Grip is good, but you're always aware it's difficult to pick a confident line in fast bends, and there's a fair amount of body lean to contend with. Mid-corner lumps and bumps unsettle things further.
At least the 350's engine is as sweet as ever. There's some light buzz through the controls from low revs, but with a largely snappy gearbox and nine speeds to call upon and a healthy amount of torque ready from 1600rpm, the GLE feels eager to shift its near-2.2 tonne mass. The engine remains pleasantly restrained at a cruise, too, as do wind and road noise.
The good news continues inside starting with the COMAND infotainment system. A bright, clear 8.0in colour screen is set high on the dash, and is controlled via a rotary controller on the centre console. It's not as slick as BMW's iDrive, but it's certainly one of the better systems on the market. The AMG's (man-made) leather-stitched dash top and chrome accents lift the cabin, although some creaking dash trims and switchgear are more disappointing.
Front space is excellent and comfort is helped by the electric adjustment for the steering wheel and seat. Three adults will sit in the rear, although two will sit more comfortably, with good head and legroom. The rear seats split 60/40 and fold flat to open out the GLE's already competitively sized and nicely shaped 690-litre boot.
Should I buy one?
Just like the M-Class before it, the GLE offers good space, but it now adds better infotainment and improved quality. There's more standard equipment than before, too, with features such as a reversing camera, LED headlights with high-beam assist, a powered tailgate, keyless entry and start, sat-nav and climate control thrown in on every car.
This 350 d AMG Line will cost you £56,280. However, for £2k less, BMW will sell you its X5 xDrive30d M Sport, for nearly £6k less Porsche will give you a Cayenne Diesel or for a similar saving, Volvo's range-topping Inscription XC90 D5 is another option.
All of these cars ride and handle more competently - particularly the Cayenne - all manage to feel more luxurious and offer similarly long kit lists, while being just as or more spacious. In the cases of the BMW and Volvo, there are more seats and far better fuel economy and emissions, too.
Unfortunately, in this rapidly improving class, there are now more reasons to choose a rival.
Mercedes-Benz GLE350 d AMG Line
Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £56,280; Engine 6cyls, 2987cc, turbocharged, diesel; Power 255bhp at 3400rpm; Torque 457Ib ft at 1600rpm; Kerb weight 2175kg; Gearbox 9-spd automatic; 0-62mph 7.1sec; Top speed 140mph; Economy 42.8mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 179g/km, 33%