With a powerful diesel engine, tremendous stability, and four-wheel drive to deliver all-weather traction, it coped brilliantly with whatever challenge we put it to.
The emergency lane-change often uncovers some weakness, but not with the GLE. Seemingly endless reserves of grip kept the Merc on course, however violently we asked car and caravan to change direction.
It’s a very reassuring car to tow with at high speeds, too. It was absolutely secure at 70mph, and the data from the Al-Ko ATC system backed up the drivers’ positive verdict.
The hill-start test was also simplicity itself, as it should be with a big, powerful 4×4. With so much pulling power the 1-in-6 slope was easy for the Mercedes.
Impressive though it is as a tow car, the GLE loses some ground in What Car?‘s assessment of the Merc in solo driving.
The ride may be comfortable but the GLE doesn’t corner with the agility of a BMW X6, and the steering is uncommunicative.
Interior quality could also be better in places, especially considering the car’s high price tag. Boot space isn’t as generous as you’d find in a Land Rover Discovery, but there was enough room for all but one item from our load of holiday luggage.
The price is high and fuel economy and emissions aren’t class-leading.
Model pictured: AMG Line