Mercedes-Benz GLE

mid-size luxury 4x4 car

The Mercedes-Benz GLE, formerly Mercedes-Benz ML-Class is a mid-size SUV produced by the luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz since early 1997.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Mercedes-Benz GLE
2020 model
Production1997–2015 (M-Class)
2015–present (GLE)
AssemblyTuscaloosa, United States
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size luxury SUV (1997–2005)
Mid-size luxury crossover SUV (2005–present)
Body style5-door SUV
5-door coupe SUV (2015–present)
LayoutFour-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive

The original M-Class was a typical body-on-frame SUV, before in 2005, switching to unibody. In April 2015, the M-Class/ML was renamed to 'GLE'. Hybrid trims were available from 2005.

1st gen (1997)

Front (1st gen)
Rear (1st gen)

The 1997 ML-Class, which was code named 'W163' was originally made to replace the G-Class, which was only 11 years old at the time of the plan. A plan was made in 1992 to base the car on the Mitsubishi Pajero, but in 1993, the plan was dropped because of 'technical issues'.[1][2] In 1993, Mercedes had made a plan to search for a location to build a manufacturing plant. In July 1996, construction had started in Vance, a city in Tuscaloosa, with the first car being produced in February 1997.

In 2001, the M-Class had gotten an small update.

2nd gen (2005)

Front (2nd gen)
Rear (2nd gen)

In 1999, Mercedes had already started working on the second generation of the M-Class, after 2 years of being in production. In 2000, there were already design ideas for the new car. The new ML-Class' codename is 'W164'. It now shares a unibody structure with the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. The new M-Class is slightly larger than the previous generation.

3rd gen (2011)

Front (3rd gen, M-Class 250)
Front (3rd gen, M-Class 350)
Rear (3rd gen, M-Class)



Although it had only been 1 year since the 2nd generation M-Class, in 2006, there were design ideas for the new ML-Class. In 2008, the chosen design was designed in 2008 by Emiel Burki. The new M-Class, codename W166, rolled of the production line in July 20, 2011 for the 2012 model year. It is improved in a large amount of ways, includes extra legroom, and has unwanted things from the previous generation removed. It takes styling cues from the 2012-2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and has full-LED headlights and taillights. The ML-Class is positioned in between the Mercedes-Benz GLK and the GL-Class

The new W166 GLE was unveiled to the public in January 2015, along with the new coupe SUV version of the W166 GLE, codenamed C292. The main reason it was renamed to 'GLE', was because of Mercedes' new naming strategy. Now, the GLE is positioned between the Mercedes-Benz GLC and the GLS.

GLE W 166
GLE W 166
GLE C 292

4th gen (2019)


The 4th generation GLE was unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, codenamed V167. The new GLE offers two plug-in hybrid options in Europe, and two petrol options in the U.S. For the first time ever, the car under the GLE name offers a 7-seat option. The plug-in hybrid's all-electric range is 90 to 99 km (56 to 62 mi). The coupe SUV's new codename is C167, and in China, the new GLE offers a longer wheelbase version for the first time ever. The new GLE is visibly longer than its predecessors.

GLE V 167
GLE V 167
GLE C 167


  1. "Mercedes, Mitsubishi discuss sharing sport-utility". The news. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  2. "Mitsubishi drops plan with Mercedes". The press courier. Retrieved 13 October 2012.

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