New Car Preview: 2026 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Plug-In Hybrid

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Mercedes-AMG enthusiasts have something to look forward to in the 2026 model year with the introduction of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). This innovative offering adds an exciting twist to the already popular GLE 53 SUV and GLE 53 Coupe, elevating their performance and environmental credentials.

Under the hood, these vehicles still house a potent 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine, but it has undergone a meaningful upgrade. The engine now boasts an impressive 442 horsepower, an increase of 13 hp from its previous 429 hp configuration. This enhancement ensures that the GLE 53 stands as a powerful and dynamic contender in its segment. However, what sets it apart is the integration of a 134-hp electric motor, pushing the total output to a remarkable 536 hp and a hefty 553 lb-ft of torque. In essence, the GLE 53 now outmuscles even the V8-powered BMW X5 M60i, making it a force to be reckoned with on the road.

But performance isn’t the only story here. Mercedes has also equipped the GLE 53 Hybrid with a substantial 31.2 kWh battery pack. This battery empowers the vehicle to achieve an impressive electric driving range of up to 53 miles in its SUV configuration or up to 54 miles when in the Coupe form according to WLTP standards. Even on the more conservative EPA scale, the GLE 53 Hybrid is expected to offer a substantial 47 miles on a single charge. This electrifying capability is further enhanced by the vehicle’s ability to DC fast-charge at speeds of up to 60 kW, allowing for an 80% battery replenishment in just 20 minutes. Alternatively, the car can recharge at a rate of up to 11 kW when connected to a Level 2 charger.

However, the transition to a hybrid system does come with a trade-off, and that is an increase in weight due to the added battery. Though Mercedes doesn’t specify the curb weight, performance figures reveal that the GLE 53 Hybrid has become somewhat heavier. Acceleration times, for instance, show the GLE 53 Hybrid reaching 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, slightly slower than its predecessor’s 4.9 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint. While it’s important to note that comparing 0-60 and 0-62 times isn’t an exact match, the difference between the two versions is not substantial. The BMW X5 M60i still maintains its edge by achieving a sub-four-second 0-60 mph time, making it a tad quicker than the GLE 53. Nonetheless, the GLE 53 Hybrid remains an impressive performer in its own right.

The 2026 GLE 53 Hybrid doesn’t just impress under the hood; it also benefits from the visual enhancements that come with the 2024 model year facelift across the GLE lineup. Some distinctive cues include hybrid-specific badges, an additional cooling vent in the front, AMG high-performance brakes, and striking 21-inch wheels. These elements not only enhance the vehicle’s visual appeal but also contribute to its overall performance and aerodynamics.

The 2026 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 PHEV will go on sale in the United States later in the year 2025.


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