Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

GLE 350 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

GLE 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the GLE:

MPG

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

GLE

RWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLE doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Explorer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the GLE.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Explorer’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the GLE:

Explorer

GLE

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The GLE doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the GLE (119.1 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

Chassis

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Mercedes GLE.

The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GLE doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLE doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Explorer has .2 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom and 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLE.

Cargo Capacity

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLE.

Explorer

GLE

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

75 cubic feet

Both the Explorer and the GLE offer second row automatic folding seats. The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The GLE doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer’s exterior PIN entry system. The GLE doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Recommendations

The Ford Explorer outsold the Mercedes GLE by almost six to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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