2020 Benz GLE 350 Rental

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Dec 28, 2011
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Not the best review but have to share this!!! I was with the kids in Fort Meyers for the last 6 days. My 15 plays up baseball and we were invited to PG 2021 Underclass World Champ 18U tournament. Great tournament and amazing time! To be lifelong Red Sox fans and your kid playing at Jet Blue Stadium (Sox spring training facility) is heaven. Add 87-91F all sun and Sanibel Island so close for beach time? Ya, lived the life for a week!

Rented through Alomo. We were given a choice of Audi A3 (my choice) or Benz 2020 350. Kids picked Benz. :( Love the styling and look. Here are my impressions.

Style and comfort: Beautiful looking vehicle. Front seats were firm and supportive and I found them very comfortable. Very happy with them. Adjustability was plentiful and lots of height and lowering were available. Rear seats were solid comfort for 2. Not ok for 3. Rear storage was about what I'd ask for in that size vehicle. Big plus for MB on the rear trunk. Sure wasn't large but it seemed to be more rear cargo space than Lexus or BMW X3.

Drivetrain: UGH!!!!!!!!! To me, conundrum. The 255horse of the 2.0 Turbo was relatively responsive and did keep giving from 70-80+ more than I expected. But it was very whinney, did not feel refined, and had a lag that reminded me of an IROC Shelby turbo I had back in the 90's. Transmission had me wanting to return it. Hit the pedal and you could feel the gearing drop rather harsh and push forward after a delay. Guess that is the trans/turbo combo. Not smooth at all. At times 6th gear at 70mph headed to Tampa and other times we got to 8th at 60mph. What gives? Same mode, sport. My 17 Outback 3.6 with 97k and CVT was smoother. Sad there!!

I wanted to hate this vehicle but I honestly couldn't do that. Frustrating in how it made me feel. Handling was overall really good after you caught some roll. Braking was far superior to my OB even though larger and heavier. Turning radius felt like it was really good compared to the OB. This was a 4matic. Acceleration was good but you knew it was a low displacement high RPM turbo. Felt unrefined but did perform. The interior dash was supurb. MB has the dash down rather well. I liked it a lot.

Interior had a lot of plastic but the same time they did a great job understating just how much plastic is present. Not the biggest fan of the vents but they worked well. Navigation was horrible. Enter a business name and it often couldn't find it. Even Jet Blue Stadium (we played a few games there) was only 12 miles away and you go no results. Only worked with actual addresses. Google blows this nav away. Sound system was impressive for a stock rental vehicle. Blew my OB "limited" $$ upgrade away and then some. Good depth to the sound.

I've been frustrated with my OB rear hatch, quirky. I now beg for the OB rear hatch. The MB hatch foot under bumper control worked about 40% of the time. Real PITA throughout the week. Clearly not working and needed repair. I'm about 50 and my eyesight is not what it use to be at night. Lights on the MB were a ok. No issue without glasses viewing the roadway.

Things I could NOT adjust tooo.... MB did such a great job on the integrated, toughscreen dash and have the touh pad with the hand rest before it. Wht not use that for a circle dial to move from P, R, N, D. Instead the toothpick lever on the column with P being the touch the end like it's a washing fluid activation. UGH! HATED THAT!

Overall I wanted to hate this vehicle and I just can't do that. It was a really good vehicle but for 60k I would feel used. I expect more from MB even if it is a low level MB. Drivetrain was disappointing. It did get great gas mileage with that whining red liner engine. I have never been so frustrated with a vehicle in my life. So much that bothered me but yet it did do what it is supposed to do and did a lot well.

The best part, as stated we were there for baseball and we did get 3 days of beach time as well. My 15 year old isn't eligible to get his permit for another 6 months. Don't judge!!! I let him drive the MB 16 miles out of Captiva to our hotel in Fort Meyers. Which of course my 13 wanted to drive. He was only allowed to drive in a parking lot. They loved it. Excuse the hair on the 13! This mullet crap is popular and I pick my battles 🪖
 

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Joined
Apr 19, 2014
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WV
Too bad you couldn’t have had a 3.5 V6 instead. You would have loved that. I think the transmission was quirky because as a rental lots of different people have driven it. If you were the only driver, the transmission would adjust to your driving. Looks like you had a great trip. I have a winter place near the road to Sanabel.
 

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
3,459
Too bad you couldn’t have had a 3.5 V6 instead. You would have loved that. I think the transmission was quirky because as a rental lots of different people have driven it. If you were the only driver, the transmission would adjust to your driving. Looks like you had a great trip. I have a winter place near the road to Sanabel.

That very well could be. Any idea why the reverse camera remains on even after about 10 seconds in drive?

Are you prior to the causeway? IMHO best part of Florida is Sanibel.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
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That very well could be. Any idea why the reverse camera remains on even after about 10 seconds in drive?

Are you prior to the causeway? IMHO best part of Florida is Sanibel.
Mercedes is well know to require a transmission reset in order to wake the car up. Yeah, the prior 2018 3.5L V6 was a 302hp engine. Gas mileage got better with the 4 cylinder turbo but performance suffers. You basically went from 18/22 to 19/26, not sure the 1mpg city/4 mpg highway pickup was worth it to go to a 4 cylinder. But there was the GLE450, but you probably wouldn't see that on a rental, they mostly do base model cars, you get the 362hp on a 3.0L V6 turbo and 19/24.

What options did the car have? Rental ones tend to be bare bones strippers, it's the options that are fun to play with. If you still have the rental paperwork, maybe it has the vin on there and we can look it up to see what it had.

 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
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11,283
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Jupiter, Florida
Accurate review. Mercedes vehicles/their driving dynamics AND me do not get along.

I've noticed that with many Mercedes vehicles, I can "floor it" quickly, then remove my foot and put it flat on the floor mat before any response of any sort happens. Infuriating. Doubly so when a turbo is involved, as that introduces a power onset delay.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
11,762
Location
MA
Accurate review. Mercedes vehicles/their driving dynamics AND me do not get along.

I've noticed that with many Mercedes vehicles, I can "floor it" quickly, then remove my foot and put it flat on the floor mat before any response of any sort happens. Infuriating. Doubly so when a turbo is involved, as that introduces a power onset delay.
Yeah, that's why the transmission reset needs to be done. Really wakes it up. Gets sluggish a few years later then it needs to be redone.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
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New England
That very well could be. Any idea why the reverse camera remains on even after about 10 seconds in drive?

Are you prior to the causeway? IMHO best part of Florida is Sanibel.
Our VW is the same with reverse cam staying on. I realized why you want it. Parallel parking is dead easy in figuring out where you are in space as you pull forward you can see how far away from the rear line you are.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,342
Location
MO
Nice review but oh man your 15 year old permitless driver in a rental and as an unlisted driver to the rental contract! I know the odds of something happening are slim but that could put you in a real bind if something did! I’m in Naples right now and the drivers down here are not great. I’d be more worried about someone else causing an accident and putting you in a bad spot.
 
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