Mercedes GLE Problems: 7 Common Issues (Explained)

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a well-balanced mid-size luxury SUV that debuted in 2015.

It reeks of practicality, refinement, and durability. However, this model comes with its own range of flaws.

For better understanding, we have highlighted the common problems that plague this model, should in case you buy one, you’ll be making an informed decision.

Check also: Problems specific to the Mercedes GLE 350 model.

1. Exhaust Drone

The older version of the GLE had this exhaust problem. It was prevalently found in the 2016 and 2017 models of the GLE. Owners stated that they suffered from a loud noise that came from the vehicle’s exhaust.

It was so deafening that sometimes it overshadowed the noise from the radio. Also, owners stated that this noise was often heard at lower engine RPM at around 1,500 RPM. 

After many complaints from consumers, dealers found that this problem came from a design flaw with the mufflers used in the vehicles.

It was because the exhaust system was connected to the exhaust tips and so the gasses were susceptible to creating noises when they hit the interiors.

To solve this problem, the dealers would have to replace the old mufflers and then update them to a better version that expunges these noises. There are other problems with Mercedes SUVs you may want to know about.

2. Keyless Entry Issues and Failure of the Key fob

The second generation of the GLE was equipped with the keyless and key fob system.

However, this technological advancement seemed to have caused more trouble and frustration for drivers rather than providing an easy entrance and exit.

This keyless entry problem was predominantly found in the 2019 and 2020 GLEs.

Owners often reported that after some usage, the key fob began to experience some problems.

Some stated that the car won’t lock or unlock, the car won’t start, and sometimes the tailgate won’t function

This failure was also unpredictable, as it came with no warning signs. It often left owners stuck without knowing what to do about it.

Luckily, the car would eventually reopen if they pushed the lock and unlock buttons on the key fob. It was generally difficult to fix this problem because the failure was unpredictable. 

Another problem came up when the company updated its keyless system in 2019. It happened that the key fob could actually hibernate if not used for a while. Owners found out that shaking the fob repeatedly could wake it from its slumber.

The fob also had the problem of detecting the car if it wasn’t in range. All these problems could frustrate and unsettle any driver.

The general fix to these problems is to replace the key fobs or to check if the battery is working. It might just be that it had a flat battery. 

3. Failure of the Collision Prevention Assist

Collision prevention assistance is a very crucial safety feature. Its primary purpose is to alert the driver by its audible warning about an obstacle ahead of you.

If you fail to heed these warnings, this collision assist can cut down the speed of your vehicle by applying the brakes partially. This is to mitigate the severity of the impact ahead.

However, in some cases, owners have complained that this safety feature failed to function. It was later on discovered that they had two sensors instead of one in the non-safety plus system.

This was a flaw in the build quality of the vehicle.

4. Weak Headlights

This problem particularly concerned owners that drove the base version of the GLE. Mercedes wasn’t totally benevolent to spice up their base version with efficient halogen headlights.

The base trim had a weak headlight rating at around 3300K and they had a yellow color.

Owners complained that they didn’t have good visibility at night to drive, which could put them in harm’s way.

Some folks also complained that the headlamps were far below standard when compared to other vehicles and when they drove at night beside these vehicles, their headlights were sufficiently bright and overshadowed theirs easily.

An easy fix to these problems is to replace the bulbs with a brighter one that has a higher color temperature and can shine brighter.

You can always buy the standard H7-style halogen bulbs. One of the best in the market is the Morimoto H7 XB HID with a range of 3800K to 6000K.

Another fix is to update your vehicles to the aftermarket LED systems. However, it will need some adjustments to the wiring. This procedure can be pricey because it requires a lot of technical reprogramming. 

5. Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Malfunction

This filter is used for capturing and storing exhaust soots in order to reduce the emission coming from diesel cars. 

This car compartment became a problem in the GLE when it began to fail at just around 1,000 miles.

Of course, in the long run, you would have to change the filter of your vehicle to avoid them from becoming clogged, but the GLE’s filter seemed to fail too quickly.

Owners stated that the first symptoms of this failure were the engine lights coming up and the activation of the limp mode. Also, a smell of plastic burning followed it.

This smell was clear and in this case, the engine heats up the filter to over 600 degrees celsius just to burn up the build-up inside the filter.

Unfortunately, this failure can sometimes cause damage beyond repair to the engine.

6. Uncomfortable Seats

It can be very annoying to buy a car worth over $56,000 (base trims), only to find out that the seats wouldn’t be extra comfy. This was the case for the base trim of the GLE.

Owners complained that they did not experience a comfortable drive, especially on long journeys on their standard version, as these fully adjustable front seats were only available in the premium packages.

It gets even worse as the seats would definitely not be kind and enjoyable on long journeys. Some even stated that they preferred the seats in the older version compared to recent models.

The only fix to the problem is paying for the premium version. There you will get to enjoy the multi-contour seats from Mercedes.

7. Highway and Wind Noises

It was reported that there seemed to be a noticeable noise when driving the GLE at a high speed of about 60 miles per hour. This wind noise affected the early model years of the GLE from 2020 to 2021.

This wind noise was apparently disappointing for a premium, luxurious SUV. Thankfully, owners said that the noise was drowned out when they turned on their radios or by playing some music.

To address this issue, the company released a bulletin in 2020 that meted out some important steps to reduce this wind noise.

The bulletin recommended that owners should consider replacing their side mirrors with an updated unit to eliminate the noise.

But this didn’t work as efficiently as planned. Later on, the company themselves refurbished the side mirrors that dealt with this problem completely.

General Pros and Cons of the GLE?

To make an informed decision about purchasing the GLE, it is important to know its general strengths and flaws


  • Family oriented vehicles 
  • Well-built cabin interiors 
  • Excellent infotainment system 
  • High-end driver assistance technology 
  • Reliable drivetrains


  • More expensive than its rivals 
  • Tight third-row seats
  • Unimpressive fuel economy 
  • High dealership cost

What’s the Resale Value of the Mercedes-Benz GLE?

According to Car Edge, the GLE has a depreciation value of 56% after five years and it has a resale value of $39,642 after a 5-year period.

If you don’t want to get tangled up with buying and selling, the Mercedes-Benz GLE is among the Mercedes models you can lease.

Below is the table highlighting the depreciation value after a 5-year period

Years Old Depreciation Value Resale Value Mileage
1 $20,783 $69,539 12,000
2 $24,035 $66,287 24,000
3 $35,996 $54,356 36,000
4 $43,761 $46,561 48,000
5 $50,680 $39,642 60,000

However, these prices will vary depending on the trim level. 

What Do the Reviews Say?

Recent years of the GLE reek of performance, luxury, and handling. The GLE does pretty well for its ride comfort, but you’ll get the best of its handling when you opt for its air suspension.

It is brilliant at smoothing over rough surfaces and also offers impressive all-around visibility that allows for easy maneuvering through traffic.

The GLE fares decently in gas mileage, but the most economical model is the GLE 350de plug-in hybrid as it achieves up to 353.1 mpg in official tests.

It is not too sporty as a BMW X5, but it works better that way. This vehicle has a predicted reliability rating score of 78 out of 100, according to J.D. Power.


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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.