74: Mercedes-Benz GLE – revamp has turned also-ran into real competitor

Top 100 cars for 2020: 2.0-litre diesel version means that the GLE can undercut most of its rivals on base price

Merc GLE: All that holds it back, really, is a slight sense of waywardness to the handling; it doesn’t feel as well tied-down as opposition

Merc GLE: All that holds it back, really, is a slight sense of waywardness to the handling; it doesn’t feel as well tied-down as opposition

 

Merc’s big SUV (well, not its biggest but do you really need to upgrade to a GLS?) was re-invented this year and it has been transformed from also-ran to being close to class-leading.

The style is very much a re-tread of what went before, but inside the new ‘digital plank’ all-electronic dash displays looks striking, and renders the infotainment efforts of most rivals obsolete at a stroke. It’s also far more roomy in the back seats than most of those rivals, and there is now - for the first time - the option of extra seats in the boot.

Basic 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel version means that the GLE can undercut most of its rivals on base price, yet doesn’t in the process feel like a bargain-bucket version - that four-cylinder engine is actually a pretty strong performer.

All that holds it back, really, is a slight sense of waywardness to the handling; it doesn’t feel as well tied-down as opposition from BMW, Audi, and Volvo.

Best model: GLE 300d 4MATIC AMG-Line for €85,332

Price range: €78,965 to €108,603 Finance from €906 per month.

Co2 emissions: 156 to 191g/km

Sum up: Big and stylish and pretty good value.

* A note on Co2 figures: For almost all the cars in the Top 100, we’ve quoted the stricter WLTP figures for Co2 emissions. A few are still quoted on their older NEDC2 figure, and that’s the number they’ll be taxed on. If you’re confused at all, just consult your local dealer for specific data for the make and model in which you’re interested.