Diesel or hybrid? Gretchen question when Mercedes GLE

Reason vs. Vernuft

One costs € 56.703,50 and offers 204 hp, the other costs € 73.899,00 and offers a theoretical system output of 333 hp and 116 hp. If you convert the price-performance ratio into “bang for the bucks”, then the matter is clear! € 277 per PS for the GLE 250d 4matic and € 167 per PS for the GLE 500e. And then the plug-in hybrid GLE only consumes 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers, compared to the 5.7 liters in the small diesel. If you really want to save money and do something good for the environment, you can turn to the plug-in hybrid. Or?

Save or be sensible?

Plug-in hybrid vs. Diesel in the Mercedes-Benz GLE

500e vs 250d

When saving becomes really difficult! 

Of course we all want to be smart. Even with a luxury vehicle like the GLE, the facelift version of the Mercedes M-Class. With the latest update, the name change and a major update for the interior and possible equipment details, Mercedes-Benz has also added a plug-in hybrid to the engine range.

With its theoretical range of 30 km per battery charge, it benefits from an exemplary NEDC balance. (Driving report GLE 500e, here) With only 78 g of CO2 per kilometer and a standard consumption of 3.3 liters per 100 km, you can't go wrong, can you? SUVs will go on eco-trips and their neighbors with their Prius will be eco-friendly. And diesel? Well, diesel only drive long-distance drivers. The plug-in hybrid GLE doesn't have to falter, a powerful 333 PS turbo V6 (petrol engine!) Is waiting under the bonnet to be used. The stupid thing about it is that it comes too often, too quickly, too early and the “clever idea” becomes a dead end.

250d vs. 500e

Test driving report 12 GLE 500e or GLE 250d

The tale of the 3.3 liters per 100 kilometer

First of all, you have to understand how the consumption of 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers (plus 16 kWh) comes about. The NEDC standard consumption forms the basis for all “consumption data”. We are talking about a “laboratory consumption” and, in the case of the plug-in hybrids, of a maximally useless “standard value”. What will the GLE 500e use in your everyday life? It depends on an incredible number of factors. Theoretically, the GLE could manage with 0.0 liters per 100 km. You would then only pay for the battery charge. In other words, in the case of the GLE 500e, a battery charge of around € 2,50. Sounds seductive. And the CO emissions? Local, nothing at all.

Wonderful. But there was still the purchase price. A proud € 17.195,50 is between the “small” diesel and the plug-in hybrid GLE. Or differently, 13.340 liters of diesel. Or again differently, easily 125.000 km driving distance. Okay, that's too gross, not fair. The GLE 500e is exempt from tax due to its plug-in technology, the small 250 diesel is not.

Wait, that's why the Mercedes-Benz will be putting the 500e in the showroom with proper equipment. The plug-in hybrid will already have expensive extras that you have to buy for the small base diesel.


Test driving report 18 GLE 250d

7 instead of 9 gears!

Instead of a charm offensive in terms of equipment, both models come off the production line from the list, from the base, in the basic equipment with the same modest accountant equipment. The little diesel even gets a modern goodie, which the GLE 500e lacks. With the new nine-speed automatic, the diesel has two gears more than the GLE 500e. Now one can argue that the plug-in hybrid does not need these additional gears because it can rely on the increased torque of the electric motor. Absolutely correct.

But it has hardly any noticeable advantage over the small diesel. mein-auto-blog drove both engines and both variants appeal to the same target group for everyday use: those of the “quiet glider”. “Establishing dominance” is left to the AMG drivers. If you choose plug-in hybrid or basic diesel, you want to exercise a little common sense with all the luxury. And that's just as well.

Saving without slide rule

The system performance of the plug-in hybrid of 435 hp sounds too good to be true and, in fact, this power would only really be available as long as the batteries add the full e-power to the 85 kW motor - but with 8.8 kWh battery power a very manageable pleasure.

Then the V6-Bi Turbo with 333 PS has to run. A great engine. A grenade that is really fun. In a class below - in an SUV the size of the M-Class (pardon, GLE), a turbo petrol engine is as good as alcohol-free beer for a stag or hen party. And then the theoretical consumption of 0.0 liters becomes what it is: an illusion. During the test drives, the 8.8 kWh of the batteries lasted for almost 20 km, a maximum value. The specified 30 km should only be accessible in the laboratory.

As soon as the petrol engine starts, consumption increases - after 55 km there was already 41 liters in the display despite 3.9 km “engine off”. The everyday? It is difficult to estimate because it is extremely dependent on how often it can be charged.

Diesel or hybrid? The GLE remains off-road

Aside from the consumption discussion, two questions arise: How does the GLE series drive and can it still be used “OFF ROAD”?

If you really want to drive your GLE “off the road” and don't just mean “dirt roads” and gravel parking lots, you can tick off the “plug-in hybrid” topic, because the “off-road technology package” with an electronic setting of the ESP control systems to be able to play with the slip rule limits on different surfaces do not currently exist for the PHEV. The additionally recommended Airmatic (air suspension) is again available for both.

But if you mean terrain, you have to explain that in more detail. The limit of power transmission between the vehicle and the terrain is usually determined by the tires, and so GLE 350d drivers (our off-road test car) should also prepare to have a second set of tires ready.

Test driving report 03 GLE 500e or GLE 250d


GLE-engine? No question!

The theoretical torque advantage of the "GLE 500e”With the“ two hearts ”parries the smaller diesel with the additional ratios of its nine-speed gearbox. This shifts swiftly and conscientiously and keeps the 2.1 liter large (or small!) Four-cylinder in a good mood.

The driving comfort in the GLE 500e is superior to the diesel engine as long as you can slide purely electrically. Even the larger V6 diesel in the 350d has a ghostly effect on the quietness of the electric drive - but that's exactly what it was, unfortunately.

The strategy of Mercedes-Benz to give the first plug-in hybrid with the star such a small battery must be regarded as a “failure”. The customer does not receive any significant added value compared to the conventional drive. In the end, there is only the idea of ​​CO2-free driving ...

The theoretical advantages sound wonderful, but they remain gray theory.

If you want to save and be sensible, you decide against the GLE 500e and for the GLE 250d 4matic.

GLE 250d 4matic GLe 500e


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