Is this infotainment overkill?

We recently had a go with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, and suffice to say, the infotainment system is dense. There are menus upon menus to scroll through, with options offered for customization of just about every vehicle parameter imaginable - and a few we’d never dream of. Which begs the question - at what point is it all just too much?

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 Infotainment Specs

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350's Infotainment System Has Countless Options and the Digital Instrument Cluster is Just as Good
- image 819239

As a quick refresher, let’s briefly rundown the specs on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE’s infotainment system.

The most important bits are the twin 12.3-inch screens you see spread across the top of dash, which are equipped as standard equipment on all 2020 GLE models.

Mounted side by side, these screens look like a single, ultra-wide unit, and take up a spot that’s just outside the driver’s field of vision.

The central screen is touch sensitive, with further user inputs made by a touchpad controller, plus easy-access thumb controls on the steering wheel.

Gesture control is also standard, as is an onboard voice-activated AI-assistant (just say “Hey Mercedes” to activate it, allowing for speech commands). There’s augmented reality navigation as well, if you’re into that kind of thing. Media inputs can be made via three USB-c ports.

Navigation Augmented Reality (AR) highlight - 30 sec

Finally, the MBUX infotainment platform provides the software underpinnings.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 Infotainment System Tutorial

The above video shows the various functions offered by the central touchscreen.

It kicks off with user navigation through the various infotainment options, including a search for entertainment through SiriusXM.

You can also select from numerous media inputs, and adjust the stereo settings with an equalizer, balance slider, sound focus selector, and sound profile defaults.

Next up, there are adjustments for the cabin settings, such as ambient lighting colors and seat comfort settings, the latter of which includes customizability for the lumbar support, side bolster support, and heating and massage functions. You can even adjust the exterior lighting settings, such as the puddle lighting and greeting lights.

As expected, there’s onboard Wi-Fi for general web browsing, or targeted apps to help you track down nearby restaurants and hotels.

If you’re into specs under the hood, you’ll also find readouts on engine info and general vehicle status, including throttle and brake inputs, plus ride height settings for the dampers and the various drive settings.

Finally, the center screen also provides inputs for the autonomous safety systems, down to a customizing screen for the warning tone pitch.

Seriously, you can adjust the damn pitch of the warning tone.

There’s so much stuff here, it’s pretty overwhelming. Luckily, you won’t need to worry about Junior messing with it when you aren’t around, as there are optional parental controls installed that prompt you for a PIN when adjusting certain settings.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 Instrument Cluster Tutorial

Our next video moves over to the display behind the steering wheel, which is once again completely customizable.

Users can adjust the screen real estate on the left, right, and center, flicking between features such as:

- * A rev counter
- * Map navigation
- * The speedometer
- * Vehicle pitch for off-roading

You can check in on the vehicle status from this screen as well, from the engine coolant and oil temperatures, to the tire pressures.

Merc is also offering multiple display mode types to adjust the way the readout looks, including themes like Classic, Sport, and Progressive.

Finally, a heads-up display is up top to complement the twin digital readouts below, and it’s once again configurable to display just about any information you want.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 Infotainment Overall Impression

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350's Infotainment System Has Countless Options and the Digital Instrument Cluster is Just as Good
- image 819299

Overall, we found the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE’s infotainment screens to offer ultra-sharp imagery, as well as lightning-fast operation and input response.

However, as if it weren’t obvious, the system offers tons of menus, and navigating the UI was a lengthy process at best. What’s more, we found ourselves forced to memorize where things were, as a search function doesn’t exist with regard to general operation.

“German organization at its best” read the notes of one of our testers. If you prefer shortcuts over folders, you aren’t gonna like this system.

All told, the 2020 GLE’s infotainment system offers all the features you could ever need, and then some.

It feels like there are Easter eggs on every page, and it’s definitely skewed more towards the tech-savvy individuals out there. If you aren’t comfortable with technology, the system will most likely be a bit overwhelming. And frankly, we’re doubtful the average Mercedes buyer will even want to utilize more than 5 percent of these features.

Also, make sure to use the parental controls, or else you’ll have a huge headache to deal with to get everything back to normal should the kids decide to search for games to play when they’re bored.

The Rest Of The Specs On The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350's Infotainment System Has Countless Options and the Digital Instrument Cluster is Just as Good
- image 819303

Other notables on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE include a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase, which provides more space in the rear seat. There’s also a seat kinematics system that helps to reduce back pressure points over the long haul.

As for the oily bits, the GLE 450 trim level gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder making 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Meanwhile, the 350 trim level gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both connect to a nine-speed automatic transmission, with all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive drivetrain options on the table to put the power to the pavement. There’s also active dampening that helps the crossover lean into corners for a more stable ride.

Pricing starts at $54,695. Look for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE to hit dealers this spring.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE drivetrain specifications

GLE 350 SUV & GLE 350 4MATIC SUV GLE 450 4MATIC SUV
MSRP $53,700
4MATIC: $56,200
$61,150
Engine 2.0L Inline-4 Turbo 3.0L Inline-6 Turbo with EQ Boost
Drive Config. Rear-Wheel Drive / 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive 4MATIC fully-variable All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower 255 hp @ 5,800 - 6,100 362 hp @ 5,500 – 6,100
Torque 273 lb-ft @ 1,800 – 4,000 369 lb-ft @ 1,600 – 4,000
EQ Boost N/A Up to 21 hp

Further Reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Exterior
- image 795100

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: