So, you’re deciding between the Mercedes GLE 350 and the GLE 450, right?
Looking at the used inventory on Edmunds, around 77% of Mercedes GLE listings are for the GLE 350 (4MATIC), while only 8.6% are for the GLE 450.
That means the GLE 350 is far more popular than the GLE 450, but why?
Let’s break down their differences and help you pick!
The main difference between the Mercedes GLE 350 and the GLE 450 is that the GLE 350 has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, while the GLE 450 has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo engine.
8 Differences between the Mercedes GLE 350 and the GLE 450
Ready to learn more?
First up, a quick overview table of all the differences between the GLE 350 and the GLE 450:
|Differences||GLE 350||vs.||GLE 450|
|1. Engine||2.0L 4-cylinder turbo||3.0L 6-cylinder turbo|
|2. Performance||255 hp and 295 lb-ft||375 hp and 369 lb-ft|
|3. Weight||4,916 lbs||5,060 lbs|
|4. Fuel economy||23 combined MPG||22 combined MPG|
|5. All-wheel drive vs. rear-wheel drive||Available as an RWD or with 4MATIC AWD||Always comes with 4MATIC AWD|
|6. AIRMATIC suspension||Optional||Standard|
|7. Towing capacity||5,950 to 7,700 lbs, depending on year||7,700 lbs|
|8. Price||Starts at $62,650||Starts at $69,500|
Now, let’s dive into the details!
The most significant difference between these two is their engine.
The GLE 350 is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo engine. If that sounds like a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo to you, just know it’s a solid engine designed for smooth rides and reliable performance.
Meanwhile, the GLE 450 comes with a 3.0-liter straight-six turbo.
What’s the difference, you ask?
Compared to the GLE 350, the GLE 450 is noticeably more powerful, especially on the highways. Plus, it will sound more like a real engine instead of a vacuum cleaner.
But wait, there’s more.
The GLE 450 also comes with what’s called an EQ boost.
This nifty feature can provide an additional 21 horsepower when you need that little extra kick.
It’s like giving your regular morning coffee an extra shot of espresso!
Now, onto one of the most exciting aspects for many of us – performance!
Here is an overview of the engines of the GLE 350 and GLE 450 and their performance:
|Mercedes||Engine||Power (hp)||Torque (lb-ft)||0 to 60 mph|
|GLE 350||2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo||255||295||6.6 seconds|
|GLE 450||3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo||375||369||5.3 seconds|
With the GLE 350, you’re looking at reaching 60 mph from a complete stop in about 6.6 seconds. That’s quite snappy, right?
It’s thanks to the GLE 350’s engine, which puts out 255 horsepower and a torque of 295 lb-ft.
However, the GLE 450 is like the big sibling in this comparison.
It gets you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds!
With 375 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the GLE 450 is for those who like to feel a little more adrenaline on their drives.
The difference in numbers might seem small, but on the road, it feels like jumping from a regular bicycle to a speed bike.
You might be wondering, “Why does weight matter in cars?”
Think of it like this: Have you ever noticed how carrying a heavy backpack can slow you down when walking or running?
Similarly, the weight of a car can influence how it drives, accelerates, and even how much fuel it uses.
So, diving into our contenders, the GLE 350 comes in with a curb weight of 4,916 lbs.
Imagine around 27 average-sized adults gathered together for a group hug; that’s roughly how much the GLE 350 weighs!
On the flip side, the GLE 450 is even heavier, weighing 5,060 lbs.
That’s like adding an extra adult to all your drives.
This added weight is mainly due to the larger engine and the additional features packed into the car.
While it might sound like a small difference, it can translate to more body roll in the corners, although the added weight will give the car a more planted feel.
In a nutshell?
The GLE 350 offers a slightly lighter and nimble feel, ideal for those who love quick turns. The GLE 450, with its added weight, gives drivers a bit more stability, especially when the speedometer starts climbing.
4. Fuel economy
Next up, there is a small difference between the cars’ fuel economy.
Starting with the GLE 350, it returns a combined 23 MPG. Not too bad, right?
