with 4 cylinders, the GLS is too big. The X5 is nice, drives different from the GLE, the interior is more modern, but I'd not say the GLE feels less luxuriuos from inside. Definitely the GLE is the more comfortable and much quiter car. Try them and decide, don't listen to someone's talking what he heard and saw.
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Old 01-31-2017, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by yavor View Post
When I was considering the same vehicles as you, also few people told me not to go with the GLE. Believe me all those people do not test drive these vehicles, they are not gonna buy them, they are watching reviews in youtube and that's it. When you test drive a gle, you wont feel nothing special from the adaptive transmission, its idea is that it adapts to your manner of driving with the hundreds of kilometers passed, and if you drive sportier, it starts to shift gears sportier. If you don't know it is adaptive, you will never understand by itself

Considering the different vehicles, go and testdrive them yourself, and buy the one you feel is for you. I didn't testdrive the XC90 because it's crazy to buy a 2 ton SUV with 4 cylinders, the GLS is too big. The X5 is nice, drives different from the GLE, the interior is more modern, but I'd not say the GLE feels less luxuriuos from inside. Definitely the GLE is the more comfortable and much quiter car. Try them and decide, don't listen to someone's talking what he heard and saw.


The X5 is supposed to come out with a new model next year or so, and I do feel the interior of the X5 feels cheap compared to GLE. I was planning to get the GLE for my wife when her C300 leas eis up next year, However, if I get the GLE now, I can give her the GLE next year and I can get something for myself and I can't figure out what that second car should be.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:42 PM
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GLE350d, Porsche TE
Joining the GLE Club soon!

July Build V6 Diesel 2016
Premium, Sports package, LED, IDP, Leather, Executive, Climate cup holders, Climate seats, Multi Countour with massage, 3M wrapped.
Last new avail within 2000 miles!
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by nookie View Post
Joining the GLE Club soon!

July Build V6 Diesel 2016
Premium, Sports package, LED, IDP, Leather, Executive, Climate cup holders, Climate seats, Multi Countour with massage, 3M wrapped.
Last new avail within 2000 miles!
Congrats! We're waiting for pics and impressions. And pics if the seats as well
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nookie View Post
Joining the GLE Club soon!

July Build V6 Diesel 2016
Premium, Sports package, LED, IDP, Leather, Executive, Climate cup holders, Climate seats, Multi Countour with massage, 3M wrapped.
Last new avail within 2000 miles!
Nookie- Congrats on the new GLE- Scrutinize your seats before you take delivery! See loose seat cover thread.
Also- you may want to ask about vehicle break in during delivery process. There is conflicting info out there about proper break in process with adaptive system. !Looking forward to your pics!
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:17 AM
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Thanks very much!, the seats looked good when test driving but will double check for sure on delivery Saturday along with what exactly (if anything) is required for break-in.😊
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:23 PM
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GLE350d, Porsche TE
Here's the new bird!
Attached Thumbnails GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review-photo79.jpg   GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review-photo994.jpg   GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review-photo221.jpg   GLE 350d 4Matic SUV - first week user review-photo167.jpg  

Last edited by nookie; 02-04-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:40 AM
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We've been very happy with our 2014 ML350 Bluetec - unfortunately it seems that the V6 diesels in the ML/GLE are now a thing of the past, at least in the US market. Enjoy yours!
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:50 AM
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Ok, mini review of my own, coming from few months owning and ML some comparisons.

GLE drives flawless!, put about 500 miles on it this weekend, The 9th gear on the highway turns about 1300RPM at 70MPH, the torgue is really utilized here!- Compared to the ML the 9 gear shifts much smoother but more often!, having had ML and GLE now, the 7 gears on "old" ML is problably a better choice for city/commuter type driving as it just "hangs" in gear and stays there!.

Seats, have the Leater interior, like it a lot, multi contour really nice feature!, infinite adjustment in just about every direction and worth it.
The massage feature, don't think it's worth buying but nice to have on long trips I'm sure.
Both Leather and Multicontour and worthwhile options imho.

Command display/mouse, I was really excited about this one and the map/display is excellent!, if I were to compare to ML however ML wins after playing around with this for hours. here's why.

The mouse is useless and sits in the way
I find after a while, and disabled as the palm of your hand constantly hits it when using rotary dial.

The command interface/software is actually a step backwards from ML.
For instance on ML you press radio button to cycle through AM/FM/Sat ect, on GLE this requires multiple inputs. Apple Carplay- one word still USELESS

The nose Design I like a lot, personal preference
but 10x nicer than ML imho!.

Park/Distance sensors, seem to have smarter logic and not beep when not really required.(Like in Drivethrough)

LED Lights, AWESOME!!
Reverse backup lights- suck/still suck

Suspension, theoreticlly the same as ML but more customization available, not just comfort/sport (airmatic version) You can set steering/suspension/engine shifting mode all independantly.

Eco start/stop - standard on GLE
Auto hand brake, the hand brake seems to set every time you put GLE in park plus switch engine off, it releases when hitting the gas. have not found an option anywhere to disable this.

Coming from another brand the GLE is a no brainer as it's a VERY nice!!!

it's little details that make you either like ML or GLE. I'll update some more as I think of it.

Last edited by nookie; 02-06-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Boston View Post
1. Surround view camera system is a must have and should virtually eliminate wives/husbands from curb rashing rims or scratching bumpers!
You'd think so but my fiancee managed to curb one of the rims after the first week.

My one regret was not getting the night package.
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