2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE

Hi everyone,

I have been searching this forum for GLE related topics and it seems to me that it’s not the right time to lease one. MF is generally high (even by today’s standards) for Tier 1 applicants. Dealers try to charge full MSRP on most models, except for electric ones, and seasoned forum members advise to look into better alternatives, such as BMW X5.

Here is my story, or the outcome of interaction with a dozen of MB dealers within 150 mi radius from where I live in Maryland (I actually tried to widen my net, but was told by a dealer located in Tennessee that they are restricted by MB in marketing their cars, so I had to limit my search to dealers that could still sell/register cars in Maryland).

  1. Few dealers actually provided quotes (most try to bring me in for “a test drive”, to “pick up the car” and “then work out the deal”, obviously I am not falling for it).
  2. Most MB dealers sound like “it’s my way or high way”, “we are short on stock”, “we don’t offer any discounts under MSRP on this car” and etc.
  3. The ones who did send me quotes referenced .0037 MF (`8.8% APR) for their top tier customers, with lease payments coming at around $1,500/mo for 36 mo. /10,000 miles per year for a $73K car (they have GLE’s with extra options, very few have base models in upper 60’s, practically none in DC/VA/MD area with color combinations I want), based on 57% residual value.
  4. I almost forgot to mention, I have a current lease on 2021 GLC 4Matic with sunroof (kind of like a base model, with just AWD and sunroof added to it). I leased that car for $600/mo 48 months @10K mi per year back in 2021, before chip shortages and when the rates were good, it has $35K payoff as of now with 25K miles on odometer, in very good condition, and CarMax offers the same as payoff amount to buy it from me, but dealers consistently lowball and offer $30K-$33K (the ones making highest offer believe I would take it for MD tax savings of $2100 for using it as a trade for a newer car.

What are my options here? I am asking gurus and experienced lease hackers here.

I am not a lease expert, but I feel the numbers on current GLE450 are for the fools to take it, I am not getting into a car with $90K-$100K MSRP to justify quoted prices, even in today’s market. A lot of other makes offer huge incentives to offset the higher than we are used to rates, but MB seems to be dead set in believing that they are Kings of the Market (they are not).

I looked into X5, but I really don’t like the design of newer BMW’s, they make them look edgy, with disproportionate styling (in my subjective opinion), and many of their newer models look like a Toyota or Nissan with a BMW badge. So, X5 is out of consideration.

I contacted few Porsche dealers, I was interested in Macan, and in all fairness with the high MF factor of 0.00490 (perhaps it’s not true, but one dealer said Porsche always have had relatively high MF) they still quoted me Macans with options added (which I don’t need) for less than GLE.

I think I am better off keeping my GLC300 in good condition, change oil, inspect breaks/tires and drive it until lease expires in 2025. I may find better deals then. But I wanted to run this with lease experts of this forum, to hear your insights and suggestions.

I should note that I have done couple of lease deals in the past month with dealers of other carmakers and had not done bad (they paid for my trade around 2K above my payoff and discounted their new cars handsomely). But MB dealers seem to be acting arrogant and argumentative, or stop responding the minute I tell them that their offers are not reasonable.
Which, at the end of the day, very fine with me. I have a nice , 2 years old car and I will just keep driving it until 2025. It’s just really surprising that MB sales reps act like they run a private soup kitchen during a Great Depression.

No brainer…keep GLC300 and wait.

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Even with a very aggressive discount, GLE leases suck.

While the sales reps may leave a lot to be desired, they can’t get blood from a stone.


There was one dealer I spoke to who was very nice, listened patiently to what I need in a car and explained existing options in a friendly manner. I said I would keep his information if I consider any MB in future when my lease expires. Most of them MB sales reps sounded just plain arrogant.

Well, it is a for profit business and supply is low and demand is relatively high so they can afford to wait for a ‘better/higher profit’ customer than somebody who is trying to work them down. The game has changed and dealers spend more time trying to maximize profit on the fewer vehicles they do have on hand. As of yet still no real need for most manufacturers to drop their pants on MFs, rebates, etc.

That’s arguably the most punitive state regarding taxes on leases.

6% of the selling price is no joke. Never heard anyone mention the occasional tax credits like in Texas either, so it’s just brutal with no way to avoid paying it repeatedly when leasing.

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They tax on full amount of purchase price, that sucks. But I always get tax savings when I trade in my existing lease in MD. Let’s say I was to lease a new GLC tomorrow with agreed price of $50,000, and dealer took my existing leased GLC as a trade in, paying off $35,000 for it. As a result, I would only be taxed on difference (or $15,000), and not a whole $50,000 amount. So, yes, it’s bad, but it hasn’t been so bad for me since I was always trading my leases to get newer cars.

That only works when your existing lease has non-negative equity. Any time there’s negative equity that eliminates part or all of your tax savings.

Otherwise you could have grounded the lease (not traded), and simply walked away from the negative equity.

A big majority of the best leases on this site have involved inflated RV (which made the payments lower) and the lessee could walk away with no strings attached.

I agree, I am on the same page with them (they are “for profit” organization, while I am “for saving on my costs” individual, neither of us run a charity or exist to benefit another).
But as I am being courteous in my approach, I expect the same treatment from them (I don’t get angry and fussy if they can’t give me a discount I want and I think they shouldn’t sound angry and argumentative if I ask for a discount, MF used, justification for quoted numbers and etc.). Especially since they are in “customer service” business, aside from “for profit” side of it. They are not my customers. I can easily quit leasing MB for good and switch to another make and model, I don’t depend on them to make a living.

Yes, for sure. I just never had a situation where I was upside down.

Is it possible to inflate RV to get a good deal? Aside from the high RV created by manufacturer to promote leases (I think Audi had electronic car like that, with hyper-inflated RV), most cars I think have RV which is based on realistic value of the car upon lease termination. The dealers I have been in touch with would flat out refuse to inflate RV to reduce my lease payments. Did you have success with that?

RV is a value set by the bank. There’s no level to pull to change it on a deal.

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That’s what I thought (no way to force them to change the RV), thank you for confirming.

Eric, you’re banging your head against the dealership wall for no reason. You know what you’re getting from the average salesperson.

Think of dealerships as broken vending machines. Keep pushing buttons, something may or may not come out. Dont waste mental energy on how it makes you feel.

In your case it seems like you know the car you want doesn’t lease well. Move on. You know in your heart you will have no more benefit if you keep trying. At this point you’re spiting yourself.

Read up on leasing 101 here on the forum. Search the marketplace for cars that lease well and fit your wants/needs. Reach out to dealerships with numbers you know should be achievable. If they wont play ball, move on. Keep pushing the buttons until something comes out.


Let’s be honest, that must be a very small sample set. It’s like you rolled 3 dice and got three sixes. What’s the chance your next roll will get three sixes?

The best leases have an RV overestimated by the bank and the best course for a lessee is to enjoy the low payments, toss the keys back at the end after grounding it, and let the bank enjoy diving underwater.

Yeah, I agree. I don’t relive the “trauma” of dealer being a jerk for the sake of inflicting mental wounds on myself. I use it more as a gauge (their attitude tells me about MB market), and I also reward nice ones when I eventually make a deal. That’s all.

As far as the quoted part, I wasn’t sure if it was me banging my head on dealer’s wall. I think this forum has people who have professional experience dealing with car retailers and have a lot more knowledge than I do to tell if these dealers are simply bluffing, therefore I wanted to share my story and hear seasoned lease hacker’s thoughts. Thank you and everyone for your input and comments.

For your future benefit, these questions of if the dealer is giving bad pricing is always resolved by establishing a target deal before ever engaging with a dealer. Ideally, you should have known GLEs lease terribly before the first dealer conversation.


Couldn’t agree more. I just couldn’t find a way to force banks accept inflated RV (or to have dealer force them to do that on my behalf). That would surely save me a fortune on lease payments.

But, aside from that, I think your main point was about MD sales tax of 6% on the full purchase value of the leased vehicle. I will note that there were occasions when dealer didn’t purchase my leased vehicle (it had good market value versus payoff, but dealer just wasn’t interested in investing a time to recondition it and sell it, it wasn’t that good of a deal for them ,especially prior to pandemic). In those instances they would still get me out of the lease early under existing programs (like 3 month ahead of lease maturation), waive the disposition fee for acquiring a new vehicle from them and still use the value of the car in calculation to offset my taxes due.

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Thank you, that’s a good advise, I should have started my journey on leasehack by researching and asking about MB, I am sure I would then know great deal more how bad of a lease deal GLE’s are. I just had no idea how bad GLEs were. But even GLC’s, which I initially considered to replace my 2021 model, seem to lease for $950/mo and above locally (based on what they have on a lot, which is usually in mid-50’s MSRP), and many are asking north of $1,000/mo on 36 months and 10,000 miles lease. Therefore, I am getting an impression that aside from their EV’s, it’s best to stay away from MB’s until better times.

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The best lesson to learn from LH is this: talking numbers with a dealer is for finding someone to do your deal, not to ask them how much they want you to pay. Never talk to a dealer about any vehicle without first knowing what the numbers should be.


Another good advise, thank you.
Two things threw me off:
First, car market today is nowhere as bad as in July-August of 2021, when there was total shortage of stock on almost all brands of cars. Rates are high today, but couple other deals I closed last month ended up working well for me. Inevitably higher than in 2021, MF increase was more than offset by above CarMx allowance on trade-in and handsome discounts on new cars. I didn’t expect MB to exist in a high tower of its own, with its buyers treating it like they would treat other dealerships at the height of chip/stock shortage crisis.
Second, I was orienting on my existing numbers. Here I am driving 2021 GLC300 for which I am paying $600/mo. I knew the numbers now would be higher, no matter what (most 2023 GLC’s on local lots have $3,000-5,000 greater sticker price than my GLC), I knew higher MF could alone and easily add $50-$70/mo to monthly lease payments, add this on top of difference in MSRP, and with similar dealer discounts and incentives considered I was looking to pay in $700/mo - $800/mo neighborhood. But I didn’t expect that they would ask $1,050/mo (or over $400/mo more than I pay now) for a GLC and over $1,500/mo for GLE. If I knew, I wouldn’t even bother to waste my time

My current cars had combined MSRP of $122,000 at purchase, I pay less than $1,300/mo for all of them. I didn’t expect a GLE with $73K MSRP to cost me more to rent than multiple cars with combined sticker price of $122,000 at the time of purchase. Obviously, each make is different, each manufacturer sets their own incentives, MF, RV and etc., times change, but I didn’t expect such a drastic discrepancy between the numbers I had in my mind and what the MB offered from their ivory towers. Thanks to this forum, I now understand that MB dealers were not bluffing me with quotes on GLE, it’s just a terrible car to lease right now that has more than enough customers who fall for it.