Now, the GLE 450, with its bigger engine and added power, gets you a combined 22 MPG. That’s just one mile less per gallon compared to its counterpart.
Considering the extra performance and horsepower, sacrificing one mile per gallon doesn’t seem too big a trade-off, right?
5. Rear-wheel drive vs. all-wheel drive
When it comes to drivetrains, the GLE 350 offers flexibility.
You can get it as a rear-wheel drive variant, which means only the rear wheels do the pushing. This setup is great for those who love a bit of playfulness in their drive.
But if you’re the type who faces varied terrains or unpredictable weather, the GLE 350 is also available with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
With AWD, power is distributed to all four wheels, giving you better traction and control.
The GLE 450, on the other hand, doesn’t make you choose. It comes standard with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
Therefore, it’s ready to tackle anything from sunny highways to rainy backroads or even the occasional snowy trail.
6. AIRMATIC suspension
Think of your car’s suspension like the mattress on your bed. A good one can make the difference between waking up refreshed and waking up feeling like you’ve wrestled all night.
The AIRMATIC suspension in cars is like one of those premium memory foam mattresses.
And, well, the GLE 350 offers the AIRMATIC suspension as an optional upgrade. This means it comes with a more basic suspension system as standard (which is still super comfortable, by the way).
However, you can still choose to elevate your driving experience by adding AIRMATIC.
The GLE 450, however, comes standard with the AIRMATIC suspension.
So, right off the bat, you’re set for a luxurious, cloud-like driving experience.
7. Towing capacity
Ever thought about hitching a trailer, boat, or even a caravan to your vehicle for an adventurous weekend?
If yes, towing capacity is a number you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Starting with the GLE 350, there’s a little catch to note.
If you’re considering a model from 2022 or before, it can tow up to 5,950 lbs. However, from 2023 onwards, the GLE 350 now matches the towing capacity of the GLE 450 (regardless of model year), which is a solid 7,700 lbs.
To visualize, that’s akin to towing a large adult male elephant!
The golden question: how deep do we have to dig into our pockets for these luxurious rides?
The jump in price isn’t just for show.
It accounts for the larger engine, enhanced performance, and added luxuries like the standard AIRMATIC suspension.
What is the best choice?
Having absorbed all these details, you’re probably thinking: which one should I go for?
Let me guide you through the decision-making process.
If you’re on a tighter budget and looking for a luxurious experience without completely emptying your wallet, the GLE 350 is your best bet.
It’s more widely available in the used market (as the numbers on Edmunds suggest), and it offers an impressive package for its price. It’s a pretty sweet deal!
However, if you have a little more financial leeway and you want that six-cylinder engine, top-tier performance, and the plushness of standard AIRMATIC suspension, the GLE 450 is your best match. It’s like the GLE 350 but on steroids.
And remember, if towing capability is high on your list, avoid earlier GLE 350 models, which do have a slightly lower towing capacity.
In essence, the GLE 350 is the versatile all-rounder, while the GLE 450 is more niche but undeniably impressive.
One last tip is that if you ever want to get close to the power of the GLE 450 in your GLE 350, you can always consider getting a RaceChip.
RaceChip is a company offering Plug & Drive tuning box systems for many car models. They can be installed by yourself without needing any specialist knowledge or tools.
In fact, it will only take 10 to 15 minutes, and when you buy a RaceChip, you’ll receive car model-specific installation instructions!
Using a RaceChip, you can give your Mercedes GLE 350 a performance boost of up to 54 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque:
And the best thing is that a RaceChip is much more affordable than the upgrade from a GLE 350 to a GLE 450. You can check out RaceChip’s website here!
From engines to suspensions, from performance to price, we saw all the differences between the Mercedes GLE 350 and GLE 450.
If you’re considering these models, we highly encourage you to take them for a test drive.
After all, nothing can truly replicate the feeling of being behind the wheel, experiencing the drive for yourself.
From personal experience, I can say Mercedes rarely disappoints. You get that nice feeling of being wrapped in luxury, no matter which you pick.
More Mercedes GLE comparisons
Not sure yet about these GLE models? If so, check out our other comparisons here: