In today’s day and age of rapid urbanization and efficiency, small SUVs and crossovers are dominating the market as the two most popular car types today. This means that SUVs like the GLA, the GLB, and the GLC are now incredibly popular and are being sold way better when compared to the GLE, the G wagon, and the GLS.
This does not mean that these three aforementioned small SUVs are better, but rather the fact that most people deem them to be enough. If you compare the GLA, the GLB, and the GLC to the GLE, GLS, and the G-wagon, you are immediately going to notice that the latter three are better at almost everything, besides the price of course.
The G-wagon is in a league of its own which leaves us with the GLE and the GLS. These two are strikingly similar, but the GLS is larger, more luxurious, offers better engines, more space, and more of everything else. Mercedes says that the GLS is an S-Class on stilts, but the reality is that it is just a larger version of the GLE.
This means that the GLE is, in my opinion, a more reasonable purchase as it costs less, offers enough power while not being overbearingly large. Hardly anyone is going to say that the GLE lacks space anyway. All in all, the GLS is better, but the GLE is more reasonable and that is why it wins in this head-to-head battle.
2022 Mercedes GLE – The Mercedes Benz SUV sweet spot
The entry-level Mercedes GLE350 starts at $54,250 and it gets the 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine with 255hp and 273lb-ft of torque which is not all that fitting for such a large SUV. It’s also worth mentioning that the GLE350 does not come with AWD as the 4MATIC option adds another $2,000 on the entry price.
This means that the GLE450 is the one to get as it offers 362hp and 379lb-ft of torque from its 3.0L in-line 6-cylinder engine and it gets the Mercedes 4MATIC system from the factory. Both of these get the Mercedes trusty 9G 9-speed automatic transmission that is both smooth and relaxing to drive.
The GLE is more than large enough for most families, even with all three rows of seating in place. Design-wise, it looks more or less identical to the GLS, both from the inside and the outside. It drives similar to the GLS with the comparable engine and it returns a similar gas economy as well.
There aren’t all that many differences between the two because the GLE is indeed large enough for most people out there. However, if you want to max out the Mercedes SUV experience, you will have to go for the range-topping GLS.
2022 Mercedes GLS – The Mercedes SUV flagship
The entry-level Mercedes GLE450 starts at $77,850 and it gets the same powertrain and transmission combo found in the GLE450. However, if you are willing to pay more, you can opt for the range-topping GL580 that comes with a BiTurbo 4.0L V8 with 483hp and 516lb-ft of torque. All GLS models come with 4MATIC as standard.
The GLS also gets the 9G gearbox which means that the GLE450 and the GLS450 are incredibly similar, almost identical. This is a reoccurring theme when you take a lot at design as both of these look almost the same, the only difference is that the GLS is larger.
The GLS also offers more space, both for the passengers and the cargo space. Higher-quality materials are present in both of these, but the GLS does feel more premium. It’s safe to say that the regular GLS is not an S-Class on stilts, but the Maybach version might as well be.
The Maybach version of the GLS is what the GLS should have been from the factory as it is a true flagship SUV.
Conclusion – The GLE makes more sense to buy, but the Maybach GLS is the best
If you are not a Mercedes enthusiast, chances are that you will not always be able to tell the difference between the GLS and the GLE. If you want a large family SUV that can seat up to seven, the GLE is more than enough.
However, if you want the maximum amounts of space, power, and bragging rights, the GLS is the one to get. The differences between the regular GLE and GLS models are not enough to justify the price hike necessary in order to get into a GLS, and that is why buying the GLE makes more sense overall.
The GLE is also being offered as a coupe version while the GLS is strictly an SUV. However, things change when you venture into Maybach GLS territory, but the price of a Maybach SUV is also hard to swallow.
Is the 2022 Mercedes GLE more efficient than the Mercedes GLS?
If you compare the GLE350 with the GLS450, the GLE is noticeably more efficient. However, the GLE450 is almost the same as the GLS450 when it comes to efficiency. The range-topping V8 GLS models are far less efficient, but it’s the same story with the V8 AMG GLE 63.
Both of these are not class-leading when it comes to efficiency because they are way too big. Most people who buy these types of SUVs are not really all that heavy on MPG results anyway.
Is the 2022 Mercedes GLE a better chauffer-driven car than the GLS?
If you buy a large luxury SUV, chances are that you are planning on chauffeuring with it, and for these purposes, the GLS is better because it feels more upmarket and is a lot more spacious. You can get the GLS with captain’s chairs at the back which makes it a lot more comfortable.
That’s not to say that the GLE is also not good for VIP transportation, but rather that the GLS is simply better.
Should I buy the 2022 Mercedes GLS over the GLE?
The 2022 Mercedes GLE is almost as good as the GLS while the GLS costs a lot more money. It is true that the GLS is a better car, but not as much as you might think, especially if you get comparable-engine models.
All in all, if you simply want the biggest, the baddest, and the most impressive, the GLS is the way to go, yet if you want a large car without feeling like a bus, the GLE is the better choice overall.