Mercedes-AMG recently unveiled its refreshed mid-size SUV lineup, with the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 once again positioned below the snarling GLE 63 S that we review separately. Changes for the 2024 model are quite extensive, ranging from styling enhancements to a torquier engine. While the older model GLE 53 is an accomplished performance SUV, it doesn’t quite have what it takes to beat its most obvious rivals, including the Audi SQ7 and the new BMW X5 M60i. Mercedes-AMG will be hopeful that the latest update will put it in a better position to capitalize on its in-between status, bridging the gap between the cooking GLEs and the truly hot AMGs
We don’t have an official release date for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 SUV yet, but the automaker has stated it will be in dealerships in the USA in 2023, possibly sometime in the second half of the year.
The 2024 GLE 53 SUV is readily recognizable; the redesigned front fascia boasts a new design for the side air intakes, said to be inspired by a jet wing. In fact, the GLE 53 now looks more like a GLE 63 S than ever before. These changes are accompanied by new LED headlight designs with a “light flare” motif and restyled daytime running lights. The same multi-beam LED headlights with four light points that are optionally available on the normal GLE should be offered on the GLE 53 too. The rear lights maintain their overall shape, but the detailing and lens design are different, and the light signature now comprises two horizontal blocks, as in the standard facelifted GLE. As for all AMG vehicles going forward, the AMG logo now appears on the hood. A new 22-inch alloy-wheel design becomes available to the GLE 53 and will feature as standard on the GLE 63 S Coupe.
In terms of exterior colors for the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53, it once again follows the template set by the normal GLE. That is to say, it should have access to the same colors as last year unless the automaker is discontinuing some of them – but we do know there are two new colors, namely Twilight Blue Metallic and a new Manufaktur color called Alpine Grey, as seen in the accompanying images.
Mercedes has not announced any changes to the exterior dimensions of the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 SUV and unless the revised bumpers add or subtract a fraction of an inch, we’re expecting it to have the same length of 194.4 inches. Its width should still come in at 79.3 inches without the mirrors (84.9 inches including mirrors). Likewise, we have no reason to believe that the wheelbase of 117.9 inches and the height of 70.2 inches will see any changes.
The addition of new standard equipment might push the current curb weight of 5,082 pounds up by a few pounds, but there won’t be much in it.
In terms of powertrain specs, the updated Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 engine has a 48-volt Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) with 21 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque assisting the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. Together, they develop the same 429 hp as last year, but updated engine software and a larger turbocharger increase torque from 384 lb-ft to 413 lb-ft, that latter figure already available in a broad band from 2,200 to 5,800 rpm. In technical terms, this means that the entire power curve has been plumped up. So although the total of 429 hp is no higher than before, a higher percentage of that power figure is available throughout more of the rev range, and the result is improved acceleration: the GLE 53 can now complete the 0-60 sprint in 4.9 seconds, down from last year’s 5.2 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The same AMG Speedshift TCT 9G nine-speed automatic transmission is carried over to 2024, and the drive goes to all four wheels via Mercedes’ AMG Performance 4Matic+ AWD system that features fully variable torque distribution. Towing capacity is expected to remain an impressive 7,700 lbs, and trailering is now easier thanks to optional new Trailer Maneuvering Assist and Trailer Steering Assist driver-assistance features, as well as a trailer route planner.
The seats and interior of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 SUV may look the same at first glance, but some changes have been made inside. A new AMG Performance steering wheel is immediately noticeable, complete with AMG Drive Unit buttons incorporating their own displays. This steering wheel can optionally be heated and/or had in a carbon-fiber design. Standard equipment is shored up and although the GLE 53 already had a panoramic sunroof, automatic high beams, heated front seats, and a premium Burmester audio system as standard, more features are added this year. These include the Parking Assistance and Memory packages, a selectable AMG Performance exhaust, and MBUX Augmented Reality navigation.
AMG seats are available exclusively in leather and come with heating and ventilation. Additional interior trim options become available, notably the Macchiato Beige/Black and the Bahia Brown/Black color schemes. Trim can now also be rendered in High-Gloss Brown Linden wood or the Manufaktur option of Piano Black Flowing Lines.
That MBUX infotainment system is not just carried over from last year either. Although it retains the same dual 12.3-inch displays (a digital gauge cluster and a touchscreen), it’s the second generation and comes with new hardware and software and improved ease of use. The virtual assistant is smarter and can do more things, such are explain how to pair your phone or tell you where the first-aid kit is, while certain actions, such as accepting a call, can be done without having to say, “Hey, Mercedes.” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless and the system can be updated over the air.
There have been no changes to the design hard points, so we have no reason to believe that the interior and trunk space of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 SUV will change. Yes, the optional third row is cramped and only suitable for children, but at least the option exists. Most people will keep it folded giving access to a decent cargo space with a capacity of 33.3 cubic feet (or 74.9 cubes with the second row folded flat). Rear-seat legroom is a spacious 40.9 inches, comfortably beating the X5.
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