What’s the difference between the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLE? - SUV VEHICLE

What’s the difference between the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLE?


The Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLE are the brand’s top sellers, offering style, luxury and technology – plus the added bonus of electric counterparts. But how do they differ? We compare the pair.

The Mercedes-Benz SUV line-up is extensive, offering a plethora of sizes, styles, and powertrains. All models in the SUV range are renowned for being luxurious, technologically advanced and, in many cases, pricey.

The GLC and GLE share a lot of the same DNA and even look similar, but how do the brand’s best-selling cars differ?

What’s the difference between Mercedes’s GLC and GLE?

In a nutshell, the GLE is more expensive, more powerful, larger, has a bigger boot, and is more fuel-efficient than the GLC.

The GLC – with its lower starting price – is the brand’s most popular model. The German manufacturer sold 360 GLCs in March 2024 – a healthy number against tough competition from the likes of the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and increasingly popular Tesla Model Y.

The GLE sits just above the GLC in the large luxury SUV segment, rivalling the Land Rover Defender and BMW X5. While it didn’t beat its two main competitors in March 2024, sales were still high totalling 172 (34 coupes, 138 wagons).

If you’re deciding between the two models, we’ve broken down their differences across some key areas for you.


The Mercedes-Benz GLC is more affordable than the GLE starting at $103,370, while the GLE range starts at $144,900.

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLC is currently available in two model grades, the GLC300 and the performance-focussed Mercedes-AMG GLC43, which is priced from $136,400.

The more powerful Mercedes-AMG GLC63 plug-in hybrid performance SUV is due here in the fourth quarter of 2024. GLC buyers have the option of coupe or wagon body styles.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE offers seven variants in both coupe and wagon form. The line-up kicks off with the GLE300d and tops out with the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe, which starts at $268,900.

All prices exclude on-road costs.


The GLE is a larger vehicle overall. Both coupe and wagon models are longer, wider, taller and have a larger wheelbase than the GLC.

The GLC is 4771mm long, 1938mm wide, 1600mm high, and sits on a wheelbase of 2888mm, while the GLE coupe measures 4944mm long, 2014mm wide, 1716mm high, with a wheelbase of 2935mm.

The GLE wagon is larger than the coupe, measuring 4937mm long, 2015mm wide, and 1782mm high, and sits on a wheelbase of 2995mm.

Boot space

The GLE has the larger boot, boasting 655/1790L of boot space for the coupe and 630/2055L for the wagon.

Meanwhile, the GLC wagon offers 620L of boot space, or up to 1680 with the rear seats folded flat. The coupe version has 545L of cargo space with the second row in place, expanding to 1490L with the rear seats folded flat.


The Mercedes-Benz GLE offers a broader range of powertrains and boasts a more potent engine than the GLC.

The current GLC is offered in petrol only but has an electric equivalent in the Mercedes-Benz EQC. The GLE has a range of petrol and diesel powertrains and, like the GLC, an electric counterpart in the Mercedes-Benz EQE.

The GLC300 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine developing 190kW and 400Nm, combined with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and is all-wheel drive.

It is aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system, which enables faster operation of the stop-start system and can switch the engine off at cruising speeds under a low accelerator pedal load.

Meanwhile, the more potent GLC43 houses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from the A45 S hot hatch, developing 310kW and 500Nm. Power is sent to all four wheels through a nine-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel-drive system.

Powering the GLE300d is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine with 198kW and 550Nm, while the GLE450d’s 2.9-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder diesel engine provides 243kW/750Nm (up 50Nm).

Next in the range is the GLE450, offering a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol engine good for 280kW and 500Nm. The next step up is the Mercedes-AMG GLE53. This model is capable of developing 320kW and 560Nm from its 3.0-litre turbo inline six.

Finally, under the bonnet of the flagship AMG GLE63 S lies a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol producing 450kW and 850Nm. The GLE53 and GLE63 are available in coupe and wagon forms.

All GLE models are all-wheel drive and are fitted with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.


Both the GLC and GLE have five seats as standard; however, the GLE benefits from a third row of seating (seven seats in total), which can be optioned on the GLE300d, GLE450d, and AMG GLE53 wagons for an additional $3900.

Standard equipment

Both vehicles offer ample standard features, but with a higher price tag, the GLE benefits from extra features over and above the GLC, which can only be added to the GLC with an optional package. Some of these extras include a Burmester surround-sound system, adaptive ‘Multibeam’ LED headlights with auto high beam, dusk sensing headlights, and heat-insulating dark-tinted glass.

As standard, both the GLC and GLE are equipped with a panoramic glass sunroof, head-up display, power-adjustable front seats with memory and heating, wireless smartphone charging, along with comprehensive standard safety features including autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and junction assist), lane-keep assistance, lane-centering for the adaptive cruise-control system, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and a 360-degree camera.

As standard, the base-model GLE is fitted with several additional highlights, including a hands-free power tailgate, ambient interior lighting including illuminated door sill plates, aluminium-look running boards with illumination, auto-folding side mirrors with puddle light projection, and a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen (the GLC features an 11.9-inch display).

Fuel efficiency 

The GLE is the more efficient of the two vehicles. With two diesel options in the line-up, both models have a claimed combined fuel consumption of 7.4L/100km.

The most efficient GLC model is the GLC300 claiming 7.7L/100km.

The post What’s the difference between the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLE? appeared first on Drive.


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