Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLE Years

Are you considering a Mercedes-Benz GLE but not sure which model year you should buy? Here's a guide to help you make the right choice (with graphs).

In this guide, I’ll analyze all Mercedes-Benz GLE generations, revealing the best Mercedes-Benz GLE years to buy and the worst GLE years to avoid.

Our analysis draws on authoritative sources, including NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, ensuring a comprehensive review of reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction.

We’ll highlight key findings about engine performance, safety features, technological advancements, and the impact of common problems and recalls on the GLE’s reputation.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLC YearsBest & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLK Years

Table of ContentsShow

Mercedes-Benz GLE Generations

The Mercedes-Benz GLE, introduced in 2016, quickly set a new standard for luxury SUVs with its blend of performance, comfort, and advanced technology.

As a successor to the M-Class, the GLE was designed to offer an enhanced driving experience, incorporating the latest in Mercedes-Benz’s safety features, interior luxury, and innovative infotainment systems.

Below is a table listing the generations of the Mercedes-Benz GLE from 2016 to the present.

3rd Generation (W166)2016-2019
4th Generation (W167)2020-Present

Generational changes, especially in design, technology, and performance, might be the deciding factor for potential buyers looking to understand the progression of the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When determining the best, neutral, and worst years for the Mercedes-Benz GLE, we consider a wide range of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

A forthcoming graph will display the combined ratings from these authoritative sources, offering insight into each model year’s overall reliability and satisfaction.

Mercedes Benz GLE Car Smite Score (Combined Overall Score)

The categorization of all model years of the Mercedes-Benz GLE into best, neutral, and worst years provides a clear guide for potential buyers and enthusiasts.

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
3rd Generation (W166)20192016
4th Generation (W167)2022

Neutral Years offer a balanced ownership experience without the pronounced highs or lows in recalls, customer complaints, or critical acclaim that characterize the best or worst years.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can significantly impact a vehicle’s reliability rating. A higher frequency of complaints and recalls suggests lower reliability for those model years.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Mercedes-Benz GLE 3rd Generation (2016-Present)

Mercedes Benz GLE (3rd generation, 2016 model)
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE

The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, launched in 2016, represented a significant leap forward in the luxury SUV market. With its introduction, Mercedes-Benz promised a blend of advanced technology, robust performance, and unmatched luxury.

2019 is the best year for the first-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE, while models from 2016 to 2018 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2019

The 2019 model year stands out as the best year for the third-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE.

It featured the powerful yet efficient GLE 450 engine, a 3.0L I6 turbocharged engine with EQ Boost, delivering 362 hp and a notable fuel efficiency for its class.

The 2019 GLE also introduced the revolutionary MBUX infotainment system, offering a user-friendly interface, voice control, and augmented reality navigation.

Safety was paramount, with features like Active Brake Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and the PRE-SAFE system enhancing the vehicle’s preventive safety measures.

This year’s model also boasted advanced driver-assist technologies, including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® and Active Steering Assist, ensuring a safe and comfortable driving experience.

The interior offered luxurious comfort with high-quality materials and state-of-the-art climate control systems, making the 2019 GLE a top choice for luxury SUV buyers.

The Worst Years: 2016, 2017, 2018

Which are the Mercedes-Benz GLE years to avoid? The early years of this generation, particularly from 2016 to 2018, faced their share of challenges.

These models encountered issues across the electrical system, engine, fuel system, and steering components.

Notably, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE experienced problems with door lock mechanisms and power steering assist failure.

Recalls were frequent, addressing serious concerns like airbag deployment failures, engine stalling due to ECU malfunctions and water intrusion, and compromised braking performance due to oil leaks.

These years suffered from reliability issues that overshadowed their technological and performance advancements, making them less desirable for those seeking dependability synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz brand.

See NHTSA 2016, 2017, 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Mercedes-Benz GLE 4th Generation (2020-Present)

Mercedes Benz GLE 4th generation 2020 model
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE

The fourth generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, debuting in 2020, marked a new era in luxury SUVs, blending state-of-the-art technology with superior comfort and sophisticated design.

The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE’s best years span between 2022 and 2024, while the worst years to avoid are 2020 and 2021.

The Best Years: 2022, 2023, 2024

The 2022, 2023, and 2024 models are considered the best years for the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE.

These models are equipped with advanced powertrains, including the GLE 350’s efficient 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine, delivering 255 hp, and the GLE 450’s powerful 3.0L I6 turbo with EQ Boost, producing 362 hp.

The integration of the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission in these models enhances driving dynamics and fuel efficiency, with the GLE 350 averaging 19 city/27 highway MPG.

Safety and technology features in these years are top-notch, with the latest MBUX infotainment system offering augmented reality navigation, voice control, and a touchscreen interface.

Safety innovations include standard Active Brake Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus, incorporating advanced features like Active Stop-and-Go Assist and PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side.

The interior boasts luxury appointments across various trim levels, from premium leather upholstery to advanced climate control systems, ensuring a comfortable and refined driving experience.

The Worst Years: 2020, 2021

The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE model years to avoid, 2020 and 2021, despite introducing many new features, encountered significant issues that affected their overall reliability.

These models faced recalls related to inoperative rearview camera displays, ESC malfunctions, engine stalling due to water intrusion, and fuel pump failures.

Such issues raised concerns about the reliability of these early models in the fourth generation, particularly given the critical nature of these faults in terms of safety and vehicle functionality.

Despite the technological advancements and luxury features, these reliability issues led to the 2020 and 2021 models being considered the least favorable within this generation.

See NHTSA 2020, 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE recalls and complaints.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Resale Values

Discover the trends in Mercedes-Benz GLE’s average resale values across different years in this detailed graph.

Mercedes Benz GLE Average List Price


What is the best year of the Mercedes-Benz GLE?

After reviewing the Mercedes-Benz GLE’s generations, it’s clear that 2019, 2022, 2023, and 2024 stand out as the best years, offering advanced technology, safety, and performance.

Conversely, 2016-2018, 2020, and 2021 are the worst Mercedes-Benz GLE years to avoid for potential buyers due to their recall history and reliability concerns.

What features do you prioritize when selecting a luxury SUV like the Mercedes-Benz GLE?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.