When Mercedes first released the M-Class way back in 1997, it was the first time many Americans had seen the famous three-pointed star on anything but a luxury car or sporty coupe. But in the decades since, SUVs have come to dominate the automotive landscape, and the 2019 Mercedes GLE450 is just more proof that the storied German brand makes extraordinary vehicles of every shape and size.
At the 2019 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle awards, the GLE450 topped the Compact and Mid-size luxury class. Because along with its stylish exterior and gorgeous digital instrument cluster, it impressed members of the Northwest Automotive Press Association with both its on-road manners and ability to get down and dirty. Of course, the fact that it had a robust 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque on tap certainly didn’t hurt anything.
In reality, we think very few examples of the GLE450 will be hurled into corners or plow though mud puddles the way they were at the evaluation event late last month, but buyers who choose one should rest assured that it’ll handle twisty roads and sloppy conditions with aplomb.
Runner up for the award was the 2019 Acura RDX A-SPEC. With a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine good for 272 horsepower under the hood, it was down significantly from the Mercedes, but Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) made great use of every available pony, and drivers who relish twisty roads will find lots to love about this capable crossover.
We drove the RDX late last year, and came away impressed at how well it performed out in the real world. So if you’re interested, head here for our full review of this capable crossover.
BMW brought its X5 xDrive40i to the event, and while it didn’t place, it’s an extremely competent machine that embodies the company’s famous Ultimate Driving Machine slogan.
Put your foot into the carpet, and the 335-horsepower twin-turbo V6 provides fantastic acceleration, and we had a particularly good time whipping it through the slalom course. Unless you’re looking to make any kids you’re ferrying to school car sick, you’ll want to avoid even approaching the limits of what this baby can do when pushed. Head here to read out full review of this powerful people mover.
Of course, you should never make a decision about a vehicle without a through test drive. So if you’re considering the Mercedes GLE450, Acura RDX, or BMW X5, stop by your AutoNation-affiliated dealer today!
Images: Ryan Douthit, MediaSpigot LLC.
NWAPA (www.nwapa.org) is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada. Founded in 1991, NWAPA includes 54 voting members representing more than 700 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, media groups, and the internet. Members of the organization have been testing SUVs and crossovers since the advent of the modern sport-utility vehicle in the mid-1990s. Non-voting NWAPA members include representatives from automotive manufacturers and related industry professionals.