Wednesday, November 8, 2023



An aggressive Mercedes-Benz television ad campaign pushes its electric vehicles and plans to go all-electric by the end of this decade “where market conditions allow,” according to the Germany luxury automaker.

But if a bit of range anxiety is holding you back — or you often take trips that extend past the typical range of today’s all-electric models, Mercedes has the solution.

The plug-in version of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC offers the convenience of extended mileage when your battery is depleted with a gasoline engine taking over seamlessly.

And you still have the convenience and frugality of electric driving. The plug-in (or PHEV) goes about 48 miles before that gas engine kicks in which should cover most of your daily driving chores.

The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gas engine pu
ts out 248 horsepower and  295 pound-feet of torque by itself. The electric motor is rated at 134 hp but an impressive 325 pound-feet of torque.

Combined horsepower and torque checks in at 381 hp and 479 lb.-ft, which scoots the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, according to the company.

That’s about a half-second slower than the gas-only GLE 450 4MATIC but over a second quicker than the base GLE 350 4MATIC with its 4-cylinder engine.

A 9-speed shiftable automatic is the standard transmission, earning the 2024 Mercedes GLE 450e 4MATIC an EPA rating of 58 MPGe or 24 miles-per-gallon operating with gasoline only. (Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive also is standard.)

The government estimates annual fuel cost at $1,700 and fuel savings of $1,250 over a 5-year period.

In addition to the hybrid drivetrain, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC benefits from all the updates the GLE lineup receives for 2024, including a new front bumper and grille, modified rear bumper, and restyled wheels for the exterior. Inside is the second generation of the company’s MBUX infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard features include dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch widescreen digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch widescreen touchscreen display with navigation, a center console touchpad to operate infotainment functions, “Hey, Mercedes” voice control, heated front seats with lumbar support, selectable ambient lighting, power sunroof, LED headlamps and taillamps, and safety features like Attention Assist, active brake assist, parking assist with surround view, and blind-spot assist.

That’s all covered by a starting MSRP of $69,500, but you’re not likely to get off that “cheap.” Want special paint like the cardinal red metallic on my test 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC? Add on another $1,750. A beige and black leather interior adds $1,650.

Other packages like Driver Assistance (active lane change assist, brake assist with cross traffic function, Pre-Safe Plus, etc.), Pinnacle Trim (premium Burmeister Sound, head-up display, heated/cooled front cupholders, etc.), a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch 10-spoke wheels, a power adjustable second row, soft close doors, and illuminated aluminum running boards ran the bottom line of my test model to $86,770 including the $1,150 destination and delivery fee.

What I liked about the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC: The plush, spacious cabin seats five comfortably and provides a quiet, smooth ride. Cargo space is generous though the optional third-row seat would seriously cut into the available 33.3 cubic feet. All-electric range is outstanding for a PHEV, and coaxed 60 miles on its test drive over the advertised 48. The surround view camera is invaluable when maneuvering in tight spaces.

What I didn’t like about the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC: The touchpad that can be used to adjust infotainment functions can be touched accidentally and make a switch you don’t really want. Steering wheel buttons are.suited for the the fingers of a 5-year-old. Fortunately, functions also work off the “Hey, Mercedes” voice command..

Would buy the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e 4MATIC? I would go for this over the fully electric vehicle (which isn’t offered on this vehicle) because of the gasoline engine to relieve range anxiety. The downside is that many of the desirable features come as options that run up the final total. That said, with the starting MSRP for the PHEV is the same as for the gas-powered V6 GLE 450 version, it pays to go with the former.

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