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2021 Mercedes GLE 450: comfort without compromise

Mercedes GLE450
(Image credit: Mercedes)

There’s no doubt that the 2021 Mercedes GLE 450 can turn heads. Whether it’s on the road or sitting in a parking lot, the GLE 450 makes you want to do a double-take each time you pass it. It’s got a bold, broad body that sits squarely on impressive wheels (19-22 inches), granting it a wide enough stance to hold its own when driving down busy highways.

The sleek design continues around to the side and rear, with smooth lines tapering along the sides to make the GLE 450 as aerodynamic as possible. Keeping that body in check is the Airmatic air suspension, which helps to counteract body roll, pitching, and squat. What does that mean to everyday driving? A smooth, controlled driving experience no matter where you’re taking this car around.

WE DROVE

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450

Engine: V6 petrol engine
Power output: 270kW/367hp
Max speed: 250 km/h
0-100km/h: 5.7 seconds
Price: from AED 318,250

The interiors of course are second to none, with the trademark Mercedes luxury being prevalent through the cabin. Rear passenger seats are very comfortable to sit in, though we do find that the middle rear seat is more suited for a child than a full-sized adult. Still, there’s plenty of legroom and headroom at the back, so passengers can ride in comfort.

Luggage capacity is aplenty here, with up to 2,055L of space at the back with the second seat row folded down. That’s more than enough space to pile in camping gear, equipment, and whatever else you fancy taking along on a road trip.

The comforts don’t stop there – the GLE 450 features seats that provide excellent back and body support, as well as various massage settings for the driver and front passenger. There’s something quite reassuring about driving to RAK while have a 20-minute deep tissue massage, we just have to point out. There’s also lighting and other comfort tweaks that make long-distance driving much more bearable, so if you’re constantly on long stretches of boring highway, you really don’t feel as tired when driving in the GLE 450.

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Mercedes GLE450

(Image credit: Mercedes)
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Mercedes GLE450

(Image credit: Mercedes)
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Mercedes GLE450

(Image credit: Mercedes)

Of course, the star of the interiors is still  the stunning MBUX infotainment system. Two screens – one for the driver and one in the center – allow you to personalize exactly what kind of information you need to see. From speed limits to music information to navigation, it’s all accessible with just a few flicks. Phone integration of course is another boon – both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported here, and accessible through a USB-C port in the front center cubby. Voice control is very good pretty much every time, and pairing with the smartphone app allows you to remotely unlock, start, and monitor your vehicle from any location.

Navigating the multi-page infotainment system can be done through several means – the touchscreen itself, the steering wheel, the center console, or even by waving in the air (with the appropriate package installed). There’s a lot to tweak and explore, and we advise you take a good tour through each menu to find out where everything’s located, as some settings aren’t quite as intuitive as we would have liked.

There’s also a ton of safety measures in place with the GLE 450, including 360-degree camera, parking assist, blind spot monitoring, lane assistance, emergency braking, and a lot more. Of course, there’s a steep price to pay for all of this safety, but if you’re looking for a truly secure car to be driving around the busy streets of the UAE, this is definitely a worthy contender.

Out on the road, the GLE 450 drives effortlessly and quietly. Sound barely penetrates the cabin, and coupled with the suspension, you’re in for a really relaxing drive. The car firmly tackles corners, so even at higher speeds you don’t quite feel that you’re leaning in too much. Coupled with the Airmatic suspension, you’ll definitely feel at east driving along the roads, and there’s plenty of acceleration power with even the slightest tap of your foot. Make no mistake, the GLE 450 certainly means business, and with enough comfort and tech to spoil you every step of the way, it’s a truly luxurious ride to enjoy – no matter how long or short the drive may be.

The GLE 450 starts at AED 318,250 – our review model comes in at a luxe AED 432,437, so this isn’t a car that’s going to skimp on luxury.

Nick Rego
A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.