2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350 Leasing Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey

Lease a 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350
starting at just $ 665 /mo.


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    The base model may be the GLE 350, but don't think of it as a downgrade. On paper, the power output may not be impressive for an SUV of this size, but in practice, it's more than adequate for most drivers. The GLE 350 4Matic gets up to speed with competence, though there's no mistaking the engine noise for anything but a four-cylinder.

    We also spent some time with the GLE 450 4Matic equipped with the midgrade Airmatic air suspension with adaptive dampers. It's not our suspension of choice since the ride quality, although comfortable, is far too soft, leaving us feeling oddly disconnected from the road. The isolation goes a bit too far, which in turn doesn't instill confidence when cornering. It also tends to exaggerate the lazy steering response, making the driving experience seem like a simulation or video game.

    Our favorite is the GLE 450 4Matic with the innovative new E-Active Body Control suspension. It takes to the curves well and delivers a very smooth ride thanks to a road scan feature that is similar to Mercedes' Magic Ride Control. One very cool trick up its sleeve is that selecting either the Curve or Sport drive mode activates a supplemental hydropneumatic system, which can actually tilt the GLE's body to counteract body roll like no other vehicle. The effect is a lot like how a motorcyclist leans while going around a turn. It's a little odd at first, but it is most certainly a "wow factor" that will impress drivers of any stripe. It transcends novelty by providing a surefootedness that is unique among SUVs. Usually, a vehicle's suspension must sacrifice ride comfort to gain improved handling. There is no such compromise here.

    Combined with E-Active Body Control, the 362-hp six-cylinder engine gives the impression of sharper responses and better overall performance. The GLE 450 accelerates to highway speeds with more ease than the four-cylinder GLE 350, and it sounds less taxed doing so. Mercedes estimates the GLE 450 will reach 60 mph in only 5.5 seconds, which is 1.5 seconds quicker than the GLE 350. While there's no question which model and specification we prefer, the big question will be price. Upgrades like these have never come cheap. If history serves as a guide, it may be well outside the limits of even generous budgets.

    On the whole, we're impressed with how the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE drives, regardless of engine choice. We struggle to find fault with it outside of the numbness of the midgrade air suspension. The automatic stop-start function can be a little rough, and there are some clumsy gear changes at low speeds, but these drawbacks are neither frequent nor significant.

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