For the first time in half a decade, a plug-in hybrid GLE will come to the US. The last PHEV GLE was the 2018 GLE 550e, and that car had a V6 turbo plug-in hybrid setup. Now, Mercedes-Benz gives us a proper PHEV GLE: It’s called the GLE 400e and comes packing a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine that provides a total of 381 horsepower. It joins the GLE lineup just in time for its 2024 facelift and price-wise, it will slot in between the GLE 450 and the GLE 580. There aren’t that many PHEV SUVs in the mid-size premium class, with nothing comparable from Audi or Genesis at the moment, so the GLE 400e’s natural rivals will be the Volvo XC90 Recharge and the BMW X5 xDrive45e. However, an updated and much improved 2024 xDrive50e is around the corner as part of the dramatically refreshed new 2024 BMW X5 lineup, and the Merc would have to beat that too. Considering the PHEV Bimmer’s substantially improved specs, the GLE 400e is facing a tough battle.
When is the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Coming Out?
There isn’t an official release date for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Plug-In Hybrid, but the automaker has noted that the GLE range will arrive at dealerships in the USA in 2023. We’re likely to deliveries in the third quarter of the year.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Price And Competition
Mercedes hasn’t given an indication of cost yet, but we expect the price of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e to be in the vicinity of $74k, which positions it between the GLE 450 and GLE 580. This would put it at a disadvantage compared to the 2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e, which has an MSRP of only $65,700 and is faster and more powerful.
Details about the facelifted 2024 X5 lineup have been released, and even though the very powerful new 483-hp xDrive50e will cost more than its predecessor at $72,500, that is still cheaper than our theorized Merc GLE 400e price, making the GLE 400e look like rather poor value. The 455-hp Volvo XC90 Recharge also starts at around $72,000. We hope that rumors are incorrect, though, and that Mercedes comes up with a sub-$70k price tag; we’re not holding our breath. Even at that price, it won’t be stellar value.
New Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Exterior and Colors
The GLE 400e will benefit from the facelift applied to the 2024 GLE lineup, which is to say it gets the same reshaped bumpers and chrome-decorated front air intakes as other GLEs, although we cannot discount the possibility that Mercedes will make the PHEV look a little different. It’s hard to tell because the one official photo of the hybrid model released by Mercedes that you see above is a side view that doesn’t give away many styling details. The rest of the photos alongside this story is of the normal gas GLE with the AMG Line kit fitted. It should get the same new headlights and taillights with their revised LED designs. Whether the hybrid will get access to the same new 19- and 20-inch alloy-wheel designs of the normal GLE, or whether it can be specced with the AMG Line package, remains to be seen.
As far as exterior colors for the Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e, we can make a few deductions based on available information, with the starting point being the color palette of the current GLE. It’s fair to assume that most of these will be carried over to the 2024 model. Mercedes is also introducing two new colors on the 2024 GLE – a Manufaktur shade called Alpine Grey, and Twilight Blue Metallic, which appears to be the color applied in the photo Mercedes provided above. However, sometimes hybrid offerings get access to a few bespoke hues to differentiate them from the herd and emphasize their greenness, so perhaps there is a surprise or two in store as well. We’ll know when Mercedes releases more information.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Dimensions
No official information is available about the exterior dimensions of the Mercedes GLE 400e, but we expect it to be similar to the current GLE SUV with its length of 194.3 inches, its width of 76.7 inches without the mirrors (84.9 inches with them), and its 117.9-inch wheelbase. The gas GLE is just under 71 inches in height, and we don’t yet know whether the economy-minded GLE 400e might be riding a little lower to reduce drag.
