The GLE Plug-in Hybrid continues the family look of the latest generation Mercedes-Benz, with a bold, confident grille that features the three-pointed star and a bonnet with sharply defined creases leading to the cabin. Wheel arches are flared to give an overall impression of a well-defined and imposing large SUV. Mercedes claims the GLE has the lowest drag coefficient of any SUV, with cd values starting from 0.29, which contributes to its long range.

Inside, there’s lots of wow factor with ambient lighting, well-chosen interior trim and supremely comfortable seats. The long wheelbase also means there’s lots of legroom for rear passengers. Despite the addition of a battery, boot capacity remains at a generous 1,915-litres. You’re guaranteed modern luxury both on and off the road, as the GLE is brilliantly quiet and smooth-running.


There’s a range of tech to fill up the GLE’s roomy cabin, starting with two 12.3-inch touchscreens and the latest MBUX infotainment system which can be activated by saying, ‘Hey Mercedes’. For example, if you’re looking for a charging station while on the move, just say, ‘Hey Mercedes, find me nearby charging stations’, and you’ll be notified of those closest to you. As well as accessing a range of handy navigation and charging features from the display, Mercedes me Charge provides access to a growing number of charging networks and makes easy work of paying for top-ups avia a monthly bill.


Travelling in the new GLE, you’re surrounded by safety features and the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems. If you’re planning on using the SUV for towing a horsebox, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist makes it easy even if you aren’t experienced by controlling the steering angle of the car automatically. Standard features include Active Braking Assist and the PRE-SAFE anticipatory safety system, whilst the Driving Assistance package includes Active Distance Assist and Active Lane-Change Assist.


The GLE 350 de has a 134bhp electric motor at the front, which joins forces with the 192bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. It boasts an electric-only top speed of 100mph, which ups to 130mph when the combustion engine chimes in, too. It uses the same nine-speed automatic gearbox found in the rest of the range, comes with four-wheel drive and makes the 0-62mph sprint in 6.8 seconds.

The SUV uses a large 31.2kWh battery and has a WLTP estimated range of 61.5 miles – very impressive when you compare it to other plug-in hybrid models (the GLA Plug-in Hybrid has a range of 37 miles, for example). Using a rapid charger, you can charge the battery from 0-80% in around 30 minutes, or from a wallbox it’ll take roughly 90 minutes to reach full charge. You’re looking at a CO2 figure of just 29g/km and economy of 256.8mpg, and can adjust the levels of regenerative braking via the steering wheel paddles.