We can only speculate on what it will weigh, as no official figures are available at the moment. The weight difference between an X5 xDrive40i and xDrive45e is around 780 pounds and the latter’s 24-kWh battery has virtually the same capacity as the one in the GLE 400e. Allowing for advances in weight saving, the 23.3-kWh battery in the Mercedes might be a little lighter, while another advantage is Merc’s use of a smaller four-cylinder engine, which also saves weight. If we reduce that weight penalty to around 700 pounds and add that figure to the GLE 350 4Matic the new hybrid is essentially based on, we arrive at our guesstimate of around 5,400 pounds in curb weight.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Engine and Performance
Unlike the six-cylinder in the X5 hybrid, the engine in the Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and it launches at a time when BMW is dramatically upping the outputs of its own hybrid. As things are, the new GLE 400e has a total system output of 381 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. This is courtesy of the combined outputs of the 248-hp/295-lb-ft gas engine and permanently excited 134-hp/325-lb-ft synchronous electric motor. The GLE 400e’s figures compete well with the 2023 X5 xDrive45e’s 389 hp and 443 lb-ft, even though the BMW’s 0-60 time still beats the new Merc’s 5.8-second effort by half a second. Top speed is limited to 130 mph. The new 2024 X5 xDrive50e’s 483 hp and 516 lb-ft totally outclass the Mercedes’ figures, as does its 4.6-second sprint to 60.
The GLE 400e’s Hybrid driving mode works out the most appropriate use of the system depending on conditions, and prioritizes electric driving in town. The Off-Road drive program will even allow the GLE 400e to drive electrically off-road. We’re not sure what the tow rating of the 400e is, but the newly available Trailer Steering Assist, Trailer Maneuvering Assist, and trailer-route planner should be available for this model too. Given that Mercedes makes a song and dance about the EV driving mode being usable off-road, the Off-Road Engineering package with its underride guard and extra ground clearance might be offered on the hybrid too, but we won’t put our money on it. This package requires AirMatic air suspension and this will at least be an option on the hybrid, if not a standard fitment.
Mercedes has not released fuel-economy figures for the 2024 GLE 400e, but we know what it’s up against – the new 483-hp 2024 X5 xDrive50e and 455-hp Volvo XC90 Recharge. While we don’t have all of the 2024 BMW’s figures either, the current 389-hp xDrive45e already returns 20 mpg and 50 MPGe, and has a 31-mile all-electric range. BMW has only said the xDrive50e will have a 40-mile range, but we’re guessing gas mileage will improve too, thanks to its larger 25.7-kWh battery. The Volvo boasts an electric range of 32 miles on its 18.8-kWh battery and up to 58 MPGe.
The Mercedes has a 23.3-kWh battery, and to be competitive in this class, it would have to beat 40 miles in EV mode at the very least, and return 60 MPGe or better. Its European WLTP-estimated EV driving range is 57-65 miles, which might translate to at least 45 miles EPA, which suggests good efficiency. It will come as standard with an 11-kW onboard charger, and an optional Level 3 60-kW DC charger will be available – quite an unusual option on a PHEV. Mercedes has not yet supplied information on how long the battery will take to charge with either option.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e Interior and Cargo
In terms of interior design and features, the GLE 400e picks up all the enhancements that come standard with the facelifted GLE-Class, so expect the same overhauled MBUX infotainment system with new hardware and software to make it easier to use and expand its abilities. These include a much more powerful voice assistant that can do more things (like explain how to pair your phone or where to find the first-aid kit) and respond to certain commands without you having to say “Hey, Mercedes” anymore (like accepting a phone call). Smartphone integration is wireless now and the new system’s software can be updated over the air. Other new GLE features should carry over to the hybrid, such as the new chromed air vents, two additional rear USB ports, and the availability of a freshly upgraded optional premium Burmester audio system. Mercedes might try to differentiate the hybrid from other models inside, so we don’t know whether the other trims’ new color schemes, such as Catalana Beige/Black and Bahia Brown/Black, will be available to the hybrid.
The overall comfort of the Mercedes-Benz GLE 400e’s seats and the interior space available to occupants should be good, considering the reputation it’s built on. Being a modern PHEV, clever packaging should ensure that the trunk space of the Mercedes GLE 400e remains the same or very close to other GLEs’ 33.3 cubic feet.